Jay Bothroyd

Cardiff striker Bothroyd scored his 19th goal of the season

Cardiff secured a comfortable victory over 10-man Portsmouth to return to second spot in the Championship and maintain their promotion push.

Seyi Olofinjana gave the Bluebirds an early lead before Pompey's Ricardo Rocha was sent off.

Jay Bothroyd added a second on the stroke of half-time before a third from Peter Whittingham in the second half.

City's fourth consecutive victory in the Championship sees them reclaim an automatic promotion spot.

Craig Bellamy was the star man for the Bluebirds, setting up two of their three goals in a comfortable victory.

The home side started in confident fashion and went ahead after six minutes as Olofinjana scored his sixth league goal of the season.

Jones hails 'hard-earned' victory

The Nigerian rose to head home Craig Bellamy's inviting cross from the right, which had deceived the keeper Jamie Ashdown.

Portsmouth were reduced to 10 men on 18 minutes with Ricardo Rocha receiving a red card following an off the ball incident with Jay Bothroyd.

It was the second time in three games that the Portugese defender had been sent off and he left the field with a cut above his eye.

From the resultant free-kick Peter Whittingham went close to doubling Cardiff's advantage but he fired over the crossbar.

Cardiff were by now in dominant mood and two minutes later Bothroyd headed wide from another excellent cross by Bellamy.

Portsmouth were offering little at the other end of the field and a header from deep inside the penalty area by David Nugent went harmlessly over the crossbar.

Cardiff extended their lead during first-half stoppage time with England striker Bothroyd scoring his 19th goal of the season.

The Portsmouth defence failed to clear Whittingham's corner and Bothroyd completed the simplest of tasks with a side-foot from two yards.

Cardiff continued to control the game after the interval although Portsmouth threatened on the counter attack.

Chances were few and far between although Bothroyd saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Aaron Mokoena.

The Bluebirds scored a third in the 73rd minute when Bellamy showed great vision to find Whittingham, who slotted home his 10th goal of the season.

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