CARDIFF 0, UNITED 2 (Wood pen 62, Hernandez 83)
Cardiff team: Amos, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly (Guonongbe 84), Richards, Gunnarsson, Ralls (Harris 70), Noone, Whittingham, Pilkington (Immers 89), Lambert. Subs: Wilson, Ecuele Manga, John, Huws.
United team: Green, Ayling, Jansson, Bartley, Taylor, Vieira, O'Kane, Hernandez (Phillips 89), Dallas (Roofe 71), Sacko, Wood (Antonsson 90+1). Subs: Silvestri, Coyle, Cooper, Mowatt.
Referee: Graham Scott
Booked: Sacko, Ayling, Dallas (United)
A Chris Wood penalty and a superb strike from Pablo Hernandez – both coming in the second half – saw United make it back-to-back victories with a 2-0 win away to Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.
Wood calmly converted a 62-minute penalty to open the scoring in South Wales after defender Pontus Jansson was shoved over inside the area as a corner was floated in, before Pablo Hernandez wrapped things up with a sublime first goal for the club with seven minutes remaining.
Garry Monk was without captain Liam Bridcutt, who missed out with injury, but the result saw his side end a positive week with a result that saw them climb into mid-table.
The United defence dealt with some early pressure from the hosts before Stuart Dallas came inches away from opening the scoring on 12 minutes, his curling cross just evading the far post as it flew through the penalty area.
Cardiff had the better of the chances during the opening exchanges, though, as Sean Morrison’s back-post header from a corner clipped the woodwork before Green somehow clawed away.
At the opposite end, Dallas forced a comfortable low save out of Ben Amos before Hernandez had the Bluebirds ‘keeper at full-stretch to turn behind his powerful strike after seizing upon a loose ball on the edge of the area.
United’s best opening came after 32 minutes following a swift breakaway from Hadi Sacko. The winger’s smart backheel found Hernandez, who teed up the arriving Wood in space, only for his first-time effort to be held by Amos.
Cardiff were then denied by the post for a second time on the stroke of half-time, this time Aron Gunnarsson striking the woodwork from the edge of the area.
Jansson, who was once again imperious at the heart of defence, made an important block from Rickie Lambert’s goal-bound volley during the early stages of the second half, before Wood blazed over from a tight angle for United after being slotted into the area by Eunan O’Kane.
Wood was to be on target just after the hour mark, though, taking his tally to five for the season with a composed penalty into the bottom corner which sent Amos the wrong way after referee Graham Scott had spotted a push on Jansson.
Cardiff pushed for a quick equaliser but Green was on hand to palm away Morrison’s header, before Matthew Connolly pulled off an impeccably-timed sliding challenge to sweep the ball from the feet of Wood, who looked to race through on goal.
Substitute Kemar Roofe, a replacement for Dallas, shot over with a speculative effort from range before Hernandez and Sacko were both denied by Amos as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
But there was nothing the Cardiff stopper could do to keep out Hernandez’s strike on 83 minutes, remaining rooted to the spot as the Spaniard fired into the top corner after skipping away from several blue shirts to seal the three points.