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MARCHING ON: Mark Harris puts Bluebirds in to the next round

MARCHING ON: Mark Harris puts Bluebirds in to the next round

PA - Simon Galloway


Mark Harris fired an FA Cup extra-time winner as Cardiff beat Preston 2-1 in the Welsh capital.

Harris’ first goal in the competition came with the third-round tie just four minutes from a penalty shoot-out.

Isaak Davies, another of the Bluebirds’ young guns, had earlier scored his first senior goal before Daniel Johnson’s penalty put Preston back on terms.

Davies’ strike after 42 minutes was a particularly sweet moment for the Wales Under-21 international.

It came after Cardiff manager Steve Morison had described Davies as being more “a hindrance than a help” after sending him on as a substitute at Bournemouth only to replace him within 30 minutes.

Two former winners of the competition met behind closed doors because of the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Cardiff had managed only three home victories all season but were able to take comfort from winning at Preston in the league in November.

Preston dominated early possession and territory, but Cardiff protected Dillon Phillips’ goal well, with Johnson’s attempt a rare moment of concern for the Bluebirds.

Cardiff slowly crept into the contest with Wales international Rubin Colwill finding pockets of space to launch attacks.

Colwill created a clear-cut opening for Davies after Emil Riis Jakobsen had fallen to ground seeking a free-kick.

Davies raced through one-on-one with Lilywhites goalkeeper Daniel Iversen but sent his shot wide with much of the target to hit.

Phillips had to slide in front of his own net to prevent Sean Morrison from scoring an embarrassing own goal but Cardiff were quickly ahead.

Sepp Van Den Berg failed to intercept Marlon Pack’s pass and Davies beat Patrick Bauer before firing through the legs of Iversen.

Preston levelled after 54 minutes when Ciaron Brown clattered into Sean Maguire.

It was a foolish challenge and one that seemed an obvious spot-kick, although referee Andy Woolmer deliberated before pointing to the penalty spot.

Johnson stepped up to calmly send Phillips the wrong way for his fourth goal of the season.

Substitute Scott Sinclair claimed a second Preston penalty when under pressure from Morrison but play was waved on this time.

The pattern resembled the early stages with Preston in command but chances were few and far between as the game drifted towards extra-time.

Harris almost put Cardiff ahead with a powerful drive which Iversen tipped around a post.

But the Wales striker secured Cardiff’s place in the fourth round after good work by fellow substitutes Kieron Evans and Tom Sang.

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