FA CUP, FIFTH ROUND: Cardiff City 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Cardiff City with a performance which manager Mick McCarthy later blasted as "hopeless."
And if losing out to two goals in ten minutes and a tongue-lashing from the manager at the final whistle was not enough, McCarthy's young side then had to endure heckles from the 1,200 furious Wolves fans who had made the trip to Wales.
As the players came back out on the pitch to warm down at the end of the game they were forced to hang their heads in shame as a pocket of supporters chanted "You are not fit to wear the shirt."
Goals from former Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham and Bluebirds' veteran striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had sealed Wolves' fate and heaped huge pressure on McCarthy who must now refocus on trying to pull Wolves' back into a Coca-Cola Championship play-off spot if he is to secure his future at Molineux.
Cardiff meanwhile booked their passage into the quarter-finals for the first time in more than 80 years — the last time they reached this stage of the competition was in 1927 and they went on to win the trophy that year defeating Arsenal 1-0.
McCarthy had been forced to make five changes prior to kick-off at Ninian Park with Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, George Elokobi and David Edwards all cup-tied, Matt Jarvis out injured and Darren Ward, who had travelled with the squad, withdrawn at the last minute with his wife about to give birth to the couple's first child.
In came Jay Bothroyd despite the fact that he had not even featured on the bench in Wolves' last two matches while Gary Breen and Jody Craddock were recalled at the back.
Perhaps it was the fact Wolves' new line-up needed time to gel, perhaps it was their lack of fluidity but they were a goal down after just 90 seconds.
Andy Keogh had set off down the right with the Cardiff defence in pursuit when he was suddenly dispossessed by Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey threaded the ball through to Hasselbaink who just managed to pass it upfield before coming under a late challenge from Craddock.
Referee Rob Styles made the correct decision in waving play on and there was Whittingham to slot the all home past Wolves' goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
The visitors had barely recovered when Hasselbaink himself started and ended a move to extend the Bluebirds' lead.
Bothroyd found himself robbed by Hasselbaink who dug out talented winger Paul Parry. He in turn found Whittingham who whipped the ball back in to the advancing Dutchman who unleashed the sweetest left-foot shots, easily curling the ball around young Hennessey into the top right corner of the net.
McCarthy's players were now facing an uphill battle and were immediately under the cosh again as the indomitable Ramsey picked out Parry but his cross come shot just fell wide of the target.
Wolves meanwhile found every breakthrough intercepted 25 yards from goal as former Molineux boss Dave Jones's defenders proved equal to the task.
In the 18th minute Parry again threatened but his long-range effort landed just over Hennessey's cross bar before Wolves finally attempted a shot on target. Karl Henry found Kevin Kyle in space but his header was too high to force a save from Peter Enckelman.
At the other end however Hennessey was busy as a plate-juggler denying first Whittingham and then Ramsey in quick succession before Hasselbaink's next effort went wide.
In the 39th minute McCarthy made a surprise move in bringing Freddy Eastwood back from the footballing wilderness to replace Seyi Olofinjana who was looking jaded after his recent African Cup of Nations exploits.
And Welsh International Eastwood made an almost immediate impact in a neat one-two with Keogh which at least finally brought a save from Cardiff's former Aston Villa keeper Enckelman.
In the second half Wolves showed a flash of a fightback with Kyle seizing on a missed clearance from Kevin McNaughton. But Cardiff were not going to let their lead slip and could have extended it twice in two minutes but for Hennessey managing to get an outstretched leg to deny Parry on 50 minutes and then making a second save from a carbon copy chance from the same player just 60 seconds later.
Eastwood was still trying to prove he deserves another chance for Wolves but found his effort blocked by Gavin Rae in the 61st minute before McCarthy tried to salvage something with a double substitution with Stephen Elliott replacing Kyle and Darron Gibson on for Kevin Foley.
But try as they might Wolves never really looked like threatening — Elliot forced a save from Enckelman 15 minutes from time and then Eastwood again shot wide. But by now Cardiff's passage into the quarter-finals never really looked in doubt.
For the Wolves fans their miserable day out was only compounded when a small section of the crowd started fighting amongst themselves which led to the police being drafted into the visitors' Grange End stand. A steward also needed hospital treatment after being caught up in the melee.
A furious McCarthy said afterwards: "That is three games out of four now where we have gone a goal down inside a minute or two. Our fans were singing that we were a disgrace and I think we are all in agreement that was a very, very poor performance. I think the adjective I would use would be hopeless.
"It is always a blow to lose but to lose in the FA Cup — I was embarrassed today."
Scorers: Whittingham (2), Hasselbaink (10).
CARDIFF CITY (4-4-2): Enckelman, McNaughton, Capaldi, Johnson, Loovens, Rae, Whittingham (Sinclair, 90), McPhail (Blake, 90), Ramsey, Parry, Hasselbaink (Thompson, 76). Subs: Oakes, Purse.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS: Hennessey, Breen, Craddock, Foley (Gibson, 63), Gray, Henry, Olofinjana (Eastwood, 39), Potter, Kyle (Elliott, 62), Bothroyd, Keogh. Subs: Edwards, Stack.
Referee: Rob Styles (Hampshire).
Bookings: Cardiff — McPhail, (dissent), Thompson (foul); Wolves — Craddock, Gibson (both fouls).
Wolves man of the match: Freddy Eastwood — out of favour with his manager but at least he tried to make an impact when coming on as a 39th-minute substitute.