Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands blasted Newcastle six points clear at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship table as fourth-placed Cardiff were routed 5-1 on Tyneside.

Carroll plundered a double inside a devastating opening 15 minutes and in between, was instrumental in defender Gabor Gyepes putting through his own goal as the home side wrapped up the points barely before they had got their second wind.

Even Stephen McPhail was unable to stem the tide as Cardiff wilted in the face of a storm and substitute Lovenkrands claim a brace of his own as Chris Hughton's men extended their unbeaten league run to 15 games.

Carroll struck the first blow with just three minutes gone after Gyepes had conceded a third-minute corner as Wayne Routledge broke through. Danny Guthrie's cross was headed back across goal by Fitz Hall and flicked on by Kevin Nolan for Carroll to stab home from close range.

The 21-year-old striker should have scored again three minutes later when he smashed a left-foot shot against the foot of the post, but the unfortunate Gyepes could only help the rebound into his own net.

Carroll claimed his second of the game when he met Danny Simpson's inch-perfect cross with an unstoppable header.

Bluebirds full-back Adam Matthews drifted a 20th-minute cross on to the angle of bar and post with keeper Steve Harper once again beaten, but it was not Cardiff's night.

The second half was never likely to start as explosively as the first, although Harper had to be on his toes to turn over Michael Chopra's 51st-minute shot after it looped up off Hall.

Dave Jones' men were enjoying plenty of possession, but were rarely able to trouble Hughton's rearguard, and they were made to pay with 21 minutes remaining when Wayne Routledge fed Lovenkrands and he finished with aplomb.

Carroll was denied a hat-trick by Gyepes' 80th-minute goal-line clearance, but Lovenkrands made it 5-0 with a fine finish two minutes later - with substitute Aaron Wildig's late strike scant consolation for the demoralised visitors.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Danny Guthrie
#Wayne Routledge
#Gabor Gyepes
#Kevin Nolan
#Aaron Wildig
#Championship
#Steve Harper
#Cardiff City
#Adam Matthews
#Michael Chopra
#Stephen McPhail
#Fitz Hall
#Peter Lovenkrands
#Danny Simpson
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