MANAGER Neil Warnock felt Leeds did not get the help they needed from referee Mike Dean against the Championship leaders as Cardiff edged a 1-0 win at Elland Road.
Substitute Fraizer Campbell, who joined the Welsh side from Sunderland, secured all three points for his new club when he turned in Craig Bellamy’s shot with his first touch following a poor clearance by Sam Byram.
The table-topping Bluebirds were second best until manager Malky Mackay introduced his £650,000 acquisition in an inspired 62nd-minute substitution which helped them restore their 10-point lead at the summit.
But Warnock claimed his side should have had two penalties and accused Dean of being in a bad position when Cardiff captain Mark Hudson appeared to handle the ball.
“It is a cruel game sometimes. Everything about that was cruel,” said the ex-Sheffield United chief. “We missed open goals and the young lad (Byram) made a schoolboy error.
“I thought Mike Dean was brilliant but he didn’t see the handball, when we all appealed, because he was in a bad position and should have been in a better one. He had three or four bodies in the way. The linesman could have helped him out, but they don’t, do they? Then there was another handball in the 93rd minute that wasn’t given.”
Steve Bruce hailed the David Meyler after his strike gave Hull a 1-0 win at Millwall to take them level on points with second-placed Leicester.
A first-minute strike from Meyler, whose loan move from Sunderland was made permanent on January 8, was enough to secure a first league win of 2013.
“We’re unbeaten in seven away from home now but it is nice to get that first league win of the year,” Tigers boss Bruce said.
“David Meyler has been a terrific acquisition for us. He’s had a really good start to his career here, particularly when you consider he’s had a few knee injuries. I just hope he has a bit of luck now and he can stay fit. If he can, he’ll be a big player for us.”
Gianfranco Zola praised Matej Vydra after the Watford striker scored the 11th goal in his last six league starts to help the Hornets come from behind to beat Bolton 2-1.
The Czech Republic international, who attracted plenty of interest in the transfer window, scored his 19th goal of the season four minutes after Bolton had taken the lead through a penalty from Watford old boy Marvin Sordell - then set up Almen Abdi for the winner.
Zola, whose side moved within a point of second, said: “He showed why so many teams were interested in him. He’s been outstanding.”