Newcastle United 3 Brentford 1: Shelvey stars as Benitez's side move up to SECOND place in Championship

Ciaran Clark

Ciaran Clark

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Newcastle United moved up to second in the Championship with a 3-1 win over Brentford.

Dwight Gayle struck twice, and Ciaran Clark also netted, in front of a huge 51,885 crowd at St James's Park.

The strikes took Gayle's goal tally for the season to nine.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey – who took the captain's armband after the second-half withdrawal of club skipper Jamaal Lascelles – created all three United goals.

READ MORE: Jonjo Shelvey feels he has grown up at Newcastle – and lost his ‘childish’ streak

The result saw Rafa Benitez's side climb above Huddersfield Town, who take on Sheffield Wednesday at home tomorrow.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Norwich City now lead the division by one point after beating Rotherham United 3-1 at Carrow Road.

Fourth-placed Brighton and Hove Albion were held to a 2-2 home draw by Preston North End.

Newcastle, without the sick Matt Ritchie, took the lead in the 11th minute when Clark stopped to head a Shelvey cross past goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. It was the defender's first goal on home turf following his summer move from Aston Villa.

It was 2-0 five minutes later. Shelvey found Gayle in the box, and the striker took two touches before beating Bentley with a low shot.

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow made a fine save to deny Nico Yennaris later in a half which was dominated by United, who extended their lead after the break.

Shelvey broke down the left in the 49th minute and delivered a low cross for Gayle, who tapped it in to score his eighth goal of the season.

Scott Hogan pulled a goal back for Brenford from a corner two minutes later.

But there was to be no dramatic comeback for Dean Smith's side, who had been confident ahead of the game.

Benitez sent on Grant Hanley, DeAndre Yedlin and Achraf Lazaar in the second half, leaving Aleksandar Mitrovic – who had scored two goals for Serbia during the international break – an unused substitute.

United are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Barnsley at Oakwell.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles (Hanley, 60), Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Colback; Atsu (Yedlin, 72), Perez, Gouffran (Lazaar, 84); Gayle. Subs not used: Sels, Hayden, Diame, Mitrovic.

BRENTFORD: Bentley, Colin, Dean, Egan, Bjelland (Barbet, 75), Woods, Yennaris (McCormack, 78), Clarke, MacLeod (Kaikai, 64), Sawyers, Hogan. Subs not used: Bonham, Saunders, McEachran, Kerschbaumer.

Goals: Clark 11, Gayle 16, 49, Hogan 51

Bookings: Dean 24, Gouffran 26, Colback 38, Atsu 42, Sawyers 72, Woods 73

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 51,885

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