Earnshaw scored 36 goals last season
A Robert Earnshaw hat-trick fired Cardiff into the second round of the Carling
Cup with a comfortable win over Leyton Orient at Ninian Park.
Earnshaw's double strike in the space of a minute before half-time effectively
settled the match, but came after a dismal first period which had seen few real
opportunities for either side.
But the Wales international drove home Gareth Whalley's pass from the edge of the box in the 39th minute and doubled City's advantage almost instantly with another clinical strike.
Mark Bonner created space for Earnshaw outside the area and the forward's shot flew past the outstretched hand of Orient goalkeeper Lee Harrison.
Harrison had earlier kept his side level with a brilliant parry to deny Andy
Campbell, whose 18th-minute strike was heading for the corner of the net.
However, with 55 minutes gone Harrison was beaten again when another good finish from Earnshaw completed his hat-trick and the next attack saw Campbell add a fourth as Orient crumbled.
The visitors did pull a goal back when substitute Jabo Ibehre scored from
close range but it was never going to be more than a consolation.
Cardiff: Margetson, Vidmar, Collins, Gabbidon, Barker, Whalley,
Maxwell, Bonner, Bowen, Earnshaw, Campbell. Subs: Robinson,
Kavanagh, Boland, Fleetwood, Alexander.
Leyton Orient: Harrison, Hunt, Miller, Billy Jones, Lockwood,
Newey, Brazier, Ebdon, Toner, Alexander, Purser. Subs: Morris,
Tate, Harnwell, Ibehre, Stephens.
Referee: Mark Warren (W Midlands)