Newcastle got an unlikely win today against Fulham 2-1 at St. James’ Park, after going two goals up after 65 minutes, and both were opportunist goals from Leon Best.
But Newcastle had to thank goalkeeper Tim Krul who made three fantastic saves for Newcastle in the second half from Steve Sidwell, Chris Baird and Danny Murphy, and the Dutchman was in inspired form once again for the Magpies.
The game kicked off and it was Fulham who had the early possession of the ball as they passed it around nicely, indicative of a Martin Jol coached side.
Newcastle had difficulty getting the ball early in the game, and when they did get the ball they’d make 6 passes and be in the same place from where they started, there was no thrust to the Newcastle passing at all.
Fulham looked a good side, but the Newcastle defense were up to the challenge with Fab Coloccini and Steven Taylor looking solid once again at the back for Newcastle.
Newcastle were always second best in the first half, but in the three minutes of added time Obertan was showing more on the right wing, and he made a good run and pulled the ball back to Tiote, who then crossed the ball first time from the right wing into the penalty box.
Jonas Gutierrez got in a good header but Schwarzer saved low to his right. Then Obertan made an excellent run down the right wing and pulled the ball inside to Best, who shot nicely but the ball was deflected for a corner.
And from the corner the ball was put out to Cabaye whose shot was just tipped over the bar by Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer – a good effort by Yohan.
Newcastle had made another lackadaisical start to this game in the first half, but in added time in the first half, they created three chances with Obertan starting to penetrate down the right wing.
But Fulham were the better side in the first 45 minutes, but the good news for Magpies fans was that Newcastle had not conceded, and therefore the lads still in the game at the half.
The first half was very like the first three games of the season for Newcastle, and we would expect to see Sammy Ameobi introduced shortly after the break, to give Newcastle some thrust.
Newcastle started much better in the second half and Obertan made a good diagonal run from his own half over to the left of the pitch, and he laid it off to Cabaye, who shot on the volley from 25 yards out.
Schwarzer touched the ball onto the cross bar and Best tapped the ball from a yard out, and Newcastle were 1-0 up three minutes into the second half. Then on 51 minutes Best laid the ball back to Cabaye who hit the ball just wide.
On 56 minutes Krul made a magnificent save from a Sidwell header, and Sidwell couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored, as the Dutchman somehow put the ball over the cross bar.
On 58 minutes there was a good run by Simpson, who got in a good cross from the right wing, but Lovenkrands couldn’t head the ball down. Then on 65 minutes Damien Diff hit the ball just wide of Kruls’ left hand post.
On 66 minutes Leon Best got his second goal of the game as a cross came in from Tiote out on the right, and Best back-heeled the ball away from the defender before putting it away from six yards out – a brace for the Irishman, and another great opportunist goal from Leon.
Then on 72 minutes as Fulham began to press forward, another great save by Krul as Chris Baird fired in from a rolled free kick, and Krul dived to his left to block the ball.
Demba Ba came on for Lovenkrands after 73 minutes and then Haris Vuckic came on for Best after 79 minutes, as Pardew tried to fill the midfield from a Fulham side who were coming hard at Newcastle.
Fulham were coming with all guns loaded at Newcastle, and then Haris Vuckic seemed to get a hand injury and was replaced by Alan Smith on 86 minutes.
But Fulham got their goal after 88 minutes, and it was the first goal conceded by Newcastle in the league this season, when a free kick outside the box was easily headed home by an open Clint Dempsey from just eight yards out, with Krul looking to be in no man’s land too far out of his goal.
Now could Newcastle hold on?
The lads held out for an unlikely win, and it’s now 7 points from the three Premier League games, and an excellent result for this new Newcastle side.
Best again showed he can get the job done when given an opportunity, and although the first half was again poor, Newcastle showed they know how to get the job done, with three wins in a row, since the Arsenal draw.
Newcastle were in 5th place at the end of the game, but Manchester City moved above them in the league, after they annihilated Spurs 5-1 at White Hart Lane – we suppose £600M spent on new players in the last three years does make a difference.
Since there is now an International break, we can enjoy this great start for a couple of weeks, and let’s hope the club can get three good players in by the end of the month!
Howays The Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Ole Soderberg, Shane Ferguson, Alan Smith, Haris Vuckic, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Demba Ba
Fulham (4-4-2): Mark Schwarzer; Chris Baird, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Matthew Briggs; Damien Duff, Steve Sidwell, Danny Murphy (c), Pajtim Kasami; Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele
Subs: Neil Etheridge, Stephen Kelly, Philippe Senderos, Dickson Etuhu, Marcel Gecov, Karim Frei, Andrew Johnson