MATCH REPORTS

Magpies Win At Fulham

Fulham match report

Fulham 1: Radzinski 85'
Newcastle Utd 3: Ambrose 18' Kluivert 61' Ameobi 74

United: Given, Carr, Boumsong, Bramble, Taylor, Ambrose, N'Zogbia, Faye, Milner, Ameobi, Kluivert  Subs (not used): Harper, O'Brien, Robert, Brittain, Ramage

Fulham: van der Sar, Volz, Knight, Pembridge, McBride, Clark, Boa Morte, Radzinski, Goma, Rosenior, Cole (Jensen 66) Subs (not used): Crossley, Bocanegra, Rehman, Pearce

UNITED boss Graeme Souness, as promised, gave Alan Shearer a rest for Wednesday's Premiership game with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Shearer was replaced by Patrick Kluivert, with Shearer missing from the 16.

Titus Bramble returned from injury to partner Jean Alain Boumsong in the heart of defence, while Robbie Elliott's thigh problem saw Steven Taylor fill in at left back.

The home side had three former United players in their line-up, with Lee Clark wearing the captain's armband alongside Alain Goma and Andy Cole.

The Magpies, led out by Boumsong in their navy blue away kit, started the game defending the Putney End where the travelling supporters were housed.

Kluivert clipped a Milner cross from the right into the sidenetting from an acute angle inside the first couple of minutes, then from Fulham's first attack Goma flashed a header wide from Pembridge's free kick on the left after Faye fouled Boa Morte.

Ambrose then fired straight at van der Sar from the edge of the box on eight minutes, then Goma dived to head clear a cross from Carr who had raided down the right.

Ameobi did well to weave his way down the left on 13 minutes, but when he chipped the ball in from the byeline, Rosenior got there ahead of Kluivert and Boa Morte completed the clearance.

van der Sar had to fling himself to punch clear a Carr cross after a good link up between the full back and James Milner on the right flank on 18 minutes, but seconds later the Dutchman was picking the ball out of the net when Milner's header from N'Zogbia's cross bounced off Rosenior into the path of Ambrose and he fired the ball low into the far corner.

van der Sar needed lengthy treatment around the 21 minute mark after taking a whack to his foot, but was able to continue after receiving attention.

United were well on top as the opening period passed the halfway stage, and Kluivert saw a header loop over the bar from Milner's cross, but there was a chance for the home side on 33 minutes when the ball fell nicely for McBride but Boumsong reacted quickly to sweep the ball away.

Cole spun Bramble and saw Given race out to punch clear on 34 minutes, and McBride tried to loop a header straight back into the net from the edge but his effort looped just over the bar with taylor chasing back to cover the line.

A foul on Boa Morte by Faye gave Fulham a free kick on the edge of the box to the left of centre on 39 minutes, but the five-man defensive wall did it's job and blocked Pembridge's strike.

Carr overhit a square ball for Ameobi on 42 minutes when Milner pulled the ball back into the path of the full back, then N'Zogbia was shackled by Volz as he tried to break through the middle.

Three minutes were added on at the end of the first half, and with 46 minutes on the clock Faye went down hurt after appearing to twist his knee lining up a shot. He hobbled off to the touchline, though he was quickly back in the action before referee Graham Poll blew for half time.

Bramble headed clear from Goma on 47 minutes after Taylor conceded a free kick for a foul on Radzinksi on the Fulham right, then Boumsong needed treatment for a head injury following an aerial collsion with McBride.

Ambrose then headed the ball away from a crowded six yard box after another foul by Taylor on Radzinski, then Volz won a flag kick on the right, off Taylor on 59 minutes but the set piece was wasted.

Goma gave away a corner for Newcastle under pressure from Carr on 61 minutes, and when N'Zogbia curled the ball in Kluivert glanced a header past van der Sar at his near post to double The Magpies lead.  

On 66 minutes Claus Jensen replaced Andy Cole, who had done little to impress against his former club. A minute later Taylor was booked after Mr Poll lost patience with him after a succession of fouls.

Boa Morte fired over an angled drive on 70 minutes, then three minutes later Newcastle won a corner on the left, and this time Milner's delivery was perfect for Ameobi who rose above Goma to power a header into the net to record his first Premiership goal since New Year's Day.

At that point there were streams of Fulham fans heading for the exits, while the 2,000 or so fans in the away end celebrated after seeing their side end the recent bad run of form.

On 85 minutes Fulham pulled a goal back, with Radzinski latching onto a through ball from Rosenior to sidefoot past Given.

Three minutes were added on for stoppages at the end of the game, and Given made a great save in injury time from McBride as United secured a deserved and much-needed victory.  

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