Town: Mark Halstead, Mat Sadler, Zak Whitbread, Ian Black, Ant Gerrard, Jack Grimmer, Scott Vernon (Jermaine Grandison 80), Andy Mangan (Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 80), Nat Knight-Percival, Jordan Clark, Larnell Cole
Subs: Jayson Leutwiler, Shaun Whalley, James Caton, Sam Patterson, Dom Smith
Cardiff City: Simon Moore, Fabio Da Silva /9Craig Noone 74), Bruno Ecuele Macheda, Peter Whittingham (c), Fedrico Macheda, Kagisho Dikgacoi (Matthew Kennedy 63), Alex Revell (Joe Mason 79), Gabriel Tamas, Stuart O'Keefe, Scott Malone, Sammy Ameobi
Subs: David Marshall, Declan John, Aron Gunnarsson, Adedeji Osgilaja
Ref: Peter Bankes
Assistants: Ronald Ganfield and Andrew Turner
Fourth Official: Kevin Morris
Attendance: 4782 (582 from Town)
Micky Mellon makes four changes as Town look to continue their run in the Emirates FA Cup at Cardiff City. Into the starting line-up come Mat Sadler, Jack Grimmer, Andy Mangan and Jordan Clark as Town switch to a 3-5-2 formation.
Town were straight on the attack from the kick-off and it was Andy Mangan who got in to the Cardiff box looking for the shot, but it was deflected behind for an early Town corner.
Cardiff were starting to try and put the pressure on but Town were doing well to contain them and when Knight-Percival nicked the ball he played a great ball down the line to put Mangan away, he cut back inside with Vernon bursting down the middle but Mangan held it up and then switched it to Grimmer on the farside, his touch though was a little heavy and the tackle came and the chance was gone.
Town were looking decent in the early exchanges and were creating some good breaks and openings. Just after the 10 minute mark Larnell Cole picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch and started a run forward, he rode a couple of tackles and had options from runners but decided to keep his run going and hit a decent effort in from the edge of the box but it was deflected behind for a corner.
Cardiff had a couple of good chances to of their own and a break from Macheda after blocking a Knight-Percival clearance looked dangerous, he played it wide to Revell who burst into the box on the angle but Gerrard has read the situation well and slid in with am important block. They had another good chance after Cardiff found space to get in down the left with Malone, he hit a decent low ball curling into the box to find Revell but he put his shot side of the target.
Cardiff had another good chance of 23 minutes when Macheda got in behind Knight-Percival and into the Town box, he got a shot in but Halstead was there to block, he couldn't hold onto it and it dropped to Revell who got a shot in from the angle but Halstead was there again to save.
With 30 minutes on the clock Cardiff were just edging it on attacking play but Town were preforming well and doing the work they needed to. There was good movement around the pitch from the visitors who were looking to counter when they could and it was building into an interesting FA Cup tie.
Cardiff had another good chance after some neat football that saw Ameobi drive forward towards the Town goal, he threaded a ball to Macheda to put him in but Whitbread was there and did well to stay on his feet and then slide in at the right moment to nick the ball away and then clear.
Town were still creating and pushing and probing looking to get into the ball forward for Mangan and Vernon who had been willing outlets all game. There were half chances and good openings but nothing really to cause Moore in the Cardiff City goal too many problems.
The second half started with a great run from Jack Grimmer down the right handside, he rode a couple of challenges before playing a one-two with Vernon to get to the by-line, Grimmer then cut the ball back but he got too much on it and it didn't find a Town shirt.
Cardiff looked to break quickly but firstly Gerrard did well to tackle Revell, the ball then looped up and dropped to Macheda but then it was Whitbread who did well to stand his ground and then get in an important tackle.
With 60 minutes on the clock the game was in a bit of a lull and had not hit the attacking heights of the first half but both teams were trying.
It was Town who took the advantage and it came after a good spell of pressure, the ball was put out to Vernon who had come out wide onto the left, he was out of position but then hit a lovely cross into the box to find Andy Mangan and he put a lovely header past Moore to make it 1-0 to Town.
Cardiff should have been level after a quick counter attack down the right with Fabio, he then hit a high crossfield ball to try and put Macheda away, Grimmer saw the danger and managed to gets something on the ball but it dropped to Macheda and he was in on goal, he took the ball in on goal but Halstead was down with an important save and the danger was cleared.
At the other end Town created a good chance to double their lead when pressure saw the ball out with Mangan who had pulled out to the left, he showed good strength to hold off his marker and then deliver a great cross to find Clark coming in, he connected with the ball but put his shot just wide of the mark.
It was the end for Mangan who signalled to the bench that he needed to come off as he was tiring, it was a double change from Micky Mellon who replaced Mangan with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and then brought on Jermaine Grandison to replace Scott Vernon with Town trying to sure things up to see the game out.
As the game entered added time Cardiff had a chance with a header just wide, then Town had chances of their own with Clark, Grandison and Cole combining well after good work from Akpa Akpro that ended with Black firing in a low shot that beat Moore but the post was there to save Cardiff.