Bellamy boosts Bluebirds
On-loan City star inspires Cardiff to 4-0 romp over Rovers
Last Updated: 21/08/10 6:04pm
Bellamy: Congratulated by team-mates after scoring on his dream debut
Craig Bellamy made a dream debut as he scored and provided two assists in Cardiff's 4-0 defeat of Doncaster.
The on-loan Manchester City man scored the final goal six minutes from time to make sure of the win, after Jay Bothroyd's earlier brace (36, 62) and substitute Chris Burke's effort (68).
The win helped Dave Jones' Bluebirds soar up to second in the Championship table, two points behind early pace-setters QPR.
Bellamy announced his arrival at the Cardiff City Stadium in style and never looked like disappointing a capacity crowd.
He almost enjoyed the perfect start but his close-range shot was saved by Neil Sullivan.
However, it did not take long for Bellamy to make a telling contribution and he played in Bothroyd who opened the scoring after 36 minutes.
Cardiff doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Burke, who had earlier come on for Michael Chopra, crossed from the right for Bothroyd to head in his second of the game.
Bellamy was getting all over the pitch and six minutes later he found himself in the left-back area and launched a fine ball to set Burke free and he made it 3-0 with aplomb.
It was almost inevitable that Wales striker would get a debut goal and so it proved when Bothroyd was upended, allowing the 31-year-old to flash home a superb free-kick from 35 yards.
Cardiff started well and Bellamy sprung into action after only two minutes, latching onto a ball from Chopra but his lofted effort was kept out by Sullivan.
However, Doncaster were looking dangerous themselves and a clearance from Peter Whittingham fell to Brian Stock who flashed a long-range effort just wide.
Minutes later Stock fired in a shot from 20 yards but Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall did well to tip the ball around the post.
Doncaster looked the more likely to open the scoring but with 15 minutes gone Chopra was sent clear and tried to lob Sullivan, who made a superb save with his fingertips.
That proved to be Chopra's last meaningful contribution as his afternoon was brought to a premature end just after the half-hour mark when he limped off to be replaced by Burke.
The loss of Chopra was a blow for Cardiff but they took the lead five minutes later. Bellamy played a good ball into Bothroyd who mis-controlled before slipping the ball past Sullivan.
The Bluebirds immediately went in search of a second and four minutes before half-time Burke crossed into the path of Peter Whittingham who looked likely to score but completely mis-hit his effort.
All eyes were on Bellamy once again at the start of the second half and his pace continued to trouble the Doncaster defence.
For all Bellamy's intelligent running, it was Doncaster who once again looked the more threatening and they almost drew level in fortuitous circumstances when James Coppinger's mis-hit cross clipped the bar with Marshall scrambling.
Burke continued to look lively and it was inevitable that he would be involved in Cardiff's second goal after 62 minutes.
The former Rangers man skipped past George Friend and got to the right byline before crossing for Bothroyd to head in his second.
Six minutes later Bellamy's excellent ball upfield found Burke who held off Adam Lockwood and fired superbly past Sullivan.
The home crowd were itching to see Bellamy grab a goal and with six minutes remaining Lockwood fouled Bothroyd and the Wales striker, who had also received a booking for dissent, fired in superbly to seal a dream debut.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 21st Aug
Coventry2 - 1Derby
Leeds3 - 1Millwall
Bristol C3 - 3Barnsley
Burnley3 - 0Leicester
Cardiff4 - 0Doncaster
C Palace1 - 2Ipswich
Hull City0 - 0Watford
Norwich2 - 0Swansea
Preston1 - 0Portsmouth
QPR2 - 0Scunthorpe
Reading1 - 1N Forest
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||19||39|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|