BOLTON MADE progress on another front last night thanks to Eidur Gudjohnsen's second match-winning strike in a week.
The Icelander scored a candidate for goal of the season to beat Wimbledon last week; the more routine one he put away in the 28th minute at the Reebok Stadium last night was not remotely in that class, but it was enough to see off determined and enterprising opponents and book a trip to Grimsby in the Wanderers' second-favourite cup competition.
Worthington Cup semi-finalists they may be, but Bolton's poor form in the League sent Cardiff into this delayed FA Cup third-round tie with genuine hope of turning the tables on the Wanderers' knock-out adventurers. That, at any rate, was the way that City, struggling towards the bottom of the Second Division, approached their task, subjecting Bolton to several spells of pressure which could have yielded a goal.
The first of those was right at the start, when the Bolton defence was kept busy by, among other forms of attack, the freakishly long throw-ins of Andy Legg. Legg has two strong arms and one good foot. Unfortunately, Cardiff's best chance, set up by lovely approach work from Jason Bowen and Josh Low, came to his right and was miscued wide of the target from six yards.
Although Claus Jensen hit a post for Bolton, Cardiff were still more than holding their own when Gudjohnsen grabbed his goal.
Franck Passi, a Frenchman making his full debut and whose previous knock- out battle honours include a European Cup semi-final with Monaco, began the move with a cleverly angled pass to Ricardo Gardener. Although his initial shot was blocked by Jon Hallworth, Gardener followed up to steer the ball into the path of Gudjohnsen, who drove it right-footed just inside the post.
Despite looking anything but comfortable, Bolton should have doubled their lead immediately before half-time when Gudjohnsen squared the ball to Bob Taylor, who had a tap-in but botched the job under pressure from a valiant last-ditch tackle from Jeff Eckhardt.
Cardiff had another lively spell at the start of the second-half, with Steve Banks, getting a rare first-team chance in the Bolton goal, having to save at the feet of the continually dangerous Bowen and also denying the former Sheffield Wednesday striker Ritchie Humphreys.
At the other end, Gudjohnsen confirmed his reputation for being capable of spectacular misses as well as spectacular goals, blazing high over an inviting target and then failing with another chance to make the game safe when sent through by a cultured ball from Passi.
He had done enough, though, to help Bolton maintain a cup record that outshines their efforts in the First Division.
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Banks; Holden, Bergsson, Fish, Whitlow; Johansen, Jensen, Passi, Gardner; Taylor (Aljofree, 88), Gudjohnsen. Substitutes not used: Jaaskelainen, Hansen, Strong, Staton.
Cardiff City (3-5-2): Hallworth; Eckhardt, Perrett, Ford (Middleton, 20); Low, Fowler, Carpenter, Schwinkdorf (Hill,70), Legg (Faerber, 88); Bowen, Humphreys.
Substitutes not used: Thomas, Kelly (gk).
Referee: G Laws (Whitley Bay).Reuse content