Newcastle 2 Fulham 1
Another away trip, another defeat, it`s getting a bit like Groundhog Day!
Martin Jol selected the same team that he had fielded Dnipro apart from Johnson dropping to the bench and being replaced by Kasami, probably in an attempt to stifle Newcastle in midfield and Matthew Briggs replacing the injured John Arne Riise.
Fulham appeared to settle the quicker of the two teams and Steve Sidwell had the first half chance but shot over from just outside the penalty area after some good build up.
Our hosts responded with an effort by Lovenkrands when the Danish forward got his head to an effort by Cabaye, thankfully the effort drifted wide of the post.
In a game that looked to be even, Kasami was looking impressive, although clear-cut chances for either side were at a premium. Gutierrez went close with a header, whilst Obertan, a recent signing from Manchester United, saw a shot blocked.
As half time approached Cabaye saw a great effort tipped over the bar, by Schwarzer. All in all a pretty even, but hardly inspiring first half.
Sadly, three minutes into the second half, our resistance crumbled. Schwarzer did well to turn yet another effort from Cabaye onto the bar but Leon Best was on hand to tap in from very close range.
Fulham responded well and were unlucky to see a header form Steve Sidwell, from a Damien Duff cross tipped onto the bar by Krul in the Newcastle goal. Midway through the half though, Fulham were left a mountain to climb when Best scored a second goal.
Ba, on as a substitute, delivered a telling cross that saw Best spin on a sixpence and fire home past Schwarzer.
Martin Jol, trying to retrieve something from what was looking like a lost cause, introduced Andrew Johnson. Pushing forward, Chris Baird saw a long range shot saved by Krul and perhaps the realisation that we were doomed to lose came when Murphy, unmarked some ten yards out, saw Krul save his header.
With two minutes left on the clock, Fulham did get a goal when Clint Dempsey rose to head home a cross from Murphy but it was too little too late as yet another away defeat became reality.
In fact, only the bar kept the score at 2-1 when a shot from Demba Ba, struck it.
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