Bristol City 0 Newcastle United 1: Gayle strike lifts club into top half of Championship

Ashton Gate

Ashton Gate

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Dwight Gayle fired Newcastle United to a second successive Championship win at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Gayle's first-half goal gave Rafa Benitez's side a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

The result lifted United up to seventh place in the league, while Gayle took his goal tally to four from as many games with his strike.

But Lee Johnson's City players left the pitch wondering just how they hadn't scored at least one goal of their own, having dominated the match.

Newcastle had to defend deep, and in numbers, for long spells in front of the rebuilt Ashton Gate's biggest crowd in 26 years.

United manager Benitez made three changes – he recalled Jamaal Lascelles, Jack Colback and Mohamed Diame to his starting XI – at a sodden Ashton Gate.

Paul Dummett – who had captained the team in midweek – dropped down to the bench, while Daryl Janmaat was not in the squad.

After a frenetic opening, the game settled down, though Isaac Hayden headed wide from a Matt Ritchie corner.

Newcastle's breakthrough came in the 20th minute when Diame delivered a deft ball from the right for Gayle to run on to.

Gaye took a touch before shooting a low shot past Richard O'Donnell in front of United's 2,501 travelling fans.

An edgy United found themselves under pressure for the rest of the half, and City continued to press for an equaliser after the break.

Newcastle, however, were resolute when they had to be, and Benitez's side kept their slender lead thanks to a series of well-timed blocks and tackles.

They came through a nervous last 10 minutes – and another five minutes of added time – to take another three points and climb into the top half of the table.

BRISTOL CITY: O'Donnell, Flint, O'Neil, Abraham (Wilbraham71), Tomlin, Goldbourne (O'Dowda, 64), Reid, Freeman, Kodjia, Magnusson, Matthews (Little, 21). Subs not used: O'Leary, Williams, Brownhill, Pack.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Sels; Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Clark; Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey, 89), Colback, Gouffran; Diame (Perez, 63); Gayle (Aarons, 90). Subs not used: Darlow, Sterry, Dummett, Hanley.

Goal: Gayle 20

Bookings: Freeman 33, Little 56

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)

Attendance: 22,512 (2,501 Newcastle)