Cardiff beat Colchester at a near-empty Cardiff City Stadium to become the first team to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Joe Ralls's deflected effort gave the Championship side a 1-0 half-time lead against their League One opponents.

Kadeem Harris's hooked volley doubled the lead before Kenwyne Jones headed in seconds after coming on.

Freddie Sears pulled one back for Colchester with a low drive, but Cardiff were comfortable winners.

The attendance of 4,194 was the smallest ever at Cardiff City Stadium, lower than the crowd of 5,545 that watched Cardiff's League Cup match against Dagenham & Redbridge in 2009.

Cardiff fans had turned on manager Russell Slade following Sunday's 4-2 home loss to Watford, and some of the few supporters who did attend on Friday protested against owner Vincent Tan's rebranding of the club.

Despite facing a Colchester side 35 places below them in the Football League, Cardiff named a strong and experienced side.

One of the six changes from Sunday's dismal 4-2 defeat to Watford, Ralls had the game's first chance as his well-struck shot was palmed away by Sam Walker.

The Colchester goalkeeper did not fare as well with Ralls's next effort, the Cardiff midfielder's strike from the edge of the area deflecting off Kaspar Gorkss and Cole Kpekawa and looping into the net.

Colchester had chances of their own, Gorkss heading narrowly wide and Gavin Massey forcing Simon Moore into a superb save with a low shot from close range.

It was more comfortable for Cardiff in the second half, and Harris scored their second goal in acrobatic fashion as he latched on to Ben Turner's header and connected with an overhead kick.

Victory was sealed seven minutes later as Jones, on as a substitute for only a few seconds, headed in from Peter Whittingham's corner with his first touch of the game.

With hopes of a comeback all but gone, Colchester claimed a late consolation goal as Sears scored with a low shot despite a touch from Moore.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Cardiff City

  • 33 Moore
  • 02 Brayford
  • 06 Turner
  • 16 Connolly
  • 12 John
  • 40 Harris
  • 18 Adeyemi
  • 07 Whittingham (Le Fondre - 69' )
  • 11 Noone (Fabio - 85' )
  • 14 Macheda (Jones - 60' )
  • 21 Ralls

Substitutes

  • 03 Fabio
  • 05 Ecuele Manga
  • 09 Jones
  • 10 Le Fondre
  • 13 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 36 Morrison
  • 42 Wilson

Colchester United

  • 01 Walker
  • 13 Gorkss
  • 20 Clohessy
  • 42 Kpekawa
  • 18 Eastman
  • 24 Moncur (Lapslie - 64' )
  • 28 Szmodics
  • 38 Fox
  • 41 Hewitt (Sembie-Ferris - 85' )
  • 11 Sears
  • 21 Massey (Watt - 62' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 06 Eastmond
  • 07 Watt
  • 12 Lewington
  • 23 Vincent-Young
  • 27 Bonne
  • 32 Lapslie
  • 37 Sembie-Ferris
Ref: James Linington
Att: 4,194

Match Stats

Possession

54 46

Shots

11 13

On target

7 3

Corners

8 8

Fouls

8 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Colchester United 1.

90:00 +3:59 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Colchester United 1.

90:00 +2:34

Fabio (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +2:34

Foul by Cole Kpekawa (Colchester United).

88:27

Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:27

Foul by Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United).

88:00

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Simon Moore.

86:03

Attempt blocked. Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

85:30

Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

85:30

Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Fabio replaces Craig Noone.

84:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Dion Sembie-Ferris replaces Elliott Hewitt.

81:53

Attempt missed. Sanchez Watt (Colchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

80:28

Declan John (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

80:28

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Colchester United).

80:01

Attempt blocked. Freddie Sears (Colchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

75:30

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Ben Turner.

75:13

Attempt blocked. Freddie Sears (Colchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

73:35 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 3, Colchester United 1. Freddie Sears (Colchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sanchez Watt.

71:47

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:47

Foul by Kaspars Gorkss (Colchester United).

70:27

Foul by Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City).

70:27

Tom Lapslie (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Adam Le Fondre replaces Peter Whittingham.

67:34

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Cole Kpekawa.

65:50

Attempt saved. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

64:53

Attempt missed. Sanchez Watt (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

64:02

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:02

Foul by Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United).

63:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Tom Lapslie replaces George Moncur.

63:05 Booking

Booking Sanchez Watt (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card.

63:00

John Brayford (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:54

Foul by Sanchez Watt (Colchester United).

61:20

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Ben Turner.

61:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Colchester United. Sanchez Watt replaces Gavin Massey.

59:47 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 3, Colchester United 0. Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Peter Whittingham following a corner.

59:29

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

59:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Kenwyne Jones replaces Federico Macheda.

57:29

Attempt blocked. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

56:45

Attempt missed. Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

53:55

Federico Macheda (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

53:55

Foul by Cole Kpekawa (Colchester United).

53:29

Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

52:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 2, Colchester United 0. Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ben Turner following a corner.

51:58

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Cole Kpekawa.

49:12

Attempt blocked. George Moncur (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

48:30

Elliott Hewitt (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:30

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

45:53

Attempt blocked. Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:00

Second Half begins Cardiff City 1, Colchester United 0.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Cardiff City 1, Colchester United 0.

43:50

Attempt saved. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

41:11

Attempt missed. Kaspars Gorkss (Colchester United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

40:50

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Ben Turner.

40:35

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Declan John.

40:00

George Moncur (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:59

Foul by Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City).

38:28

Attempt saved. Gavin Massey (Colchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

38:09

Attempt missed. Matthew Connolly (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

37:34

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sam Walker.

37:22

Attempt saved. Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

36:12

Foul by Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City).

36:12

Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:09 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 1, Colchester United 0. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

32:39

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by David Fox.

32:00

Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:58

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Colchester United).

29:01

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

28:49

Attempt blocked. Declan John (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

26:29

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:29

Foul by George Moncur (Colchester United).

25:33

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

25:33

Kaspars Gorkss (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:00

Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:00

Foul by Gavin Massey (Colchester United).

21:31

Foul by Gavin Massey (Colchester United).

21:31

Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

20:49

Foul by Federico Macheda (Cardiff City).

20:49

Kaspars Gorkss (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:19

Kaspars Gorkss (Colchester United) hits the right post with a header from the right side of the six yard box following a corner.

19:39

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Ben Turner.

16:56

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Joe Ralls.

12:00

Attempt saved. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

9:45

Foul by Elliott Hewitt (Colchester United).

9:45

Declan John (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:21

Attempt saved. Freddie Sears (Colchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

7:34

Freddie Sears (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:34

Foul by Matthew Connolly (Cardiff City).

6:29

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Elliott Hewitt.

4:52

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sammie Szmodics.

3:04

Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Ben Turner.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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