FULL-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 2, Bristol City 0
The magic of the FA Cup once again passed Bristol City by as they made a limp third round exit at Blackburn Rovers.
Without a win in the competition since January 2007, the Robins again failed to progress, crashing out to goals from Danny Murphy and Grant Hanley at Ewood Park.
A side weakened by absenteeism and injury seldom threatened to upset the formbook and City finished well-beaten by a Rovers side that has now registered three straight wins under caretaker manager Gary Bowyer.
Veteran midfield campaigner Murphy fired Rovers in front with a 25-yard screamer after just seven minutes, while centre-back Hanley put the outcome beyond doubt 12 minutes into the second half.
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City seldom threatened a fight-back and Ryan Taylor conjured their best chance moments before the break, his header forcing Rovers keeper Jake Reid into a rare save.
Defeat in the third round for a sixth consecutive season leaves City free to wage their on-going battle for Championship survival. But they will need to do better than they did here if they are to trouble promotion-chasing Leicester at Ashton Gate next Saturday.
Yet to keep a clean sheet this season, the Robins held out for a mere seven minutes at Ewood Park.
There appeared little danger when Murphy collected the ball inside the centre circle. But red-shirted defenders failed to close the veteran down and he advanced 15 yards before unleashing a venomous drive that beat Robins keeper Tom Heaton and ended up in the top left-hand corner of the net.
Heaton looked to have got at least a hand to the ball, only for the power of the shot to defeat him.
City tried to respond and former Blackburn striker Jon Stead met Taylor's cross with a firm header that flew over from 12 yards out.
Not surprisingly, given the disparity between the two sides in the Championship, Rovers were playing with greater purpose and Colin Kazim-Richards almost capitalised on a back-pedaling defence after 15 minutes. Afforded far too much time and space, the striker let fly with a low shot that required Heaton to make a fine diving save to his right.
City were proving their own worst enemies and Louis Carey had to cover across hurriedly to deny Jordan Rhodes a clear sight of goal after Mark Wilson had needlessly given the ball away.
If City's best chance of getting back on terms rested with set-piece routines, their delivery was invariably poor and Blackburn's back four hardly had to break sweat in a first half in which they were asked precious few questions.
Although the visitors retained possession for longer than they managed in the first half at Millwall in midweek, too often the final ball lacked the quality to trouble Rovers.
More incisive when they had the ball, the home side attacked with pace and power and almost doubled their lead 10 minutes before half time. Ruben Rochina showed a leaden-footed Mark Wilson a clean pair of heels and let fly with an angled shot that required Liam Fontaine to clear off the line with Heaton beaten.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, City labouring in the final third and Blackburn creating the better chances at the other end.
It came as little surprise when the home team doubled their lead on 57 minutes. City half cleared a corner, but only as far as Rochina, whose lofted pass found Scott Dann.
He in turn poked the ball goal-wards for fellow centre-back Hanley, whose emphatic close-range finish gave Heaton no chance.
McInnes introduced forward-thinking players Steven Davies and Bobby Reid soon afterwards, but the damage was already done and City were effectively chasing a lost cause for the final half an hour.
At least newcomer Davies was prepared to have a go and he tested keeper Kean with a snap shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area.
But it was Blackburn who came closest to scoring, Rochina beating Fontaine and firing inches wide of the far post as the home side finished as they had started - on top.
Blackburn (4-3-3): Kean; Henley (Vukcevic 35), Hanley, Dann, Olsson; Lowe (Pedersen 63), Murphy, Rochina; Rosado (King 78), Rhodes, Kazim-Richards.
City (3-5-2): Heaton; J Wilson, Carey, Fontaine; M Wilson (Reid 63), Skuse, Pearson, Anderson, Cunningham (Woolford 70), Stead (Davies 60), Taylor.
Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham)