MATCH REPORTS

Fulham 1 Newcastle 0

Vurnon Anita


By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Craven Cottage

 

 

Fulham 1 (Dejagah 68)

Newcastle United 0

 

 

Newcastle United's miserable record at Craven Cottage continued on Saturday, as they went down 1-0 to Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.

 

The Magpies have not picked up a single point at Fulham since December 2007, and Cottagers' substitute Ashkan Dejagah ensured that run remained with a second half long-range strike.

 

That was enough to separate the sides in a scrappy affair, and the contest hinged on 60 seconds midway through the second half.

 

At one end, United front man Papiss Cisse spurned a one-on-one chance and Fulham took advantage, racing away for Dejagah to fire home from 25 yards.

 

Earlier, the hosts had seen Pajtim Kasami and Cauley Woodrow both have goals disallowed, while midfielder Lewis Holtby was a constant threat.

 

Newcastle's best chances fell to Cisse, who was twice denied by opposing goalkeeper David Stockdale, and they will look to bounce straight back when Crystal Palace come to Tyneside next weekend.

 

Fulham made a bright start and two Holtby set-piece deliveries - from a free-kick first, and then a corner - flashed right across the face of goal without a killer touch.

 

However, the opening exchanges were largely scrappy, with neither side keeping possession for any sustained period or posing a serious goal threat.

 

Paul Dummett had United's first chance of the afternoon - on 22 minutes - but saw his 25-yard free-kick curl narrowly off target, without troubling home stopper David Stockdale.

 

At the other end, Alex Kacaniklic bent a half-volley high and wide, before the impressive Holtby finally tested Tim Krul, sending a left-footed long range strike towards the top corner, which the Dutchman had to claw behind.

 

Newcastle sparked into life in the 35th minute as Cisse almost broke the deadlock.

 

Moussa Sissoko ended a powerful run down the right with an inch-perfect cross into the path of Luuk de Jong. Although the January arrival miscued his shot, it fell into the path of strike partner Cisse.

 

Stretching, the Senegalese front man turned the ball goalwards and only a fine, diving stop from Stockdale prevented it sneaking into the corner.

 

Within four minutes of the second half Newcastle showed their attacking intent as de Jong sent a low strike inches the wide of the upright, following good work from Yoan Gouffran.

 

But it was Fulham who came within inches of taking the lead on 54 minutes.

 

John Heitinga let fly from the edge of the area with a deflected effort which flew over Krul's head, bounced down onto the goalline off the underside of the crossbar and was prodded in by Woodrow.

 

However the flag of assistant referee Darren Cann ruled the rookie striker offside and curtailed the hosts' joy.

 

That moment and sense of injustice fired up the Cottagers and they piled pressure on the United goal.

 

But Krul and Co stood firm, weathered the brief storm and should have broken the deadlock themselves in the 67th minute.

 

A sloppy Fulham pass put Cisse through on goal but, after composing himself and sending a low strike towards the far corner, he was thwarted by an excellent fingertip stop from Stockdale.

 

And that was to prove crucial, as the home side raced straight up the other end to score.

 

Substitute Dejagah had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes but cut in off the left touchline to fire a low, long-range effort under the diving grasp of Krul.

 

Shola Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux were introduced from the bench, replacing Cisse and Vurnon Anita, as Newcastle went in search of an equaliser but it was de Jong who came closest, guiding Paul Dummett's cross well wide with time running out.

 

The Magpies' final throw of the dice saw 17-year-old Adam Armstrong step off the bench to make his first team debut but he could only blaze a long-range strike high into the Putney End, as United travelled home empty-handed.

 

 

Fulham (4-4-1-1): David Stockdale; John Heitinga, Fernando Amorebieta, Brede Hangeland (c), Kieran Richardson; Pajtim Kasami (Ashkan Dejagah 60, Dan Burn 87), Steve Sidwell, William Kvist, Alex Kacaniklic; Lewis Holtby (Sascha Riether 81); Cauley Woodrow

 

Subs not used: Maarten Stekelenburg, John Arne Riise, Patrick Roberts, Hugo Rodallega

 

 

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita (Sylvain Marveaux 81), Yoan Gouffran; Luuk de Jong (Adam Armstrong 86); Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 71)

 

Subs not used: Jak Alnwick, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling

 

 

Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)

 

Bookings: Fulham - Dejagah (68); Newcastle - none

 

 

Attendance: 25,664 (2,900 Newcastle)

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