REPORT: BOLTON 3-0 CARDIFF
Snapshot: It was an evening to forget for Cardiff City, as they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium.
City went in at the break two goals behind, with Liam Feeney scoring on the volley from two separate crosses in the opening period.
While Cardiff fought to try and salvage in the second half, it wasn't to be as the home side increased their lead - Matt Mills' scuffed effort somehow finding it's way into the back of the net to seal the win for the hosts.
Chronological Report: Russell Slade made one change to the side that defeated Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, Joe Ralls coming into the starting eleven to replace Anthony Pilkington. The Republic of Ireland international was ruled out through illness. Towering central defender Ben Turner was also welcomed back into the City squad for the first time this season after missing the opening fifteen games.
The first chance of the half fell to the hosts, forward Craig Davies skewing his shot over the crossbar from ten yards out under pressure from John Brayford. Wanderers, revitalised under the tutorship of Neil Lennon weren't forced to wait long for the first goal though as they took the lead nine minutes in.
The impressive Lee Chung-Yong found Liam Feeney inside the penalty area with a powerful low cross, with Feeney's first time shot evading the dive of David Marshall and nestling in the bottom right corner of the Cardiff shot stopper's goal.
GOAL! BOLTON WANDERERS 1-0 CARDIFF CITY (Liam Feeney, 9 mins)
The home side looked to double their advantage inside a minute, but former Swansea man Darren Pratley failed to test Marshall from 25 yards, the Scotland Number 1 easily holding the attempt.
City's first real chance came on 17 minutes. Bolton failed to clear their lines, and with Cardiff unable to find a gap in the penalty area, the ball was played to Peter Whittingham. Whittingham's powerful strike from 25 yards deflected off the Bolton defence and drifted just over the crossbar.
Wanderers captain Matt Mills' towering header on 26 minutes looked destined for the bottom corner of the net but for Craig Noone, completing his defensive duties superbly with a clearance on the goal-line. Noone almost made the difference in an attacking sense just a minute later, but his teasing cross evaded the outstretched boot of Kiko Macheda by inches.
Cardiff's attacking capabilities looked to be showing during this spell of the match, but it was the hosts who scored once more on 36 minutes. Pratley's long cross beating the back line with Feeney again showing a clinical first touch, volleying the ball home at the back post leaving City with a tough task if they were to get something from the Macron Stadium.
GOAL! BOLTON WANDERERS 2-0 CARDIFF CITY (Liam Feeney, 36 mins)
The difficult first half ended with the Bluebirds on the front foot, but Adam le Fondre could only fire his shot from 15 yards into the body of Andy Lonergan.
HALF TIME: BOLTON WANDERERS 2-0 CARDIFF CITY
Substitution Cardiff City: Joe Ralls replaced by Ravel Morrison (46 minutes)
With the introduction of on loan attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison at half time, City began turning the screws early on in the second period. After his recent goal-scoring form, forward Kiko Macheda will have wanted to do better with his low shot from 18 yards out, striking the ball straight at Longeran.
Substitution Bolton Wanderers: Mark Davies replaced by Jay Spearing (52 minutes)
Full-back John Brayford was next to try his luck for the Bluebirds after 54 minutes, but his skidding effort drifted wide. Craig Noone's powerful left footed drive on 55 minutes was just inches away from Bolton's right hand post, with City fully in control at this point.
As the hosts tried to turn the tide of possession once more, tackles began flying in at the Macron. Captain Matt Mills did well to clear under pressure from Macheda and Ravel Morrison after 62 minutes, with the on-loan West Ham man trying to find a way to get his shot away in a packed penalty area.
Substitution Bolton Wanderers: Liam Feeney replaced by Max Clayton (71 minutes)
Substitution Cardiff City: Adam le Fondre replaced by Nicky Maynard (74 minutes)
While City enjoyed their fair share of possession in the second period, it was the hosts who scored the third goal of the match after 76 minutes. Captain for the evening Matt Mills finding the back of the net with a scuffed shot from just inside the penalty box.
GOAL! BOLTON WANDERERS 3-0 CARDIFF CITY (Matt Mills, 76 mins)
Substitution Bolton Wanderers: Craig Davies replaced by Jermaine Beckford (85 minutes)
Substitute Nicky Maynard threatened late on for Russell Slade's side, firstly forcing Lonergan into a fine save with a strong back header before the Bolton keeper maintained his clean sheet with a strong diving save to deny Maynard once more.
It was an evening to forget for City, the search for an away league win continues this Saturday with a visit to Birmingham City - 3pm kick-off.
Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Mills (c), Ream, Feeney (Clayton, 71), Dervite, M Davies (Spearing, 52), Danns, Pratley, Vela, Chung-Yong, C Davies (Beckford, 85). Subs Not Used: Kenny, Moxey, Trotter, Threlkeld.
Cardiff City: Marshall (c), Brayford, Fabio, Ecuele Manga, S Morrison, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Ralls (R Morrison, 46), Noone, le Fondre (Maynard, 74), Macheda. Subs Not Used: Moore, Connolly, Turner, Gabbidon, Kim.