Luke Freeman and Gabriel Osho's second-half strikes secured victory for Luton Town away at Cardiff to give manager Nathan Jones more success on Welsh soil.
Both sides had chances in an evenly-fought first half, Sheyi Ojo and Elijah Adebayo wasting the best opportunities before the break.
It did not take long for the deadlock to be broken after half-time. Substitute Fred Onyedinma burst into the Cardiff box before crossing to Freeman whose first-time effort went through a crowd of bodies on its way in.
It was another substitute, Osho, who added Luton's second from close range after a perfect swinging free-kick from James Bree that one of a handful of players could have scored from.
The Bluebirds were handed a lifeline when one of their own substitutes, Romaine Sawyers, fired a long-range effort home with six minutes remaining.
But it was too little, too late for Cardiff, and Luton have now taken six points back across the Severn Bridge this season, as Wales once again proved a happy hunting ground for Rhondda-born Jones.
Luton started the game stronger, Jordan Clark and Carlton Morris both having long-range efforts blocked by Andy Rinomhota.
Cardiff grew into the contest after 10 minutes, first having a penalty appeal for handball turned down before Max Watters' low, driven effort was pushed around the post by Ethan Horvath.
The Bluebirds' best chance of the first half fell to winger Ojo.
A low cross from the left from Everton loanee Niels Nkounkou popped into the air for Rinomhota to head the ball through to Ojo, whose outstretched leg could only turn the ball over the bar.
The Hatters were almost gifted an opener when Ryan Wintle's under-hit back pass was latched onto by Adebayo, but Ryan Allsop was quick off his line to block the effort.
Following Allsop's block, Mahlon Romeo released Rinomhota racing away who broke at pace and combined well with Mark Harris and Joe Ralls, before the ball eventually fell to Ojo who curled his effort inches wide of the left upright.
Luton finished the first half on top, Adebayo came within inches of reaching Morris' cross across the face of goal, before also missing Amari'i Bell's delivery while at full stretch.
Jones brought Onyedinma on for Reece Burke at half-time and that switch had an immediate impact.
The former Millwall midfielder expertly controlled a long diagonal ball before racing into the Cardiff box and crossing for Freeman, whose first-time effort gave Allsop no chance.
Cardiff looked the respond but almost handed Luton a second as they tried to play out from the back.
Luton pressed high and dispossessed Romeo on the edge of the Cardiff area and found Morris, whose curling effort went a whisker wide of the post.
The Hatters had their second goal minutes later though, as Bree's free-kick from the right only needed a touch from one of four or five Luton players - Osho obliging at the far post.
Cardiff boss Steve Morison brought on Rubin Colwill, Sawyers and Jaden Philogene to try and spark a comeback but having played more than 400 minutes of football without scoring, one seemed unlikely.
Philogene had an effort from near the penalty spot deflected over the bar by Tom Lockyer, who was praised emphatically by Horvath for the block.
Nkounkou's driving run from left-back, after a nice one-two with Philogene, almost broke for him but Horvath got down bravely to smother the ball - and take a knee to the chest for his efforts.
But just as hope looked to be fading for Cardiff, Sawyers scored his second of the season from long range, his low effort from 25 yards out finding its way past Horvath into the bottom corner.
Cardiff were almost level minutes later when a deflected cross from Colwill bounced over the Luton defence to Philogene, but with his back to goal his attempted header looped over the bar.
Former Bluebirds striker Cameron Jerome had the chance to wrap up the points for Luton, but took too much time on the ball when through one-on-one, and Nkounkou got back to slide in and deny him.
Luton saw out the four minutes of stoppage time comfortably, with the Cardiff fans getting increasing frustrated by a perceived lack of urgency on the field.
The Hatters move up to ninth with their second win of the Championship season, on their 2,000th away game in the Football League, while Cardiff drop to 16th.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Romeo, Ng, Kipré, Nkounkou, Wintle, Ralls (Colwill 59’) (C), Rinomhota (Sawyers 70’), Harris, Ojo, Watters (Philogene 59’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Simpson, Whyte, Bagan.
Luton Town: Horvath, Bree, Burke (Onyedinma 45’), Lockyer, Potts (C), Bell, Campbell (Berry 86’), Clark, Freeman (Osho 56’), Morris (Jerome 68’), Adebayo (Woodrow 86’). Subs not used: Macey, Lansbury.