Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1
Kenneth Zohore scored his seventh goal in eight matches, but Cardiff City were denied victory in their Championship match at Blackburn Rovers.
The goal had Cardiff ahead for more than 50 minutes, but then Blackburn captain Jason Lowe snatched a 90th minute equaliser.
There were 269 Bluebirds fans at Ewood Park and they were treated to an intense display by their team.
Zohore volleyed home during the first half and City produced a solid solid team effort with captain Sean Morrison, Jazz Richards and Greg Halford the players who stood out.
Blackburn, though, took over in the second half and overall deserved a point.
The Bluebirds were forced to make changes at Ewood Park with Matt Connolly and Aron Gunnarsson both ruled out, suffering from injury and illness respectively.
Craig Noone, too, was left out of the starting line-up, but he was among six substitutes named with City unable to select the usual seven.
Blackburn’s starting line-up included ex-Cardiff winger Craig Conway and Swansea striker Marvin Emnes, who is on loan at the Lancashire club.
Joe Bennett, Greg Halford and Peter Whittingham were called up and, after a scrappy opening 20 minutes, City settled into a rhythm.
Whittingham was given an attacking role in centre midfield with Joe Ralls and Greg Halford asked to provide the running needed around him.
City set up with Halford playing in front of their back four, a 4-1-4-1 system with midfield players working to get forward in support of the hard-running Zohore.
Rovers went close when Sam Gallagher’s volley hit the bar after 31 minutes, flying out of play for a goal-kick.
Zohore responded with a shot which struck the Blackburn bar and the Danish hit-man fired City ahead seven minutes before half-time.
It was a beautifully constructed goal with Zohore playing a big part in the build-up before firing home.
He took possession and whipped the ball wide for Junior Hoilett, whose cross was spot on and Zohore volleyed home. The desire and work ethic of Zohore were major factors in that goal, which rocked relegation threatened Rovers.
That proved the only goal of the opening 45 minutes, but Blackburn were denied when Cardiff captain Sean Morrison produced an outstanding last ditch tackle.
He crashed to the playing surface and then threw himself off the floor to somehow head away as Rovers tried to get in on the rebound.
This was a clash between two highly experienced managers, both from Yorkshire. Warnock, 68, has been in charge of 1,300-plus matches during his career, while 53-year-old Tony Mowbray takes their joint tally close to 2,000.
This was Mowbray’s fourth match in charge of Blackburn, who had won two and drawn one before the clash with Cardiff. His Rovers team came out hard in the second half and they made early changes with Colin Mahoney, aged 20, taking over from Conway after 55 minutes and ex-Swansea forward Danny Graham replacing Sam Gallagher two minutes later.
Blackburn switched to a 4-4-2 playing system with Emnes and Graham joining forces in attack.
The home team almost produced an equaliser after 59 minutes after a Kadeem Harris error, but Jazz Richards was able to clear Liam Feeney’s header off the line.
Blackburn looked far more dangerous at this stage and Richards had to produce a second last ditch clearance to rescue his team.
Mowbray made a third substitution after 66 minutes when he sent on Hope Akpan for Danny Guthrie. At that stage Cardiff had not made any changes.
That soon changed when Declan John replaced Kadeem Harris and took up position in front of full-back Joe Bennett on the left.
It was a move to add a little more defence stability for Cardiff, who were under growing pressure from a home team who are still battling to climb away from relegation danger.
Blackburn were dominant and Cardiff made their second change with Craig Noone on for Hoilett with 15 minutes left.
Having allowed Queens Park Rangers to come from behind and win 2-1 last Saturday the Bluebirds were determined to hold on this time.
Goalscorer Zohore was tiring after giving his lone role in attack everything he had and the big man made way for Anthony Pilkington with eight minutes left.
Cardiff had been second best throughout the second half and they paid the penalty when home captain Jason Lowe netted a 90th minute equaliser.
That was a devastating blow for the Bluebirds, who have earned only one point from away fixtures against QPR and Blackburn after leading in both.
Blackburn Rovers: J Steele, D Williams, C Mulgrew, R Nyambe, D Lenihan, J Lowe (capt), L Feeney, D Guthrie (H Akpan 66), C Conway (C Mahoney 55), M Emnes, S Gallagher (D Graham 57). Subs not used: T Hoban, L Joao, E Bennett, D Martin.
Cardiff City: A McGregor, J Bennett, S Morrison (capt), J Richards, S Bamba, P Whittingham, J Ralls, G Halford, K Harris (D John 69), J Hoilett (C Noone 75), K Zohore (A Pilkington 82). Subs not used: I Meite, B Murphy, M Harris.