Following a promising first half, Cardiff City were defeated at CCS as Neil Lennon’s visitors punished the Bluebirds on the break. Eiður Guðjohnsen spearheaded the Trotters’ attack, finding the net just after the restart. A brace from Craig Davies then effectively ended the tie.
Cardiff City’s second match in three days kicked off on a fine afternoon at Cardiff City Stadium. The home side were first to foray forward, Peter Whittingham’s deflected shot earning the opening corner of the game. In the aftermath of Whittingham’s delivery Craig Noone hit a rasping volley that Adam Bogdan collected.
Emile Heskey sent out an early warning as he knocked down for Craig Davies to strike, though the Bolton forward did not connect well. Marshall then had to be alert when a low cross flew into the six-yard box forcing the Scotland international into a smart stop.
Alex Revell’s tenacious attitude was causing all sorts of problems for Bolton and on the twelfth minute he latched onto a long pass and intelligently switched the play to Craig Noone, who picked out Whittingham on the edge of the area. Cardiff’s No. 7 let fly but his effort fell the wrong side of Adam Bodgan’s left post. Winger Noone then had an effort of his own endure a similar fate as City looked to capitalise on their early attacking promise.
Cardiff nearly made Wanderers pay with a succession of corner kicks, the second falling to Eoin Doyle - who connected well - only to see his effort blocked on the line. Moments later, Alex Revell saved the Bluebirds’ blushes with a similar goal-line clearance to keep scores level.
On the half-hour mark, Cardiff City had the ball in the back of the net when Fabio sent a searching cross to the far post that was cleared as far as Gunnarsson. The Icelandic international slipped Doyle through who dispatched calmly, only for the linesman to raise his flag cutting celebrations short.
With eight minutes to go Bolton started building up a head of steam, Davies forcing Marshall into a smart parry. Revell was then withdrawn due to injury, replaced by Joe Mason, who received a rousing welcome on his return to Cardiff City Stadium.
Eiður Guðjohnsen – who was playing behind the Wanderers forward line – was having much joy picking the ball up from deep and it was the experienced Icelander who fed Craig Davies for the Trotters’ best chance of the half. Davies however, could not get his effort on target as the shot flew harmlessly wide of Marshall’s left post.
Starting in much the same vein as the first forty-five, Cardiff were immediately on the front foot with Peter Whittingham and Craig Noone both pulling the trigger from around the eighteen yard box. However, City were dealt a sucker punch when Bolton’s strike force combined following a long ball from deep, Emile Heskey knocking down for Eiður Guðjohnsen to slam into the far corner of David Marshall’s net.
Minutes later, City were stunned when Heskey again turned provider – this time finding Craig Davies. The Bolton forward made no mistake with his second big opportunity of the match, sliding the ball across Marshall into the far corner.
With two goals against the run of play Cardiff City had everything to do. Matty Kennedy’s introduction saw Joe Ralls move into the centre of midfield in place of the departing Aron Gunnarsson, as City sought to turn their barrage of attacking play into goals.
However, Bolton were in a finishing mood and when Craig Davies was found by a searching ball on the left he composed himself before floating a twenty-yard effort into Marshall’s far corner to put Bolton in front by three.
Kadeem Harris entered the fray in place of Eoin Doyle, partnering Joe Mason as the focal point of City’s attack. Craig Noone tried his luck from distance, targeting the far corner and going close. Young Matty Kennedy went closer but Easter Monday was not to be Cardiff’s, Bolton closing the game out to finish 3-0 victors.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-3 BOLTON WANDERERS (Guðjohnsen, 55, Davies, 59 & 73)
Cardiff City: Marshall, Fabio, Morrison, Ecuele-Manga, Malone, Ralls, Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Kennedy), Noone, Revell (Mason), Doyle (Harris). Subs not used: Moore, Peltier, Adeyemi, O’Keefe.
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mills, Ream, Dervitte, Heskey, Guðjohnsen (Danns), Vela, Davies, Bannan, Janko (Feeney), Walker (Moxey). Subs not used: Lonergan, Trotter, Rochinha, McCarthy.