Town upset the odds to progress to the second round of the Carling Cup with an impressive 1-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Wednesday evening.
Substitute Raffaele De Vita's 71st header sealed a deserved victory for the visitors, who had dominated the match for large periods against their lacklustre opponents. The visitors made an excellent start to the clash, and could have been in front on two occasions within the opening ten minutes. Firstly, Jonathan Smith drove a low cross into the box, which Matt Ritchie looked set to drive into the net from eight yards, but he made a mess of the chance and scuffed it tamely wide.
Moments later it was Leon Clarke's turn to squander a good opportunity, as he saw his first time effort from Callum Kennedy's cross well blocked by City defender James Wilson. Town continued to dominate proceedings, but they were close to finding themselves behind after 25 minutes as City right-back Jordan Spence found space on the edge of the box and toe-poked a shot which drifted inches over the bar.
The hosts' largely anonymous front pairing of Ryan Taylor and Brett Pitman nearly conjured the opener soon after, but the latter could only skew his shot wide having been set clear into the box. Paolo Di Canio's side finished the half on top, with the lively Ritchie finding City 'keeper Dean Gerken in good form on two occasions as it drew to a close, and the Town boss was left to deliver what would have been one of his easier team talks of the season so far.
The hosts nearly made the dream start to the second half as Neil Kilkenny found his way into the box, but a combination of Joe Devera and Phil Smith managed to block the former Leeds United man's effort.
Town gathered themselves and began to enjoy the better of the game, and went close after 66 minutes as Kennedy's cross dropped to substitute Raffaele De Vita inside the box, but the Italian's left-footed snap shot was well saved by fellow replacement David James in the City goal. But De Vita went one better a few minutes later, heading Town into what was a deserved lead on 71 minutes. Simon Ferry swept an excellent ball into the path of Lander Gabilondo on the left, and after the Spaniard's initial cross was blocked, he drove the rebound into De Vita, who stooped to plant an unchallenged header into the near corner.
The visitors' lead was nearly wiped out no sooner than it had been established however, as Ryan Taylor set City substitute Albert Adomah clear in the Town half, but the winger's shot was beaten away well by Phil Smith. City had certainly being sparked into life by going behind, and went close again on 81 minutes as Brett Pitman's shot took a wicked deflection off Aden Flint and looped narrowly over the bar with Smith stranded. But that proved to be the last sight of goal the hosts would have, as Paolo Di Canio's side closed out the match to progress to round two, and a home tie with Championship side Southampton.