Cardiff City 0 Newcastle United 2: Huge travelling support enjoys record-breaking win

Ayoze Perez, left, and Greg Halford

Ayoze Perez, left, and Greg Halford

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Newcastle United tonight claimed a club-record 14th away win of the season in front of a huge travelling support in South Wales.

Rafa Benitez's second-placed side beat Cardiff City 2-0 to move to within a point of Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

Newcastle fans at the Cardiff City Stadium

Newcastle fans at the Cardiff City Stadium

And a week which started with promotion and also featured a raid from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs ended on a high.

Christian Atsu and Isaac Hayden were on target for a much-changed Newcastle side at the Cardiff City Stadium, where United were backed by more than 4,200 fans.

Benitez, without a clutch of key players including captain Jamaal Lascelles and banned winger Matt Ritchie, made five changes to his starting XI and left Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench.

After a largely uneventful first half, Newcastle took control of the game after the break.

Atsu opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a superb free-kick after being bundled over just outside the box, and Hayden netted with a left-footed effort struck from outside the box 10 minutes later.

Shelvey, booed by Cardiff fans for his affiliation with rivals Swansea City, was sent on in the second half along with Mitrovic.

But they couldn't conjure up a third goal.

Newcastle's title hopes now depend on Brighton slipping up against Bristol City at the Amex Stadium tomorrow.

CARDIFF CITY: McGregor, Bennett, Morrisson, Manga, Richards, Whittingham (Pilkington, 64), Halford (Ralls, 64), Gunnarsson, Harris (Noone, 24), Zohore, Hoilett. Subs not used: Murphy, Peltier, Connolly, Lambert.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Mbemba, Clark, Dummett; Hayden, Colback (Shelvey, 74); Atsu, Diame, Perez (Sterry, 90); Murphy (Mitrovic, 65). Subs not used: Darlow, Haidara, Lazaar, Gouffran.

Goals: Atsu 55, Hayden 65

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)