AFC Bournemouth v Cardiff City. Match Preview.

Last updated : 26 October 2004 By Matthew Gabb
The third round of the league cup. Not a familiar place for City fans. The last time we got this far was 1986! It's a welcome distraction from the league though and one that Cardiff City should be looking to take advantage of.

This year we've got there via an unconvincing penalty win at Kidderminster, and a stroll in the park at Milton Keynes. The draw wasn't particularly kind to us, as we have another away tie; this time to "League One" side Bournemouth. They are a side on the up, after winning the Division 3 playoffs against Lincoln the day before we beat QPR (seems a long time ago now), they have held their own at the higher level.

We've had plenty of visits to Dean Court over the last few years. The ground is much changed from the days of standing on an open terrace behind the goal though. Our last visit was in the LDV vans trophy in December 2002, when we were knocked out by a golden goal in extra time. Elliott gave the Cherries the lead; Gavin Gordon forced the extra period with a cracking header, before the game was won by James Hayter's 114th minute strike.

Tonight will see a number of fringe players get their chance. Lee Bullock, Rhys Weston and James Collins are all expected to start. Neil Alexander will come in to play in goal, and I suspect Joe Ledley and Cameron Jerome may both also get a game.  Gary O'Neil and Darren Williams are both cup-tied after turning out for Portsmouth/Sunderland in earlier rounds.

The home side will be taking this seriously, no doubt about it. They won on penalties at Blackburn in round 2, and have sold nearly all their tickets for tonight. For the away end, we have sold around 400 tickets in advance, and there is room for around 1000 more, pay on the gate tonight.

This website will have reporters at the game as ever. First reaction on the message board, with reaction and report to follow either late tonight or first thing Wednesday morning.

Come on City!