Late Bellamy strike sinks stunned Swans

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Craig Bellamy was the toast of Cardiff after his late wonder strike clinched a 1-0 South Wales derby win over Swansea yesterday.

The on-loan Manchester City striker crashed in a superb 25-yard strike five minutes from time as the Bluebirds moved up to third in The Championship.

Swansea had won the corresponding fixture and it continued a run whereby neither club has done the double over the other in 27 seasons of meetings.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones said: “Bringing Craig here gave everyone a lift and bringing in good players alongside him enables him to be at his best.

“When you sign good players it does one of two things, it either raises the quality already in the dressing room or players can’t reach that quality and fall by the wayside.”

The Swans could have moved up to second with a victory but were instead leapfrogged by their rivals.

Meanwhile Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies attempted to lower expectations by insisting his second-placed are “a little bit short” of being automatic promotion candidates.

Ex-Owl Marcus Tudgay was the Forest matchwinner after just 51 seconds as they secured a 1-0 victory over Watford yesterday, a sixth successive win.

Davies said: “I think we are great candidates for the play-offs but if I am totally honest I think we are a little bit short for going up automatically.

Hull City’s strikeforce of Matty Fryatt and Aaron McLean ran riot as the Tigers enjoyed a thumping 5-1 derby win over struggling Scunthorpe at Glanford Park.

Fryatt’s injury-time goal completed his hat-trick while McLean grabbed his first two goals for the club, with Joe Garner scoring Scunthorpe’s reply.

Also down among the relegation battlers, Crystal Palace had a seventh successive clean sheet at Selhurst Park as they pipped Middlesbrough 1-0 witha deflected strike from James Vaughan, on loan from Everton.

Bottom side Preston lost 4-0 at home to Bristol City.