Cardiff 0 Coventry 1
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Defender Peter Clarke was sent off after only three minutes for an ugly challenge on John Robinson, although Cardiff's numerical advantage lasted until mid-way through the second half.
Goalkeeper Martyn Margetson saw red for a professional foul on Julian Joachim, and McSheffrey scored the only goal from the resulting penalty.
Cardiff failed to make the extra man count, creating few chances, as the visitors defended resolutely.
Alan Lee drifted a header wide of goal and Rob Earnshaw brought a flying save from Scott Shearer.
Earnshaw's pace then created a golden opportunity for Cardiff to take the lead, when his burst into the area was ended by Calum Davenport's trip, and referee Paul Armstrong pointed to the spot.
Graham Kavanagh's kick was well struck but Shearer guessed right and pushed the ball onto the inside of the post before Coventry cleared.
Joachim then raced clear and won the decisive penalty for Coventry, and although Cardiff rallied, Earnshaw's volley which cleared the bar was their best effort.