Doncaster Rovers missed out on a televised FA Cup fourth-round home tie against West Ham United as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’s double saw Bristol City progress.
Paul Dickov’s men gave it their best shot on a cold and miserable west country night.
But they were largely second-best against the League One high-fliers in this third-round replay.
The hosts led 1-0 at half-time after 45 minutes of end-to-end football at a rain-lashed Ashton Gate.
Rovers enjoyed the better of the opening 20 minutes as the importance of this tie certainly did not appear lost on the players on duty.
Curtis Main found space early on, but despite being afforded plenty of time inside the hosts’ box, the striker disappointingly fired straight at goalkeeper Frank Fielding.
Main then turned provider, crossing smartly for James Coppinger who stretched before volleying narrowly wide.
The hosts then forced their way right back into consideration as Aden Flint fluffed a couple of gilt-edged opportunities.
He first planted a free header over the top and then he dragged a shot wide when he ought to have found the target at least.
City broke the deadlock nine minutes before the interval, and it was a scruffy goal from Rovers’ point of view.
After Flint’s corner was not cleared, and following a smart stop from Rovers goalkeeper Marko Marosi, Scott Wagstaff drove in a shot.
Former Arsenal youngster Emmanuel-Thomas then pounced on the loose ball and slotted home from close range.
It was a big blow for the visitors, but they almost levelled in first-half stoppage-time when captain Coppinger’s shot was cleared off the line by Derrick Williams.
Andy Butler missed Rovers’ first chance of the second period, seeing a header from Richie Wellens’s cross deflected just wide. However, the hosts were soon on the offensive again with striker Matt Smith nodding an effort over the crossbar.
Flint went close to doubling City’s lead when he ought to have got a header on target from Wagstaff’s corner.
The flow of play turned back in Rovers’ favour after Dickov made a double change on the hour mark.
Theo Robinson and Nathan Tyson entered the fray and looked a threat almost immediately, with the former going close with an acrobatic scissor-kick.
However, the stuffing was well and truly knocked out of Rovers with 11 minutes left when Emmanuel-Thomas struck again, slotting home after meeting Marlon Pack’s measured pass.
Bristol City: Fielding, Little, Cunningham, Ayling, Flint, Williams, Pack, K Smith, Wagstaff (Freeman 76), M Smith (Osborne 88), Emmanuel-Thomas. Unused substitutes: Richards, Bryan, Wynter, Elliott.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Wabara, McCullough, Butler, Stevens, Keegan (Bennett 78), Wellens, Coppinger, Middleton (Tyson 61), Forrester (Robinson 61), Main. Unused substitutes: McCombe, Wakefield, De Val, McLaren.
Referee: Darren Bond.
West Ham United beat Everton 9-8 in a penalty shoot-out in their FA Cup third-round replay.
After finishing extra-time 2-2, the Hammers edged the tie with goalkeeper Adrian netting the decisive spot-kick.