Shola Ameobi

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Cardiff City 4 (Gunnarsson 16, 26, Ralls 20, Velikonja 76)
Newcastle United 1 (Ameobi pen 49)

If Newcastle United needed a wake-up call ahead of their first Barclays Premier League fixture of the season against Tottenham in seven days time, it came here at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Until this humbling defeat, the Magpies had suffered just one loss, won the Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana and thrashed Hartlepool in their last outing. But this was certainly proof that there is still work to be done.

Alan Pardew left Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa at home but would still have expected better than seeing his side 3-0 down inside half an hour. Not much could be done about Aron Gunnarsson's opener, a stunning volley from a great Peter Whittingham pass, but Joe Ralls' second was largely due to poor defending - although referee Mark Whitby played a part as he obstructed Danny Simpson in the build-up.

Gunnarsson got another before the break and although Shola Ameobi pulled one back from the penalty spot soon after the second half had kicked off, Etien Velikonja added a fourth for the hosts, who got their new red kit off to a winning start.

The brightest aspect for Newcastle was the debut of 17-year-old Adam Campbell, whose cameo appearance offered plenty of hope for the future, but although he'll always remember this day it was otherwise one to forget for the Magpies.


90+2mins: Lovely stuff again from Campbell, who produces a deft turn and then a sublime pass for Vuckic who becomes the second player to be thwarted by the onrushing Lewis in the space of five minutes. So in less than ten minutes on the pitch, Campbell could have set up two goals and won a penalty - not a bad introduction to life in the first-team and he can hold his head high. That's the last incident of the afternoon as the whistle blows, and it finishes 4-1 to Cardiff.

90mins: There will be two minutes of added time.

89mins: Another key moment involving Campbell, who races onto a pass from Vuckic and seems to be tripped in the box by Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson. Having already given United one spot-kick, though, referee Whitby decides against giving a second but Campbell has really sparked some life into Newcastle in these last few minutes.

87mins: Campbell gets involved straight away with a lovely through ball for Amalfitano to race onto, and the Frenchman is only denied by a smothering block from Lewis who was quickly off his line. Then Campbell wins a corner, which is taken by Gutierrez and headed over by Perch. Today's attendance has been given as 9,682.

84mins: A moment Adam Campbell will never forget - he's on for his senior bow in place of Gabriel Obertan. It's a proud day for him and, having seen his first under-18s goal, Reserve team debut and first second-string goal, I'm pleased to be able to say I was there for another milestone in the young career of the hugely promising striker.

83mins: Marshall is now off, making way for ex-Peterborough keeper Joe Lewis who takes his place between the sticks. Meanwhile Steve Stone has just called Adam Campbell over - it looks like the 17-year-old is going to make his first-team debut soon.

81mins: Dan Gosling and Shola Ameobi both have chances, but they go begging. First, Amalfitano got the ball in from the left got Gosling, whose low strike hit the bottom of the post, and the rebound eventually came to Ameobi whose shot on the turn was gathered by Marshall.

76mins - CARDIFF GOAL (4-1): And now it's 4-1, with a long ball catching United cold. The Bluebirds went from back to front in route one style and Etien Velikonja, the pacy Slovenian striker, managed to beat Williamson to the punch before sliding past Krul, who is once again helpless. Any hopes of a Newcastle comeback are now surely over thanks to the simplest of goals.

75mins: Don Cowie fires in a shot from 25 yards which Krul stretches to tip around the post. After losing a bit of momentum following Ameobi's penalty, the home side are now starting to impose themselves on the game once again.

73mins: Another Cardiff change as silver-haired right-back Kevin McNaughton comes off for Darcy Blake.

71mins: Romain Amalfitano is on for Cheick Tiote, with the Ivorian enforcer probably taken off as a precaution to prevent any frustrations with the scoreline from boiling over. Meanwhile, Robert Earnshaw replaces Joe Ralls for Cardiff.

63mins: Steven Taylor is given a rest with Dan Gosling coming on in his place in Newcastle's fourth change of the afternoon. James Perch will drop back into a centre-back role.

62mins: The Magpies have just survived two penalty appeals - the first a half-hearted cry after a Gutierrez challenge, the second seemingly nailed on after Tiote tripped Kiss - and then almost scored a second. Obertan raced upfield and worked the ball to Gutierrez, whose thumping strike flew just wide with Marshall beaten all ends up.

61mins: Despite virtually no backlift, Kiss gets in a great shot which Krul does well to tip over the bar. At the moment, Newcastle are still in this game but the match was nearly sealed with a kiss.

56mins: After Vuckic's corner was half-cleared, Davide Santon had a go from 30 yards and his effort wasn't far away. It was just too high from the Italian, though, with Marshall at full stretch, and so there's no first Newcastle goal for the full-back.

49mins (NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-3): Shola Ameobi has pulled one back from the spot four minutes into the second half. Sub Vuckic's first action was to dig out a cross from the right-hand side of the box and Gutierrez was shoved as he went to meet it. Referee Whitby pointed to the spot and Ameobi, as he usually does, made no mistake from 12 yards. Could that spark some kind of revival from the Magpies?

