Neil Redfearn's side suffer 3-1 loss in South Wales...
CARDIFF 3 (Manga 61, Macheda 67, Jones 83), UNITED 1 (Mowatt 77)
Cardiff: Marshall, Brayford, Fabio, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Noone, Pilkington (Ralls 45), Le Fondre (Ravel Morrison 80), Macheda (Jones 75). Subs. Moore, Gabbidon, Connolly, Maynard.
United: Silvestri, Berardi (Byram 85), Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Sloth 75), Cook, Mowatt, Doukara, Antenucci, Morison (Dawson 69). Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Tonge, Montenegro.
Referee: A Woolmer
Booked: Ralls, Jones (Cardiff), Pearce, Berardi, Mowatt (United)
Att: 24,220 (2,148 United)
Neil Redfearn was confirmed as the club's new head coach on a full-time basis ahead off kick-off in South Wales and he made one change from the 2-1 defeat to Wolves as Souleymane Doukara returned from suspension to replace Adryan, who missed out with injury. Billy Sharp and Rodolph Austin also remained sidelined so there was a place among the substitutes for Chris Dawson.
The hosts were seeing more of the ball in the opening exchanges and their first sight of goal came on the 11th minute as Marco Silvestri was forced low down to his left to beat away Peter Whittingham's goal-bound free-kick.
United were soaking up a bit of early pressure but Steve Morison did threaten after 20 minutes, heading Stephen Warnock's left-wing cross over the bar after a well-worked move from Redfearn's side.
Craig Noone then headed over Whittingham's inviting corner at the back post, while United looked at their most dangerous on the break with Mirco Antenucci firing high and wide before Doukara drilled a low effort into David Marshall's arms.
Giuseppe Bellusci was forced into action at the opposite end, standing firm inside the area to deny Federico Macheda's strike before Adam Le Fondre glanced a Whittingham free-kick inches wide of Silvestri's far post.
The home fans thought they had made a breakthrough when Jason Pearce turned a low Anthony Pilkington cross into the side-netting on the stroke of half-time, but proceedings remained goalless at the break.
The second half started in a lively manor as Whittingham smashed a volley high and into the crowd behind Silvestri's goal after a clearance had fallen into his path, while Marshall clutched onto Bellusci's dipping free-kick from 30 yards out.
United were being forced to defend in numbers and Cardiff eventually opened the scoring on the hour mark as a header back across goal found Bruno Ecuele Manga waiting at the back post to nod beyond Silvestri.
There was then a major hint of fortune as the hosts doubled their lead just six minutes later. Driving forward, Macheda let fly and saw his strike cannon off the legs of Pearce and into Silvestri's top corner, with the United keeper flying across his line.
Redfearn was prompted into his first change of the afternoon as 20-year-old Dawson was introduced in place of Morison for his first United appearance since April last year.
The diminutive midfielder was soon involved in the action as he looked to make an impression, but it was fellow academy graduate Alex Mowatt who got Redfearn's men back in the game, striding into the area after being found by Doukara to beat Marshall with a composed finish.
United were buoyed as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but Cardiff broke up-field to seal the three points as second-half substitute Kenwyne Jones capitalised on a defensive mix-up to slot into an empty net.
Jones then came inches away from a fourth with a towering header in the first of four minutes stoppage time as United were condemned to defeat in the Welsh capital.