Bournemouth still dominated proceedings as Steve Fletcher seemed to be winning every header, and every header found a Bournemouth player in a dangerous position. Unfortunately Cardiff were able to deal with it - usually lumping it out for a throw in!! But there were times when Cardiff simply could not live with us, whether is was Steve Fletcher, Jamie Hayter or John Spicer causing the threat.
The fun of a lead didn't last too long as Cardiff City equalised on 24 minutes as Alan Lee looped a header over Moss and in at the far post. A soft goal, in my opinion, from a Bournemouth perspective.
We thought that we'd reclaimed the lead just before the half hour. Steve Fletcher rose higher than anyone else to sweetly head the ball in to the net, but was adjudged to have fouled a Cardiff City defender so it didn't count!
There was a sublime piece of skill from Jamie Hayter on 34 minutes. He received the ball from a long Karl Broadhurst throw, he neatly 'kneed' the ball up, turned and volleyed on the turn to see the ball narrowly miss the angle of upright and cross bar. If it had gone in, it would have been one of the best goals I'd have ever seen. As it was, it wasn't to be.
After the break, Cardiff City had clearly been given a rocket by their manager, Lennie Lawrence, as they came out firing. Eddie was forced in to conceeding an early corner, and from that corner they took the lead through Lee Bullock on 49 minutes. Now for the test of character to see if we could come back as we'd done away to Torquay United and Oldham Athletic.
Depsite good approach play, Bournemouth seemed to be thwarted by Cardiff City as our visitors defended with a bit more bite. It also seemed that the ref was making some slightly more Cardiff bias decisions when there seemed to be nothing in the challenges. A good example came when Eddie won the ball off two Cardiff players, who were dithering, only to see the ref give the free kick to Cardiff!
Despite Cardiff being more in the game, Bournemouth still kept trying to come forward. Jamie Hayter served warning of what was to come later, as he saw a couple of shots sail over the cross bar. Brian Stock also went close with a long range shot. Other chances came and went, best deomstrated when Brian Stock was on the charge forward, he had the choice of feeding the ball right to Spicer, or left to Fletcher. Unfortunately, he opted to go left and fed the ball to Fletcher who lost the ball for Cardiff to clear.The ref clearly wasn't too happy with the incident, and issued the players second yellow and consquently red card. Something must have been said as the free kick was also taken 10 yards further forward.
We had to wait until the last minute of the second half to get our equaliser to force extra time. Jamie Hayter received the ball from a cross to head the ball home to force extra time. We puched in the final few moments of second half injury time, but we couldn't force a winner.
On 95 minutes a great cross came across only to see Connell miss the ball by a fraction with the goal gaping! Cardiff regained the lead for the second time, when substitute Cameron Jerome raced past the Bournemouth defence to slot the ball past Neil Moss on 108 minutes. Was the dream over?
To show that being a Bournemouth fan is never easy, we left it until the final few moments ourselves to claim another equaliser. Hayter was up ended on the edge of the area, free kick as Vidmar was sent off. Up stepped Brian Stock to convert the free kick to restore parity at 3-3!!! Moss still had some work to do as he bravely came out to save at the feet of Jerome.
With scores level at the end of extra time this also meant penalties!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!
Taken in front of the North Stand, Graham Kavanagh was first up. His penalty kick was saved by Neil Moss!! Brian Stock for us - he thumped it against the inside of the post to see the ball roll across the goal line and out! Cardiff's James Collins scored, as did Connell for Bournemouth. Bullock converted with a great spot kick, as did Spicer for Bournemouth to level the shoot out. Cardiff then retook the lead as Hayter levelled again. The final spot kick was converted for Cardiff (Alan Lee) as did Wade Elliott did to force sudden death penalties. Chris Baker converted the penalty, only to see Marcus Browning miss his penalty, sealing a 5-4 penalty shoot out win for Cardiff City.
No disgrace in the final outcome where the lottery of a penalty shoot out is concerned.
AFCB: Moss, Young, Broadhurst, Maher, Howe, Stock, Elliott, O'Connor, Spicer, Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: Stewart, Coutts, Connell (for O'Connor, 80), Holmes (for Young, 80), Browning (for Maher, 85)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth