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Fulham 1-0 Newcastle Prem 30 1314 Daily Star

last updated Monday 17th March 2014, 7:09 PM
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Tony Stenson at Daily Star

Fulham (0) 1 Newcastle (0) 0

There were no reports of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew head-butting walls last night.

But you felt he might have done.

Fulham were there for the taking but his side fluffed it.

Now, suddenly, the Cottagers have hope when many believed they had no chance.

Substitute Ashkan Dejagah scored a 68th-minute winner to make life even harder for Pardew.

He was forced to watch the game at a Kensington hotel after being banned for head-butting Hull's David Meyler.

For long periods Fulham were poor. Sadly Newcastle were even poorer.

Newcastle assistant-manager John Carver revealed he spoke to Pardew at his hotel.

He said. "It was brief - two conversations. He was with his analyst but was fine. He was quite calm. And yes, his hotel room is all right!

"We all know what has gone on and now we have to move on."

It was far from classic fare in the first half but Fulham thought they had scored eight minutes into the second.

John Heitinga rattled the Newcastle crossbar - watched as it bounced back - and witnessed Cauley Woodrow put the ball in the net, only for offiials to rule him offside.

Fulham, who had won their last four home league games against Newcastle, started well.

But the nerves continually kicked in as promising moves often came to nothing.

Striker Woodrow, 19, from Hemel Hempstead, could have put his name in neon early on when he failed to connect with a free-kick from Lewis Holtby, Fulham's best player.

Fulham boss Felix Magath dropped No.1 keeper Maarten Stekelenburg - blamed for the defeat at Cardiff last week - and it proved a good decision as David Stockdale pulled off a series of decent saves.

Newcastle's season is over and at times they played like it.

They went through the motions but missing was the bloke on the touchline to tell them they were hopelessly off the pace.

Pardew might be a hot head at times but Newcastle needed him yesterday to kick them up the backside.

They did not put a decent move together until the 35th minute when Moussa Sissoko crossed and Papiss Cisse's shot was brilliantly saved by Stockdale.

Magath said: "I am happy, proud, relieved and have a good feeling we can now survive.

"We had to win but other results mean it could still go to the wire."

For the last month Fulham's managers have been booed when walking off the pitch but this time Magath and his team got a thunderous reception.

After all, he was the first Fulham manager to record a win since January 1 in the Premier League. Has the tide turned? Miracles sometimes do happen by riverbanks.

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