Cardiff City stormed into a 4-0 lead in a crazy oopening half hour at the Hawthorns. The Bluebirds fielded (probably) their strongest side with Loovens returning in the centre and Trevor Sinclair getting a rare cup outing.
Barely three minutes were on the clock when Cardiff took the lead when ROBBIE FOWLER converted a McPhail cross inside the area – a typical precision finish and Cardiff had the lead.
Andy Oakes, retaining his place in goal, made two good saves but Cardiff were looking dangerous in attack and found their sceond goal 23 minutes in when HASSELBAINK powered a 20 yard drive home – another great goal from the veteran.
If that were a surprise to West Brom and Cardiff fans alike, the next 5 minutes could only add to the misery and ecstasy respectively. First Joe Ledley burst into the area and was scythed down by Martis – ROBBIE FOWLER sending Kiely the wrong way from the spot. Almost immediately afterwards, a Capaldi cross found TREVOR SINCLAIR on the right to drive low and hard for his first Cardiff City goal. 4-0 !!
The manic period did not end there, and West Brom rescued a glimmer of hope and some dignity with a goal of their own. A shot by Beattie hit the post and the gigantic Ishmael Miller shot through a crowd of players to pull one back for the Baggies. 4 goals in 10 minutes.
West Brom came out differently in the second half, playing with far more fire and application – no doubt harsh words were exchanged in the dressing room. However, it was not one way traffic with Cardiff continuing to threaten whenever they had the ball.
Sinclair and Capaldi were both called upon to clear off the Cardiff line as West Brom pushed. McPhail had a wayward attempt, while Fowler and substitute Parry just failed to take chances at the other end.
In the final few minutes, the impressive Miller got a second – this time from the penalty spot after Sinclair was harshly penalised – it looked fair enough and maybe the ref was trying to space some blushes!
4-2 and a place in the next round for Cardiff. They can be proud of an impressive showing in attack while 90 minutes for Loovens, who looked a little rusty, was another bonus. Hasselbaink and Fowler played exceptionally well together and looked fitter than previously – Bring On Barnsley!!!
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