Bluebirds fly up to fourth
Goals from Chopra, Bothroyd and Johnson seal comfortable win
Last Updated: 07/03/09 5:46pm
Chopra: Scored opener
Cardiff kept up with the pace at the top of the Championship with a comfortable 3-0 win over Doncaster at Ninian Park.
The Bluebirds flew up to fourth in the table - eight points off the automatic berths with three games in hand - thanks to goals from in-form Michael Chopra, Jay Bothroyd and substitute Eddie Johnson.
Chopra opened the scoring in the 10th minute with his third goal in four games, before Bothroyd doubled the advantage 19 minutes later and Johnson sealed the win on the hour mark.
This latest victory means Dave Jones' side have now lost just once in their last 16 league matches and have the fewest defeats in the Championship.
But Doncaster also went into this game in good form - having climbed up to 10th in the table after winning nine of their previous 11 league games prior to this encounter.
No end product
But despite plenty of attractive build-up play, there was no end product on their first trip to Ninian Park in 11 years.
The home side, who made one change with Bothroyd starting up front in place of Johnson, wasted little time in picking up where they had left off in midweek following a 3-1 win over Barnsley.
Gavin Rae played the ball into the penalty area from the right in the 10th minute and Chopra, on loan from Sunderland, arrowed the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Chances were few and far between before Rae almost doubled the Welsh side's advantage in the 20th minute when his left-footed shot from inside the area was kept out by Doncaster goalkeeper Neil Sullivan at full stretch.
The visitors had failed to muster a single effort on goal before Matt Mills headed Martin Woods' corner just over the crossbar, while Cardiff were dealt a blow in the 26th minute with Mark Kennedy forced out of the action through injury and replaced by Miguel Comminges.
But there was no stopping the men in blue. Roger Johnson picked himself up to play a free-kick across the edge of the penalty area following Jason Price's foul and Bothroyd slammed a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Doncaster's Brian Stock was hurt in the 34th minute and replaced by Mark Wilson and then goalscorer Bothroyd became the third player to hobble off soon after, with Eddie Johnson sent on.
Cardiff continued to shade possession after the interval and effectively killed the game on the hour-mark when substitute Johnson curled the ball home into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, left-footed, after cutting in from the right.
Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll sent on Dean Shiels and James Hayter for Price and James Coppinger a couple of minutes later.
It was not long before Shiels almost pulled one back for Rovers when he let fly from 20 yards, but Konstantopoulos was equal to it and the visitors were unable to make further in-roads as Cardiff retained most of the possession.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 7th Mar
Derby2 - 1Bristol C
N Forest1 - 1Swansea
Blackpool2 - 0Norwich
Birmingham1 - 0Southampton
Plymouth2 - 2Reading
Charlton2 - 3Watford
Sheff Wed0 - 1Wolves
QPR0 - 0Sheff Utd
C Palace2 - 1Preston
Cardiff3 - 0Doncaster
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||19||39|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|