On This Day | 2008 FA Cup Semi-Final
The day Cardiff City booked their place in their third FA Cup Final...
The 6th April 2008 was one of proudest days in City’s history, as local lad Joe Ledley’s goal dispatched Barnsley in the FA Cup Semi-Final.
Cardiff City – the only side to ever take the Cup out of England – would be back at Wembley for their first Final since 1927.
It wasn't all plain sailing. The Bluebirds began their Cup campaign against non-league Chasetown, who became the lowest ranked side to reach the Third Round.
Kev McNaughton’s own goal had put the minnows ahead, but goals from Peter Whittingham, Aaron Ramsey (his first in the City shirt) and Paul Parry saw us progress.
Superkev more than made amends in the Fourth Round. His sublime volley and Steve Thompson’s penalty saw off the plucky Hereford United at Edgar Street.
A Fifth Round home tie with Wolves was the reward, with Whittingham and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the stars of the show. Whitts gave City the lead, before Hasselbaink score the Goal of the Round, stepping over the ball and curling left-footed into the top corner.
The Cup run is one of many standout moments in Whitts’ illustrious career with the Bluebirds. He scored three and assisted two en route to the Final – the most by a Cardiff player in a single campaign.
His impact on the Quarter Final against top-flight Middlesbrough will always be remembered. Surrounded by defenders, he somehow manoeuvred the ball onto his right and bent it into the top corner, before delivering an inch-perfect free-kick for Roger Johnson to head home a second.
“Que sera, sera…”
The local lad
In the Semi-Final the Bluebirds faced fellow Championship side Barnsley, who had knocked out Liverpool and Chelsea on their way to Wembley.
The day before, Portsmouth, the only top-flight side left in the competition, had defeated West Bromwich Albion in the first Semi-Final.
82,752 were at Wembley to see City take on the Tykes, including some 35,000 Bluebirds.
And they were sent into waves of jubilant celebration inside ten minutes.
Tony Capaldi’s long-throw had been a weapon throughout the campaign and, after Barnsley failed to clear their lines from one such delivery, the ball fell to Ledley on the edge of the area.
The Academy graduate produced one of the Club’s famous goals, hooking a perfectly executed volley into the back of the Barnsley net.
The City fans present on that day will tell you that the following 82 minutes were the longest of their lives...
Their hearts were in their mouths after the hour mark when Kayode Odejayi – the man who had knocked out Chelsea – went clean through. Thankfully, with all the time in the world to pick his spot, the forward slid the ball wide of Peter Enckelman’s post.
The full time whistle blew and the Bluebirds had done it – with six weeks of excitement, column inches and Cup Final songs to follow – they would be back at Wembley for the first time in 81 years.