Cardiff scored two second-half goals to pick up the third win under new boss Sabri Lamouchi as they beat Bristol City 2-0 in the Severnside Derby to edge closer to safety at the bottom of the Championship.
They had goalkeeper Ryan Allsop sent off in the first minute of the six added on at the end of the game. Allsop came out of his goal to try to smother an attack and claimed he had used his chest, rather than his hand to stymie Bristol.
Referee Matt Donohue immediately pulled out his red card and having used up their three windows for substitutions, the home side had to put defender Perry Ng into goal for the final five minutes.
He survived a free-kick just outside his area thanks to his wall and made one other save, but by then the Bluebirds were very much in the driving seat thanks to those second-half goals from Sory Kaba in the 52nd minute and the outstanding Jaden Philogene in the 70th.
Bristol arrived on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run in the Championship and seeking a fourth win in a row in this particular derby. The one big concern for Nigel Pearson was how much the FA Cup clash with Manchester City earlier in the week had taken out of them.
There were no early signs of fatigue and the first chances of the game went to the visitors. A Mark Sykes cross from the right in the opening minutes caused early panic and then a Joe Williams shot-cross was headed over by George Tanner.
Cardiff's first attempt on goal came in the 12th minute when Sheyi Ojo picked up in midfield, drove hard towards the Bristol box and fired off a left-footed shot that forced Max O'Leary to dive to his left to push the ball away for the first corner of the game.
Bristol had more possession and more shots in a first half that was very much a slow burner. The best chance of the first 45 minutes fell to Bristol when a cross from Sykes was headed down back across goal by Alex Scott.
The ball was cleared off the line by Cedric Kipre and then Allsop threw himself at the feet of Anis Mehmeti to save bravely three yards out.
The second half got off to a great start for the home side when Kaba headed home into the left corner as he was falling backwards to reach a Ryan Wintle cross from the right.
Allsop was forced into another great save a few minutes later from a Mehmeti free-kick before the outstanding Philogene hammered home the second in the 70th minute with his left foot.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Ng, McGuinness, Kipré, Ojo (Colwill 86’), Philogene, Wintle, Ralls © (O’Dowda 67’), Sawyers, Wickham (Etete 86’), Kaba (Rinomhota 61’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Romeo, Davies.
Bristol City: O’Leary, James ©, Scott, Williams (Weimann 25’), Mehmeti, Pring, Sykes, Tanner (Wells 61’), Bell (Cornick 61’), Kalas (Dasilva 68’), Vyner. Subs not used: Haikin, King, Taylor-Clarke.