After a nail biting second half an Owen headed goal from a pinpoint Geremi free kick won the game from Newcastle and the huge sigh of relief, from the 50,000 crowd, could be heard as far away as Ashington – so we are told by some of our relatives there. 😀
We’ve given the team a lot of heat in the last few weeks because of their lack of effort and guts but we have to give the lads great credit today, because they were easily the better side, and at times during the game their passing was great to watch.
It was a vitally important game but the lads produced when it mattered and we’ve also noticed recently how well the team is starting to play.
While we’re not out of the relegation mess yet this is a massive 3 points, make no mistake about that.
Keegan, in his usual great man management skills was able to get David Edgar, Oba Martins and Alan Smith on the field before the end of the game.
There will be celebrations tonight in Newcastle and we wonder where owner Mike Ashley and Chairman Chris Mort will be celebrating, because we know they will.
We are not out of the woods yet – but this put us 9 points ahead of Fulham and just 7 games to go.
When Oba was taken off he looked a lot happier and got a great ovation from the St. James’ Park faithful. The three up front of Viduka, Owen and Martins again showed promise, although we lacked width and were too predictable at times. When Milner comes back we think Kevin may goto a 4-4-2 formation again.
And captain Michael Owen again came up with a vital goal and now goes ahead of Oba Martins on 8 goals to Oba’s 7.
Mark Viduka scored a class goal after just 8 minutes which sent Newcastle on their way, and with any luck at all we would have at least another couple of goals in that first half.
Mark is so good we just have to find a way og keeping him fit, but he played well and there was not lack of spirit today in the Newcastle side, where many players had good games.
If the truth be told, Fulham didn’t really have a chance and Steve Harper had his easiest game for a long time.
But Newcastle should have had this game wrapped up way before the end and could have easily been three goals ahead at the half.
Newcastle got off to the start they wanted when Mark Viduka scored a wonderful individual goal after just 8 minutes.
Mark got the ball on his right foot on the edge of the penalty area and then turned and hit a beautiful low shot into the corner, with his left foot, past the despairing dive of Kasey Keller. What a goal!
Then Martins almost scored a great goal with his right foot when he was free down the left with a couple of Fulham players with him. He got towards the goal edge of the box and then hit a terrific low drive with his right foot that Keller just got his left hand to, and brilliantly turned around the post.
Faye almost put the ball home, and there were cries for an own goal, but Newcastle were creating chances galore, but couldnâ€™t put the ball in the net.
Owen had a couple of chances before his goal and should have scored when he had a free header from just eight yards out but he somehow headed the ball straight at Keller. That should have been 2-0.
Newcastle also scored after 66 minutes when Geremi banged the ball home, but Viduka was adjudged to be offside, which he was.
Fulham have gone 31 games since their last away win â€“ and yes – that was at Newcastle many moons ago.
This is also the first double of the season, since we beat Fulham at Craven Cottage in December.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steven Taylor, Geremi, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Michael Owen (c), Mark Viduka, Oba Martins
Subs: Fraser Forster, David Edgar, Alan Smith, Andy Carroll, Charles Nâ€™Zogbia
Fulham: Kasey Keller, Paul Konchesky, Paul Stalteri, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Leon Andreason, Jimmy Bullard, Danny Murphy, Simon Davies, Brian McBride (c), Eddie Johnson
Subs: Tony Warner, Moritz Volz, Carlos Bocanegra, David Healy, Clint Dempsey
Referee: Alan Wiley