Days Gone By | Cardiff City vs. Bristol City
Saturday marks the 100th occasion of the Severnside derby, as once again, Cardiff City and Bristol City do battle.
Before Cardiff City joined the Football League for the 1920/21 season, the Bluebirds and the Robins met twice in the FA Cup. The first meeting came in 1915, with Bristol City coming out on top, two goals from Eddie Burton sealing the win. 1920 saw another meeting in England’s premium cup competition, again Bristol City gaining the win, 2-1 this time.
The first league meeting happened in the 1920/21 season, and the Bluebirds went unbeaten against their Severn Bridge rivals. After a 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate, they returned to Ninian Park and got their first derby victory with a 1-0 win, Albert Barnett with the only goal.
Cardiff City would get promoted in that season to the First Division, and the league games between the two were put on pause. But 1924 bought along yet another FA Cup tie, this time it was the capital side that notched up a victory, 3-0 on this occasion.
After both teams suffered a few promotions and relegations, they would constantly meet in the league between 1929 and 1947, mainly in the Third Division South. It appeared that while the Cider Army would win the vast majority of the league matches, City would win the cup meetings.
The Bluebirds would once again grace the First Division in the early 50s, with Bristol City staying in the Second Division, meaning there was no league games for a brief period, before Cardiff City returned to the second tier in 1957.
The late 50s to mid-60s period was the most successful period for the Bluebirds in the rivalry, as they went nine games unbeaten in that time span (winning seven and drawing two).
While City would enjoy their unbeaten run, Bristol City would go on their longest unbeaten run during the rivalry, as they went a staggering 17 games without losing between 1971 and 1990 (winning fourteen and drawing three).
The Bluebirds would finally notch up another victory in the 1992 League Cup, Carl Dale scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win. However, in 1992 the first round of the League Cup was a two-legged affair, and the Robins got their revenge at Ashton Gate, with an Andy Cole hat-trick helping them to a 5-2 aggregate win.
After both sides had a run of promotions and relegations, since 2000 they have both played each other regularly. The highlight in the early 2000s was of course the 2003 Second Division playoff semi-final. Peter Thorne’s 74th minute goal in the first leg at Ninian Park made sure the Bluebirds won the tie, as they went on to beat QPR in the playoff final that year.
Apart from Cardiff City’s seasons in the Premier League, the teams have met religiously in the Championship over the past fifteen years. One of these ties included the Bluebirds’ biggest win over the Robins, a 6-0 win at Ashton Gate. Two goals each for Ross McCormack and Michael Chopra, along with one for Peter Whittingham and a Liam Fontaine own goal secured a memorable win in 2010.
The Bluebirds and the Robins have met 11 times at Cardiff City Stadium since our move over to the stadium from Ninian Park in 2009. The hosts have been the victors on six occasions, drawing twice and being beaten on three occasions.