46mins: Alan Pardew has sent his players out early for the second half and there are two changes for Newcastle at the break - Mike Williamson and Haris Vuckic are on in place of Fabricio Coloccini and Sylvain Marveaux. The home side also make a pair of substitutions, with two-goal Gunnarsson off for Don Cowie and Jordon Mutch replaced by Filip Kiss.


45+1mins: The Magpies trail 3-0 at the break and can't have too many complaints about the scoreline. They have improved since the third goal went in but Alan Pardew will demand that they put in a better showing during the second half with the season opener against Tottenham just a week away.

45mins: There will be just the one minute of added time at the end of this first period.

42mins: Tiote picks Steven Taylor out at the far post with a searching crossfield pass and the defender cleverly backs away from his marker and unleashes a volley which flies off target. A goal before half-time would at least give United something to build on.

39mins: Newcastle have stepped it up since going three down and Gutierrez gets in a decent cross from the left which Ameobi dives to head goalwards, but his effort goes wide. It was a difficult chance but better stuff from the Magpies, at least.

36mins: Heidar Helgusson is off with a head injury, meaning Etien Velikonja - an international team-mate of United's Haris Vuckic - is on in his place for what is a home debut for the Slovenian.

33mins: Tiote tries his luck from 25 yards out but it's comfortable for Marshall, who gathers low down to his right. And then straight from the goal kick, United gain possession and Ameobi tricks his way into the box with a great piece of skill to go one-on-one with the keeper - only to send his low, right-footed effort just the wrong side of the post as everyone in the ground waited for the net to bulge.

28mins: James Perch is on for Ryan Taylor in an effort to shore things up. Taylor has certainly not been the worst player on the pitch but something needed to be done and it's the Merseysider who is sacrified.

26mins: CARDIFF GOAL (3-0): This is too easy for Cardiff and those Newcastle fans in the far corner have every reason to be unhappy with their team's performance so far in this final fixture ahead of the new season. Gunnarsson is the man on target again, and he was afforded far too much time and space 12 yards from goal as a low cross came in from the left. It's only a warm-up match, of course, but Alan Pardew will certainly not be pleased and looks like he's already considering making changes.

24mins: The Welshmen look likely to score every time they come forward and nearly made it three a couple of minutes ago when Craig Conway miskicked in front of goal. Then Mutch whipped in a great low cross which just missed everyone in the box.

20mins - CARDIFF GOAL (2-0): The hosts have doubled their lead and it's a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous. Mutch ran forward from midfield and referee Whitby got in Danny Simpson's way as he tried to make a tackle, allowing the ex-Birmingham man to progress with the official and Simpson left in his wake and slide a clever ball to Joe Ralls on the left-hand side of the area. It was a great opportunity and one which the Cardiff man took with aplomb, slotting past Krul to give Newcastle a real mountain to climb in the Welsh valleys.

16mins - CARDIFF GOAL (1-0): United go behind to a wonderful volley from Gunnarsson, who had already seen one shot cleared off the line inside the opening five minutes. Peter Whittingham picked him out with a great, raking pass from the centre circle and the Icelandic midfielder watched it come over his shoulder and sent a powerful 16-yard striker flying into the net. The Magpies are behind for only the second time this summer and what a strike it was.

8mins: Cheick Tiote robs Jordon Mutch, Cardiff's summer signing from Birmingham, 40 yards from goal with a great standing tackle and feeds Gutierrez, who goes for a curler from 25 yards out. David Marshall is able to gather it reasonable easily as the ball threatens to creep inside the post, but it's a first effort on target from the Magpies.

4mins: After the ball falls in the box to Aron Gunnarsson following a bit of a scramble, the Cardiff midfielder takes a swipe at it and sends an effort goalwards only for Ryan Taylor to clear off the line. He was in the right place at the right time, with Tim Krul beaten.

3mins: Gabriel Obertan goes on a strong run down the left, gets into the box and goes down under a strong challenge. The Frenchman - and Alan Pardew - appeal for a penalty but referee Mark Whitby isn't interested and instead gives Newcastle a corner, which is cleared.

1min: The hosts are playing in their new controversial red home shirts for the first time today, while Newcastle are in their rather more familiar colours of black and white, and we're underway now at the Cardiff City Stadium. After a pre-match huddle, it's the Welshmen who took kick-off and are attacking towards the Family Stand behind the goal in this first half.

Cardiff City (4-5-1): David Marshall (Joe Lewis 83), Kevin McNaughton (Darcy Blake 73), Andrew Taylor, Mark Hudson (c), Ben Turner; Peter Whittingham, Craig Conway, Joe Ralls (Robert Earnshaw 71), Jordon Mutch (Filip Kiss 46), Aron Gunnarsson (Don Cowie 46); Heidar Helguson (Etien Velikonja 33)

Subs not used: Ben Nugent, Tommy O'Sullivan

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini (c) (Mike Williamson 46), Steven Taylor (Dan Gosling 63), Davide Santon; Ryan Taylor (James Perch 28), Cheick Tiote (Romain Amalfitano 71), Sylvain Marveaux (Haris Vuckic 46), Jonas Gutierrez; Gabriel Obertan (Adam Campbell 84); Shola Ameobi

Sub not used: Steve Harper

Referee: Mark Whitby

Attendance: 9,682