Bradley Orr is the new hero for Bluebirds fans and he was unable to get out of the way of a Michael Chopra shot rebounding off the post and helplessly sent it into an empty net. The goal, on 74 minutes, was the same time when City scored in the first leg but this time there was no way back for Brizzle. They weren't good enough and Cardiff weren't letting them back this time.
Cardiff shaded a quiet first half but dominated after the break and only a combination of great saves, bad luck and bad misses prevented a decisive margin while David Marshall never really had a save on a night when City's side had a makeshift look and had to be adjusted throughout the game as well. All credit to them.
Any lingering doubts that the F.A. Cup has lost some sparkle would have been dispelled by the sparsest of crowd later announced as 6,731 which included 600 from Bristol. A combo of current mood at the club, the game live on tv (as well as a Manc derby) and having to find £20 at short notice in January knowing we'd have to pay it all over again for Saturday if we win tonight were key reasons for the turn out. Those there, on a chilly evening, thoroughly enjoyed themselves regardless.
Cardiff looked unbalanced at the start with McNaughton out injured (Paul Quinn had to deputise on the left side of defence with Capaldi cup tied and Kennedy recovering from illness), Hudson injured but on the bench (a rare start for Gyepes), 17 yr old Wildig having to battle it out in midfield and Chopra on the bench due to illness (giving McCormack a start with long sleeves and gloves on, the Scottish wuss!). It would have been Joe's final game of the season had we lost as he goes for his hop op on Monday and Jay Bothroyd was Captain for the night.
CARDIFF: Marshall; Matthews-Gyepes-Gerrard-Quinn; Burke-Wildig-Ledley-Whittingham; Bothroyd-McCormack.
Bristol enjoyed a 4-2 home win over Doncaster at the weekend to follow their last gasp reprieve against City last week but were missing the pacy Danny Haynes up front who took a knock in that game.
BRIZZLE ZITY: Gerken; Fontaine-Carey-Nyatanga-Orr; McAllister-Skuse-Hartley-Sproule; Sno-Maynard.
The first half did not have too many telling moments as Bristol pressed and passed well but never threatened apart from Sproule lobbing over the bar but Cardiff always have that extra touch of quality which you felt would tell eventually. Chances fell for Ross McCormack but he seemed more intent on lobs and chips instead of power, a Whittingham piledriver had Gerken in trouble but he pushed the ball behind while McCormack fired at him when he had the whole goal to aim at. Chops was close as he flicked the ball over the last defender and fired a shot just over which would have been a terrific goal had it gone in.
The pitch looked in a very poor state thanks to the recent weather and, no doubt, the rugby being played on the pitch although it appeared to play pretty well and caused few problems.
The threadbare nature of the side was underlined on the half hour as Cardiff had to adjust half their side as Wildig, again doing the basics very well, was forced off injured which saw Chops come on, McCormack drop back to play wide, Burke switching wings and Whitts put into central midfield. However City appeared to adjust well without threatening again.
The funniest moment of the half was Paul Quinn, struggling to adapt to playing on the left, taking out a Bristol player with a tackle as late as a Cardiff Bus and so crude, Phil Dwyer would have approved. He then claimed the Bristol player dived and he got to the ball … I was closer to it at the back of the stand than he was!
Half-time: Cardiff 0 Carrot Crunchers 0
Bristol were fairly physical in their approach and Adam Matthews was another hurt early in the 2nd half. He carried on for some time but held his groin throughout as Cardiff continued to take the game to the visitors.
City had attacking quality but Whitts, Chops, Burke, Bothroyd and McCormack all left themselves down with wayward shots, mis-control or just failing to make the final pass. However Cardiff lifted their tempo a notch and so did the crowd.
Bristol responded with a double sub on the hour, Akinde showing scary pace but also crudeness with some of his challenges, he was lucky to get away with one on Marshall.
City had to adjust again with 25 to go as Burke went off, Darcy Blake went into centre mid and Whitts returned wide. City, ironically, benefitted form it as Peter Whittingham was playing some fantastic diagonal and through balls from that position.
Chances came and went, the worst culprit possibly Jay Bothroyd who met a Marshall long kick, held off the last defender, got past the keeper but then over run the ball put of play.
However the breakthrough came with 16 minutes left in hysterical fashion as Whitts again played in Chops - who would have scored at least 3 on another night. He looked certain to score but screwed his shot onto the outside of the post but was clearly playing it for ORR to turn it home for us.
The first inside the stadium problem occurred when it looked like Bristol and Cardiff fans were getting ready to square up but it turned out to be visiting supporters fighting amongst themselves and ejected to a chorus of "sit down and behave yourselves".
City went for Bristol and should have added at least a couple more to their tally. How they didn't, I can't explain. Bristol looked ragged with Chopra having them in disarray but more Gerken saves, more glaring misses, McCormack almost breaking the bar in two with one thunderous effort and other chances, saves and misses kept Bristol in it until the last kick including 4 minutes of added time. There were a couple of anxious moments but surprisingly few.
Cardiff now face Leicester at home this Saturday. They get £73,000 prize money for progressing through Round 3 but they must now be eyeing up further progression and a possible glamour tie in the last 16. They may not be going away but at least it can make us forget off the pitch troubles for a little while. Amen to that!
Report from FootyMad
A second-half own goal from Bradley Orr sent Cardiff City through to the fourth round of the FA Cup following a 1-0 win over Championship rivals Bristol City.
Both sides made changes for this FA Cup third round replay with injuries forcing out Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson and Kevin McNaughton.
Jay Bothroyd captained the team in Hudson's absence.
The Bluebirds started brightly and Ross McCormack went close with a lob before Peter Whittingham cut inside and fired in a shot that Dean Gerken somehow palmed behind for a corner.
The Robins hit back with a couple of corners and from one of them, McCormack raced clear but the visiting defence recovered and the chance was lost.
Evander Sno went down the left flank in the 19th minute but no one was in the centre to touch home his low cross.
Chris Burke slipped a pass into McCormack on the half hour but his shot went straight to Gerken.
Michael Chopra replaced Aaron Wildig in the 32nd minute after the youngster suffered a recurrence of his back injury and he went close twice after outpacing his markers.
Neither side made changes during the interval and the Bluebirds started where they left off with Burke forcing a corner but, when the ball was cleared, Adam Matthews was injured in a tackle but continued after treatment.
The Robins put two strikers on in the 61st minute and John Akinde was spoken to by the referee after bringing down David Marshall who had cleared a back pass.
Bristol began to push City back on defence and Darcy Blake replaced Burke as the Bluebirds looked to tighten up at the back.
The deadlock was broken by the Bluebirds in the 74th minute in fortunate fashion.
Chopra sent a shot against the post and Orr deflected the rebound into his own net.
Four minutes later, McCormack cracked a shot against the crossbar with Gerken beaten and then Chopra had a goalbound effort cleared by the keeper.
Chopra had a great chance to put the game beyond the visitors in the final minute but he sliced over with only the keeper to beat.