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Crushing action replay for fans.

DEJA vu happens at the strangest of times. It doesn't happen when you make a cup of tea although you know you've done that before. It happens at times like 9.30pm last night in Bristol. As Cardiff and Bristol City prepared to slug it out at Ashton Gate for a shot at automatic promotion from Division Two, hope and fear mixed among the Bluebirds fans.

Hope that the team would fulfil its promise and pull it together when it mattered, and fear that Scott Murray and co would drive a final nail into the coffin lid of automatic promotion.

The first half proved a quiet affair as Cardiff silenced the home crowd with a solid display - so far, so good. It was the second half that sparked the deja vu.

Scott Murray chased Danny Gabbidon into the box and the ball bounced up and struck Gabbidon's hand.

The referee's assistant flagged for a penalty, and disbelief raged among the Cardiff fans as Brian Tinnion scored.

Then it was like watching an action replay, Murray raced free on the break and crossed for former Cardiff striker Christian Roberts to tuck away.

Back on Saturday, December 14, 2002, Bristol City left Ninian Park with a 2-0 victory courtesy of a controversial penalty, converted by Tinnion and a killer second from Roberts. The deja vu again swept over the crowd as Cardiff's automatic promotion chances all but disappeared - just as they had at Huddersfield last season.

On a night of immense pressure, the 1,500 travelling Cardiff fans were impeccably behaved as unbearable tension, followed by crushing disappointment saw them slope back across the Severn Bridge feeling like they had seen it all before.


#EARLY HOPE City fans give their heroes a rousing welcome before last night's defeat.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 23, 2003
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