Cardiff City 1 Queens Park Rangers 0 (Att: 66, 096) Cardiff City are promoted!

Last updated : 26 May 2003 By

Campbell: Spectactular strike gave Cardiff City promotion

Cardiff City substitute, Andy Campbell struck with a spectactular volley six minutes from the end of extra time to give his side promotion, after a narrow 1-0 Nationwide Second Division play-off final victory over battling Queens Park Rangers at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon.

The ginger haired ex-Middlesborough front man, who had replaced leading goal scorer Rob Earnshaw towards the end of the second half of normal time, volleyed home after latching onto a Willie Boland through ball, just as penalties were beckoning.

Indeed hard working Queens Park Rangers can count themselves slightly unlucky for they had shaded a closely contested affair, with the normally reliable Paul Furlong squandering a couple of good chances, whilst during extra time, the experienced Kevin Gallen also went close.

However, Campbell's strike was to prove decisive and condemned a team from West London to defeat for the second successive season in the Nationwide Second Division final play-off at the Millennium Stadium, following Brentford's 2-0 reversal against Stoke City
twelve months ago.

Victory ensured the Bluebirds returned to the higher echelons of the football league after an 18-year absence.

"We've got what it takes," declared match winner, Campbell.

"Bring on the big teams, bring on Sunderland and West Ham, all of them" said an elated Campbell, after the ex-Middleborough striker had clinched the vital goal.

Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway, could not hide his disappointment at seeing his side fall at the final hurdle:

"I am disappointed for the lads. We were possibly the better team without scoring," said the QPR boss.

"You have got to take your chances and they did. Good luck to Cardiff, we will get stronger next year.

"I can't fault my team. They've been superb in the second half of the season and we've got to go forward from there.

"We've come a long way this season and we've got to get better.

"I'm so proud of this club. I think we are a monster club and we've just got to keep it going."

So congratulations are in order to Lennie Lawrence and Cardiff City from all at the Bee Hive, commiserations to Queens Park Rangers, Brentford looks forward to two closely contested local derbies against you next year.