Cardiff spoil Hereford fairytale

DAVE JONES appears to be on a personal crusade to terminate the romance of the FA Cup after once again shattering the hopes of an underdog.

The Cardiff manager is the competition’s party pooper after his side ended Hereford’s aspirations of an upset, just as he had done with Chasetown earlier this month.

Hereford, fourth in League Two, probably deserved the glory of a replay at Ninian Park but Jones managed to swerve another potential upset to secure Cardiff their first appearance in the last 16 for the first time since 1994.

“Usually when you’re an underdog you have to hope that the team above you has an off day but we were pretty solid throughout,” said Jones.

In blustery conditions, it was the visitors who took the lead in first-half injury time when Kevin McNaughton volleyed through a ruck of players to find the corner.

Hereford showed promise early in the second period and after the hour introduced substitute Clint Easton, with Turner’s side in the ascendancy. Easton’s first contribution, however, was to flatten McNaughton in the area and Thompson stepped up to dispatch the resultant penalty.

There was a glimmer of hope when Theo Robinson produced an excellent 74th minute finish and the forward then forced a save from Oakes before a fierce effort from Toumani Diagouraga was similarly repelled, but Cardiff negated the late pressure to secure their eighth match unbeaten.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Smith (Hereford) - The Hereford captain impressed with an excellent range in passing and was the engine room that propelled their second half comeback. Influential for the goal.

HEREFORD (4-5-1): Brown 6, McClenahan 7, Rose 6, Collins 7, Beckwith 8, Taylor 6 (Easton 63, 6), Smith 8, Benjamin 5 (Gwynne 68, 6), Diagouraga 7, Johnson 6, Robinson 7.

Subs Not Used: Ingham, McCombe, Palmer.

CARDIFF (4-4-2): Oakes 7, McNaughton 7, Capaldi 6, Johnson 7, Loovens 6, McPhail 7, Rae 6, Ledley 6, Whittingham 6, Parry 6, Thompson (Hasselbaink 84, 5).

Subs Not Used: Enckleman, Purse, Ramsey, Blake.

REFEREE: Andy D’Urso (Essex) 7: Was in a good position to dismiss two strong penalty appeals for the home side. Did not have to deal with any particularly difficult decisions.

MATCH RATING: *** Lacked quality at times but Hereford only realised a scalp was possible when they scored. Deserved a replay at the very least.

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