Cardiff progressed to the FA Cup fourth-round after edging a seven-goal thriller against League Two Carlisle.
The Bluebirds put out a side which only included two of the team that started Sunday’s South Wales derby against Swansea, but looked more than strong enough to overcome League Two strugglers Carlisle United.
However, Chris Beech’s side put in a performance to be proud of and pushed the Championship club all the way.
The Carlisle fans appreciated their side performance and I was keen to interview a few fans after the game to get their thoughts on this remarkable game.
Helen Armstrong said: “Its probably the best performance of the season so far. I am very proud of how well the lads did and the atmosphere inside Brunton Park was brilliant. The supporters got right behind them tremendously and if they can transfer that level of form into the league, we will do well. Everyone gave it 100% and we cant ask for anymore.”
Harry Powell said: “I just can’t get my head around how mad the game was! A whirlwind of emotions from start to finish. Fair play to Cardiff for seeing it out but our boys can be proud of the performance and hopefully we can start acting like this in the league. It was fantastic how our wide men (McKirdy and Thomas) had their defenders on toast. If we could start to defend set pieces then our season could be a totally different story.”
Carlisle opened the scoring through a thunderous Nathan Thomas strike, before Aden Flint headed home a long throw-in from Will Vaulks to equalise on the 17th minute.
The Cumbrians nearly retook the lead on the 37th minute when a 30-yard piledriver from Harry McKirdy came crashing back off the crossbar.
Josh Murphy volleyed Cardiff ahead on the stroke of half time and Flint then got his second of the evening as he tapped home at the back-post following a corner from Joe Ralls.
The impressive McKirdy kept United’s hopes alive when he converted Thomas’ cross with a rather scuffed effort, but minutes later Danny Ward was given far to much space inside the box and he slotted his effort past Adam Colin to restore Cardiff’s two-goal lead.
However, McKirdy and his team mates still refused to give up and once again pulled one back as a quickly taken freekick caught the visitors napping and the 22-year old spectacularly curled into the top corner beyond Alex Smithies.
Neil Harris’ men were hanging on towards the end as the 4,000 Carlisle fans inside Brunton Park were in full voice encouraging their side on, but the Bluebirds managed to get over the line, earning a trip to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading in ten days time.
Carlisle United XI
Colin, Jones, Webster, Mellish(81), Iredale, Jones(87), Watt, Scougall(67), Thomas, McKirdy, Hope
Subs- Gray, Knight-Percival, Sagaf, Bridge, Charters(87), Olomola(81), Loft(67)
Cardiff City XI
Smithies, Richards, Flint, Bamba, Coxe(70), Ralls, Vaulks, Murphy, Whyte(83), Ward, Paterson
Subs- Day, Nelson, Bennett(70), Pack(83), Hoilett, Glatzel, Bogle
Referee – Darren Handley
Assistant Referee 1 – Shaun Hudson
Assistant Referee 2 – Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official – Scott Oldham
Attendance – 4,381 (348 away fans)
Goals- Thomas(7), Flint (17,48), Murphy(45), McKirdy(51,64), Ward(57)
Yellow Cards- McKirdy(21), Murphy(90)
Red Cards- N/A