Football - Seasiders slump continues

Tommy Smith marked his first start since October by firing Cardiff 10 points clear at the top of the npower Championship with a 2-1 win over Blackpool.

PA Sport

Smith, who has previously earned promotion to the top flight with Watford and QPR, came back from a hamstring injury with a substitute appearance against Ipswich last weekend and his deflected second-half volley - a maiden strike for the Bluebirds - proved enough to settle an even contest.

Sought-after winger Tom Ince spurned the hosts' best opportunity when clean through in a first-half of few chances.

Pool goalkeeper Matt Gilks denied Smith on the stroke of half-time but he could do nothing when the attacking midfielder struck venomously goalwards in the 64th minute.

Ten minutes earlier, Bob Harris' attempted clearance from Smith's left-wing cross looped upwards, allowing Aron Gunnarson to thump a volley against the base of the post and leave Kim Bo-Kyung with a simple task from the rebound.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher had Blackpool level with an hour played - a clever drag-back earned Thiago Gomes space to stand up a cross to the far post where the experienced forward barrelled past Andrew Taylor to force a header home.

The managerless Seasiders remain under the caretaker control of Steve Thompson and are without a win in eight matches as the search for Michael Appleton's successor continues.

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