Nottingham Forest moved into the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Cardiff City at The City Ground.
Lyle Taylor's third-minute strike was the difference between the two sides as Forest produced another superb defensive performance to earn a place in Monday night's fourth-round draw and a first home win over The Bluebirds since 2012.
Chris Hughton made eight changes to the side that won at Preston North End last weekend as only Joe Worrall, Cafu and Sammy Ameobi kept their places in the starting line-up while there was a return to the squad for defender Tyler Blackett following his recovery from injury.
Much had been made about the importance of the cup to both sides but Forest were right on the money from the start and took the lead after only three minutes. Gaetan Bong raced down the left-hand channel and pulled the back to Taylor who delivered an outstanding volley finish into the roof of the net from 15 yards out.
The visitors had made a slow start to proceedings but they grew into the contest and went close to levelling on 11 minutes. The ball was pulled back to the edge of the penalty area for Leandro Bacuna to strike but the former Aston Villa man drilled his effort over Jordan Smith's crossbar.
A mistake from Joe Lolley gave the visitors a sight of goal shortly after the half-hour mark as his weak header fell into the path of Harry Wilson but the Cardiff midfielder hammered his 35-yard volley wide of the target and Forest were able to breathe once again.
Cardiff were the dominant force in an attacking sense and two passes almost led to an equaliser on 37 minutes. A long ball into space down the left-hand side allowed Josh Murphy into the penalty area, he drilled the ball across the face of the Forest goal but Robert Glatzel couldn't get there in time and the ball flashed out on the other side of the box for The Reds to clear.
Forest began the second half by inviting pressure on themselves and Cardiff almost levelled from a set-piece just before the hour mark. Harry Arter lunged into a challenge on Wilson 20 yards from goal but the Liverpool curled his free-kick just around the post via a slight deflection off the wall on its way through.
Hughton introduced Alex Mighten to the fray on 60 minutes and the youngster almost had the desired impact 12 minutes after coming on. Mighten drove powerfully through the middle third, leaving two Cardiff midfielders in his wake, and powered a low strike towards goal but Dillon Phillips got down well to make a fairly routine save.
The visitors almost levelled with two minutes of normal time to play through a carbon copy of Taylor's opener. Left-back Joel Bagan delivered an excellent ball into the penalty area which was met by a thumping effort from substitute Junior Hoilett but the ball flew narrowly over Smith's crossbar and into the Bridgford Stand.
Despite four minutes of stoppage time and a number of high balls from Cardiff into the penalty area, Forest saw the game out to make it six matches unbeaten and earn themselves a spot in Monday's draw for the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Forest: Smith; Jenkinson, Worrall (c), McKenna, Bong; Cafu, Arter (Sow 85'); Lolley, Guerrero (Yates 66'), Ameobi (Mighten 60'); Taylor
Subs not used: Samba, Christie, Mbe Soh, Dawson, Blackett, Swan
Goal: Taylor 3'
Cardiff: Phillips; Bacuna, Nelson, Bagan, Bennett; Vaulks (Hoilett 63'), Pack (c) (Harris 84'); Wilson, Ralls, Murphy (Ojo 78'); Glatzel
Subs not used: Smithies, Whyte, Evans, Patten
Referee: David Webb