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Newcastle 1-2 Fulham - Goals from USA

last updated Sunday 10th September 2006, 8:28 AM

Fulham have the reputation of being very poor travellers, and in this game they failed to best utilise the real height and pace contained within their ranks until the very last moment. However aided by an imploding Newcastle they were able snatch their first away win of the season with two goals made in the U.S. of A.

Jimmy Bullard
Jimmy Bullard seriously injured at Newcastle

Leading 1-0 with just eight minutes remaining, the Magpies capitulated woefully as first Brian McBride and then substitute Carlos Bocanegra beat Shay Given to claim an unlikely victory.

A crowd of 50,365 at St James' Park could barely believe their eyes as a game the home side should have had wrapped up long before, after captain Scott Parker had headed them in front, slipped from their grasp.

It was no coincidence that the former Chelsea midfielder had left the pitch seconds before McBride's 82nd-minute strike after turning in an inspirational individual display.

But with new £10million signing Obafemi Martins ineffectual on his home debut and Shola Ameobi clearly not 100 per cent fit, the first of seven games inside 23 days turned horribly to condemn the Magpies to a second successive Barclays Premiership defeat.

Twenty-four hours short of a year to the day since Fulham's last visit to Tyneside, they returned to a stadium filled with anticipation.

This time last year, £17million signing Michael Owen made his debut, although the visitors almost spoiled the party when it took a late equaliser from Charles N'Zogbia to snatch a point for Newcastle.

Twelve months on and with Owen starting his recovery from knee surgery, the onus was on new arrival Martins to provide the goals to suggest there will be life after Alan Shearer.

But that particular question was left unanswered as the home side enjoyed the better of the game, but simply could not make the pressure tell.

Ameobi forced a good save from Antti Niemi, but from an offside position, and in truth, the Magpies' strike-force while hard-working, threatened only fleetingly before the break.

Match Stats Newcastle Fulham
Goals 1 2
Possession 58% 42%
Goal attempts 16 9
On Target 7 5
Corners 4 7
Off-sides 8 3
Fouls 16 12
Yellows 1 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet

There were chances, however, as Parker and Emre dominated a central midfield battle which lost the unfortunate Jimmy Bullard to what looked like a serious knee injury after a 32nd-minute clash with Parker.

Duff, who had earlier drilled a long-range shot just wide, called Niemi into action two minutes before the break with a well-struck drive and full-back Stephen Carr sent a fizzing long-range effort just over in injury-time.

However, although N'Zogbia and Emre both went close and Ian Pearce had to hack a goal-bound Duff effort off the line, the Fulham defence was rarely breached.

At the other end, Given had little to do before the break despite having to keep out a first-minute Franck Queudrue free-kick, although he will have been concerned at the ease with which McBride was afforded two headed opportunities.

Martins might have done better within two minutes of the restart when Emre won possession and fed him, but he dragged his left-foot shot well wide.

But Fulham served warning that they were still in the game seconds later when Wayne Routledge, who had replaced Bullard, found himself in acres of space on the right with the path to goal clear.

He struck his shot well, but the recovering Peter Ramage, a central defender playing at left-back, slid in to deflect it over the bar and protect a grateful Given.

But it was Pearce providing the heroics at the other end on 52 minutes when, while appealing for an offside flag which never came, he managed to cut out Martins' header back across goal towards the unmarked Ameobi.

But his efforts counted for little as Newcastle took the lead within two minutes.

Emre curled an inviting ball into the box for Parker to meet it with a downward header which flew past Niemi and into the bottom corner.

The relief was palpable, and N'Zogbia might have extended the lead three minutes later when he blasted wide from a tight angle after Ameobi and Parker had carved Fulham open.

The visitors attempted to launch a fightback, but too often found themselves undone by the hugely influential Parker.

Ameobi headed weakly at Niemi under pressure on 66 minutes after Emre had crossed from the left, but there was still work to be done.

Martins made way to warm applause for fellow newcomer Giuseppe Rossi with 18 minutes remaining, but it was N'Zogbia who forced a fine save from Niemi two minutes later with another powerfully-struck shot.

But the Magpies were made to pay for their wastefulness eight minutes from time when McBride turned up at the far post to stab Routledge's cross past Given to level.

But Newcastle had not finished shooting themselves in the foot and were undone again with three minutes remaining when McBride headed Routledge's corner against the bar and Bocanegra bundled home the rebound.

Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Ramage, Duff,Parker (Butt 80), Emre, N'Zogbia, Ameobi, Martins (Rossi 72).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Solano, Sibierski.

Booked: Emre.

Goals: Parker 54.

Niemi, Rosenior, Knight (Bocanegra 78), Pearce,Queudrue, Diop (Radzinski 83), Brown, Bullard (Routledge 34),Boa Morte, John, McBride.
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Helguson.

Booked: Brown (45,f).

McBride 82 (Cross by Wayne Routledge, goal by Brian McBride left-footed (bottom-left of goal) from left side of penalty area (12 yards),
Bocanegra 89 (Header by Brian McBride from right side of penalty area, goal by Carlos Bocanegra left-footed (bottom-left of goal) from left side of six-yard box (6 yards).

Att: 50,365

Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).





Source Damian Spellman at PA Sport
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