Cardiff City 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday: Lee Tomlin rescues Bluebirds with late strike
Lee Tomlin's late free-kick saw Cardiff City maintain their unbeaten home record in the Championship this season as they drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls had seemed set to go second in the second tier after Julian Borner's 19th-minute goal, the German central defender volleying home as he latched onto a Kadeem Harris shot.
But boss Garry Monk was denied what would have been a fourth victory in six league games thanks to Cardiff substitute Tomlin.
Wednesday dominated the first half, then looked like holding out even as Cardiff put the pressure on after the break.
Neil Warnock's men had struggled to produce any quality in the final third until Tomlin lifted his free-kick over the wall and inside the post.
The point means Wednesday are up to sixth in the table, while Cardiff stay 11th.
Warnock had suggested on the eve of the game that this would be the toughest week of Cardiff's season.
His team go to Millwall on Tuesday before heading the other way down the M4 on 27 October to face Swansea City.
Last time Cardiff met their neighbours, in a Premier League game in 2014, Monk was making his managerial debut in the Swansea dugout.
Monk finished up celebrating that day thanks to a 3-0 Swansea victory, but the now Wednesday boss was left frustrated by Cardiff's late leveller here.
The Owls impressed from the outset, with Cardiff old boy Harris looking keen to show Warnock he had made a mistake by releasing him at the end of last season.
The winger sent an early sighter over the bar, but his next effort brought the opener as Borner instinctively guided home.
Borner, another summer signing at Hillsborough, then headed over before Steve Fletcher's shot was parried by Neil Etheridge, who was back in the Cardiff goal for the first time since the opening day after injury.
Harris then rattled the crossbar with a well-struck free-kick before Fletcher's chested effort was gathered by Etheridge.
Warnock reacted to Cardiff's lack of threat by replacing midfielder Leandro Bacuna with forward Danny Ward after just 32 minutes, but the hosts' solitary first-half chance of note came from a set-piece.
When Aden Flint nodded the ball down, a sliding Josh Murphy could only steer wide of the target.
In need of a big improvement after the break, Cardiff began to ask questions of their visitors through a succession of set-pieces.
A Robert Glatzel header drew a first save of the night from Cameron Dawson, who was drafted into the Wednesday starting side after Keiren Westwood picked up an injury in the warm-up.
Ward's snapshot meant more work for Dawson before Tomlin's 87th-minute moment of magic saved Cardiff.
Wednesday felt Flint was lurking in an offside position – and interfering with their keeper's view – as the dead ball was struck, but the officials were not interested.
Cardiff might still have won it in stoppage time, with Dawson getting down well to deny Gavin Whyte.
A defeat would have been particularly harsh on Wednesday, who for a long time seemed set for three points rather than one.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said: “I am disappointed we conceded the way we did. We had to make a change early doors because I think we would have got beaten easily if we hadn't done that.
“Leandro Bacuna has done some miles and I think he has played every game for club and country this season. He just looked jaded to me and I thought we could play Danny Ward with the way they were playing.
“I said to the lads at half-time I thought we could win it – I thought they were vulnerable.
“We had quite a lot of crosses going astray – some of the balls into the box were poor tonight – but we kept going and I thought we could have won it in the end.”
Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk said: “We are frustrated that we didn't get the win because we had enough chances to make it comfortable.
“The first 50 or 60 minutes was exactly what we wanted. We didn't allow them to turn the game into a physical scrap, which is what they wanted.
“But we just didn't have control in that final period, although I am disappointed with the goal.
“If it had been a legitimate goal, fair enough, but I am told it wasn't even a foul for the free-kick.
“Then they had one of their players doing star jumps, trying to distract our keeper.
“How they missed that, I don't know because it's not hard to spot – a 6ft 5 inch player doing star jumps.”
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