Cardiff City 2 - 1 Watford

Match info: Championship at Cardiff City Stadium

Date: 23/10/2012 KO: 19:45 Ref: M Heywood Att: 20,077

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Cardiff

Peter Whittingham 71 (pen)
Aron Gunnarsson 90+1

2
vs
1

Watford

Tommie Hoban 28

FT (ht: 0-1)

  • Last Updated: October 23 2012, 23:30 BST

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay voiced his pride after his record-breaking side came from behind in a dramatic 2-1 npower Championship victory over nine-man Watford.

Zola: Left fuming after Chalobah sending off
Zola: Left fuming after Chalobah sending off

Trailing to Tommie Hoban's opener for the Hornets, second-half goals from Peter Whittingham and Aron Gunnarsson sealed the Welsh club's best home start to a season in their 113-year history.

Gunnarsson's 91st-minute header sealed a sixth straight win at the Cardiff City Stadium, beating the previous 66-year-old record, and keeps the Bluebirds in the automatic promotion places level on points with Leicester.

Mackay said: "I'm very proud of the boys who have gone and achieved that, but I'm even more proud that we got three points and are sitting top of the league.

"At the start of the season, I asked the supporters to come and back the team. The players have put their heart and soul into the home games and there has been a buzz around the crowd.

"We have a resilient and fit team who have belief in their ability. You can see the crowd getting right behind the team until the death - it was like a ground swell.

"They could see the goal coming and were our 12th man."

The defeat was cruel on Gianfranco Zola's Watford, who had David Pudil and Nathaniel Chalobah sent off by referee Mark Heywood in the second half before the late drama.

Watford boss Zola said: "It's very cruel, not just for me but for the players because of the way they played and performed.

"To see them come away with a defeat is hard to take. I feel sick for the players.

"At 11 versus 11 we were 1-0 up and in control. The balance of the game changed completely with the red cards."

Watford had won three of their last four Championship matches and began in confident mood in the Welsh capital to take a 28th-minute lead.

Marco Cassetti met Mark Yeates' dangerous left-wing corner only for David Marshall to expertly save, yet Cardiff failed to clear their defensive lines and Hoban scrambled the ball home.

Watford were then reduced to ten men as left-wing back Pudil was dismissed following an off-the-ball incident with Craig Noone.

Cardiff claimed an equaliser through Whittingham's seventh goal - and his third penalty - of the season after Matthew Connolly saw his fierce shot handled by Jonathan Hogg.

Watford then pressed the self-destruct button by losing their second player of the night moments later as 17-year-old Chalobah, on loan from Chelsea, was sent off for a second bookable offence after needlessly kicking the ball away before Gunnarsson struck.

Meanwhile, Craig Bellamy will have a scan tomorrow to find out the extent of his ankle injury after the Cardiff striker was substituted at half-time after Cassetti trod on his left foot.