Lee Peacock netted against his former club, Carlisle United, to set Bristol City on their way to a 2-0 LDV Vans Trophy final victory at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Robins boss Danny Wilson restored Brian Tinnion to the starting eleven, while the Cumbrians were missing the suspended Mark Birch, with Brian Shelley stepping into the defence.
The early minutes saw little goalmouth action, with Carlisle's robust tackling upsetting City's rhythm.
Scott Murray almost played in Christian Roberts midway through the first half, but Matt Glennon was quickly out to smother.
Six minutes before the break Murray skipped clear down the flank, but Joe Burnell was unable to turn the ball home from the resulting cross and at the other end Craig Farrell flashed a header over Steve Phillips' crossbar.
After the restart, Murray almost played in Roberts at the far post, but Jon McCarthy was on hand to avert the danger.
The Northern Ireland international then almost set up the opener at the other end, but Richie Foran headed over from eight yards.
Farrell then failed to convert from Foran's knock-down, following good work by teenager Adam Rundle just before the hour.
City soon made a change bringing on Liam Rosenior in place of Roberts, before Peacock had a header blocked by Darren Kelly.
Twelve minutes from time, Rosenior created the opening goal as his cross-shot was pushed away by Glennon and Peacock pounced to net against his former employers.
Glennon denied Murray a clinching second as City turned up the heat in the closing stages, before Foran stabbed a late effort wide of target.
City then made sure of victory in the dying seconds as Murray crossed and sub Rosenior turned the ball home to make the final score 2-0 in Cardiff.