NEWPORT County AFC suffered a nightmare afternoon at Cambridge United as their recent great run of results came to a shuddering halt with a crushing 4-0 defeat.

County went into the game on a run of seven wins from their last eight games in League Two and in third place in the table.

And the hope was that Cambridge would be distracted by their impending FA Cup clash with Manchester United.

But the hosts were in fact in inspired form and should have led 3-0 after only 20 minutes.

Cameron McGeehan, making his debut on loan from Norwich City, was the star of the show.

The 19-year-old hit the bar after five minutes and gave his new side a deserved lead after 12, driving his shot confidently into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Sullay Kaikai, on loan from Crystal Palace, was also prominent.

He dragged one glorious chance wide from close range, hit the corner flag with his second effort and hammered his third into the corner of Joe Day’s net from 20 yards out on 43 minutes.

It was the least that Richard Money’s men deserved for their superb high energy display.

County were a shadow of the side that has soared up the League Two table in recent months.

They looked shaky at the back with McGeehan, Kaikai and Ryan Donaldson causing chaos with their intelligent runs into the box.

Wing-backs Andy Sandell and Ryan Jackson had little joy down the flanks and in midfield Lee Minshull, Mark Byrne and Adam Chapman were overwhelmed by the hosts five across the middle.

Manager Justin Edinburgh had made one change from last week’s 1-0 win over Portsmouth, recalling Chris Zebroski in place of Shaun Jeffers up front.

And both Zebroski and Aaron O’Connor were booked in the first 45 minutes as frustration got the better of them.

O’Connor set his strike partner with a neat cut back early on but Zebroski failed to control the ball and Jackson fired wide.

It wasn’t until the last minute of the half that the visitors threatened again as Byrne headed just wide from Jackson’s cross.

The second half saw no improvement for Edinburgh’s men as they created little to get the 284 travelling fans on their feet.

And, after taking a short breather, Cambridge resumed control of the game.

McGeehan side footed home his second of the match on 64 minutes from a Ryan Donaldson cross.

Edinburgh threw on Yan Klukowski and Joe Parker in place of Lee Minshull and Andy Sandell but they failed to turn the tide.

Liam Hughes grabbed the fourth on 79 minutes as his header hit the post and he hammered in the rebound from close range.

County could hardly argue that the margin of victory flattered Cambridge on a day when they simply never got going.

Cambridge: Dunn; Tait, Coulson, Nelson, Taylor; Donaldson (Dunk, 67), Champion, McGeehan, Hughes, Kaikai (Chiedozie, 80); Elliott (Bird, 71)

Subs not used: Norris, Miller, Hunt, Simpson

Booked: Chiedozie

County: Day; Jackson, Yakubu, Jones, Poole, Sandell (Parker, 64); Chapman (Porter, 78), Byrne, Minshull (Klukowski, 61); Zebroski, O’Connor

Subs not used: Stephens, Feely, Jeffers, Flynn

Booked: Jackson, O'Connor, Zebroski

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 6,076 (284 County)