First Division Coventry City booked its place in the fourth round of the FA Cup Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Cardiff in a hard-fought replay at Highfield Road.
Highly-rated midfielder Lee Fowler kept a cool head to give Coventry the lead
in the 20th minute following a fantastic throughball by Jay Bothroyd.
Veteran striker Dean Holdsworth doubled the club's advantage in the second half
with a spectacular long-range goal, and Bothroyd scored a late third with a
The visitors, who forced a replay when they overturned a two-goal deficit to
clinch a 2-2 draw on January 4, threatened in the fourth minute when
the diminutive Robert Earnshaw unleashed a fierce shot which Richard Shaw was
able to block.
But after a frenetic start the hosts started to get a foothold in the game.
Bothroyd blasted over the crossbar in the 10th minute, and he poked the ball
narrowly wide following a dangerous inswinging corner by player-boss Gary
McAllister three minutes later.
Cardiff, currently fourth in Division Two, went close again when a Scott Young
header was saved by Morten Hyldgaard.
But it was Coventry who opened the scoring with a well-worked goal in the 20th
Bothroyd delivered a defense-splitting pass which McAllister would have been
proud of, and Fowler coolly converted from just inside the penalty area.
Cardiff's inventive midfielder Graham Kavanagh picked out Jason Bowen in the
28th minute but his header went wide.
The Bluebirds continued to push forward and they would have equalized in the
33rd minute had it not been for City defender Muhamed Konjic.
Bowen's effort was deflected into the path of Earnshaw and the Welshman's
close-range volley was somehow flicked onto the crossbar via the Bosnian's
Earnshaw created another opening a few minutes later but his 18-yard shot
missed the target.
The second half also started at a fast pace with both teams attempting to
control the congested midfield.
But the Sky Blues were able to increase their lead in the 57th minute courtesy
of a superb long-range effort from Holdsworth.
He cut inside from the left and unleashed a 25-yard effort which curled at the
last moment and went in off a post.
That goal would probably have killed off a lot of teams, but Cardiff simply
rolled its sleeves up and got on with the game.
And the team was unlucky not to pull a goal back in the 62nd minute when Peter
Thorne's powerful header from a throw-in came back off the crossbar.
Manager Lennie Lawrence decided to throw on former Rotherham striker
Leo Fortune-West and Andy Campbell in the 75th minute minute.
However, they were unable to make an impact and Bothroyd's deflected goal in
the 89th minute clinched victory for the hosts.