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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 29 Nov 11 at 21:45 PM

Report: Cardiff City 2 Rovers 0

Rovers' cup quest ended on a disappointing night in Cardiff as City won 2-0.

Steve Kean's side had started well, but a mis-placed pass by Morten Gamst Pedersen was seized upon by Kenny Miller and he fired the home side in front after twenty minutes.

David Dunn came close to equalising with a sumptuous volley but Bluebirds' 'keeper Tom Heaton dived full length to turn the ball aside.

Moments after the restart Heaton again saved well to deny Pedersen from a corner kick, unfortunately for Rovers the same couldn't be said for Mark Bunn who couldn't claim a corner at the other end allowing Anthony Gerrard to score the home side's second.

Rovers huffed and puffed throughout, Heaton denied David Goodwillie with another fine save, but against a well drilled Cardiff side they rarely cut through, Scott Dann and Ruben Rochina's efforts as the match drew to a close the best of them.

For the home side they've a semi-final to look forward, for Rovers they've a crucial match against Swansea City this Saturday at Ewood.


Rovers boss Steve Kean made five changes from the side that lost at Stoke last time out. Mark Bunn, David Dunn, Radosav Petrovic, David Goodwillie and Nick Blackman all getting another runout in the competition.

Those missing out were Paul Robinson, Yakubu and Ruben Rochina who all dropped to the bench, whilst illness ruled out Junior Hoilett and Steve Nzonzi served the first of his three-match ban.

After a minutes applause following by a minutes silence in remembrance for Gary Speed it was Rovers who started the game strongly. Seven minutes in and a cute pass from Morten Gamst Pedersen found David Goodwillie racing into the area but his steered effort towards the far post flashed wide.

Steve Kean's side were enjoying plenty of possession without ever showing a cutting edge, although Grant Hanley saw a header cleared off the line from a Pedersen corner.

But whilst the Norwegian's corner was pinpoint, the same couldn't be said of his pass sixty seconds later as his wayward ball backwards was seized upon by Aron Gunnarsson and with Rovers caught out he threaded the ball through to Kenny Miller, the Scottish international showing all his experience to fire under the advancing Mark Bunn and into the back of the net.

From looking so composed suddenly Rovers were rattled, Kenny Miller robbed Grant Hanley on the touchline to beat Bunn with a near post shot only for Scott Dann to get back and clear off the line, a melee followed which Rovers eventually cleared.

After that it was back to how it was, Rovers controlled in possession but without ever picking Cardiff apart.

David Dunn looked Rovers likeliest candidate, and from a Pedersen centre he very nearly did so letting fly with a sumptuous 30-yard volley that looked to be creeping into the corner of the goals only to be denied by a Heaton dive at full stretch.


The start of the second half was a tale of two corner kicks, Morten Gamst Pedersen almost scoring direct from his only for the back-pedalling Tom Heaton to tip over.

At the other end Rovers wouldn't be so fortunate as Peter Whittingham sent the ball into the six yard box, and as Mark Bunn missed the ball Anthony Gerrard was there to get the final touch to divert it home leaving Rovers a mountain to climb. Yes Kenny Miller blatantly handled in the build-up but Rovers should never have got in a position to concede the corner kick.

Filip Kiss wasted a great chance to add a third moments later but somehow headed wide when well placed.

Morten Gamst Pedersen chose to cross when it appeared a shot might have been a better option, then David Goodwillie's fine downward header was kept out by an save of equal quality.

Cardiff replied with chances of their own, Kenny Miller firing over twice before captain Kevin McNaughton shot narrowly wide after a storming run.

As the game entered the final ten minutes Scott Dann glanced a David Dunn centre just past the post. Substitute Ruben Rochina would also see a shot fly inches the wrong side of the upright.

Yakubu and Jason Roberts were also brought on in the latter stages but neither player saw much of the ball in a disappointing night in Cardiff.

CARDIFF: Heaton, McNaughton, Taylor, Kiss (sub McPhail 79 mins), Gerrard, Whittingham, Cowie, Miller, Conway (sub Ralls 84 mins), Gunnarsson, Turner.

Subs: Marshall, Earnshaw, Quinn, Mason, Blake.

ROVERS: Bunn, Lowe, Hanley, Dann, Givet, Petrovic (sub Rochina 71 mins), Dunn (c), Pedersen, Formica, Blackman (sub Roberts 80 mins), Goodwillie (sub Yakubu 80 mins).

Subs: Robinson, Vukcevic, Anderson, Henley

Booked: Gerrard, Turner (Cardiff), Lowe (Rovers).

Attendance: 19,436


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