SHAFAQNA – Cardiff’s awful start to the campaign took another terrible turn after an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth to exit the Capital One Cup.
The managerless pre-season promotion favourites, who have won just two Championship games and sit in 17th, were second best throughout the 90 minutes and were lucky not to have lost by a heavier margin.
Dan Gosling scored either side of Charlie Daniels’ left-footed drive within 35 minutes as the Cherries picked off the hapless home side at will. Gosling could have had a hat-trick had it not been for an offside flag while Harry Arter thundered a late effort off the crossbar.
What began as a dream evening for Danny Gabbidon quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares for the joint-caretaker boss.
With Scott Young prowling the touchline, Gabbidon named himself in what could turn out to be the pair’s only team sheet on home soil as Cardiff managers. In doing so, the centre-back gave himself a second Bluebirds debut having returned to his cherished boyhood club last month.
His inclusion was one of eight changes to the starting line-up but there was no place for Tuesday afternoon’s loan signing Ravel Morrison, cup-tied having appeared in this competition for West Ham.
But right from the first whistle there was scant sense this would be the morale-boosting victory that the majority of the sparse 6,000 crowd craved.
Brett Pitman fired a warning sign at Simon Moore after just eight minutes and seconds later the game’s first goal arrived as Gosling was allowed space to bend a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth’s classy midfielders were dictating the game and it was no surprise when they cut open the Cardiff rearguard with ease again in the 22nd minute when Eunan O’Kane’s defence-splitting through-ball was lashed into the far corner by Daniels.
Only an offside flag then stopped Gabbidon’s first start of 2014/15 hitting a new low. The 35-year-old was caught in possession on the edge of his own box and was a relieved man to see Pitman flagged as he went to roll in Gosling for a third.
Former Everton man Gosling would only have to wait eight minutes for his second goal of the evening, the midfielder firing through a crowd of red shirts after Moore could only push Pitman’s curling effort into his path.
That was enough for Young who hauled off Kim Bo-kyung and Javi Guerra with just 36 minutes on the clock and their withdrawals did have a impact before the home side were booed off the pitch.
Federico Macheda blazed over the bar after Nicky Maynard’s shot was well saved by Bournemouth’s Southampton loanee Artur Boruc and the Pole then pulled off a stunning save to claw out Tom Adeyemi’s hooked effort on the stroke of half-time.
Macheda’s clever finish six minutes after the break, after Declan John’s fine cross, was ruled out for offside and that was as close as Cardiff came.
With 10 minutes to go Bournemouth were only a lick of paint away from another. Arter, scorer of a memorable long-range effort on Saturday, almost grabbed his second stunning strike in four days only for his fizzing effort to bounce back off the underside of the crossbar.
A minute later Cardiff needed Gabbidon to clear two efforts off his own line to deny Bournemouth, in what was certainly not the end to the evening the caretaker boss would have envisaged.