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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 16:57 GMT
Fulham 2-1 Newcastle
By Jonathan Stevenson

Goalscorer Heidar Helguson (left) celebrates with Wayne Routledge
Helguson celebrates putting Fulham ahead at Craven Cottage
Fulham earned their first win in eight league games as Heidar Helguson and Brian McBride scored against Newcastle.

Helguson capitalised on a shocking back-pass by Nicky Butt to lash the ball past Steve Harper from 20 yards.

McBride wrapped it up when he neatly finished from six yards after a great run and cross from Papa Bouba Diop.

Newcastle were disappointing, though Jan Lastuvka saved brilliantly from Steven Taylor before Obafemi Martins' fine drive pulled one back late on.

However Glenn Roeder's side got exactly what they deserved after a subdued performance at Craven Cottage.

In truth, the first half was a non-event as both sides cancelled each other out in a scrappy midfield battle.

Newcastle seemed to be getting the better of it as James Milner and Kieron Dyer began to see more of the ball, but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

606: DEBATE
TG

As Fulham sought to wrestle control Stephen Carr nearly gifted them a goal, but his short back-header to Harper was nodded over by Helguson.

Just before the break Newcastle twice nearly took the lead, but Lastuvka made a fine stop with his left leg from Taylor and then Oguchi Onyewu saw a drilled shot ricochet on to a post.

Onyewu was enjoying an impressive introduction to the Premiership - providing the Magpies defence with some much-needed steel and a cool head to boot.

But their good first-half work was in tatters four minutes into the second half as Butt lost the plot to hand Fulham the lead.

The experienced midfielder tried to pass back to Harper from a throw-in and Helguson latched on to the ball 20 yards out to rifle over the keeper and into the net.

It certainly livened up proceedings, as Fulham poured forward to try and double their lead and Newcastle hung on frantically.

Harper tipped a McBride header over and then saved an effort from Carlos Bocanegra, Newcastle replying with Milner's 25-yard free-kick flashing just wide.

The visitors were lucky to have 11 on the pitch when Titus Bramble carelessly gave the ball to Helguson and as the Icelander ran through, Bramble pulled him down - referee Phil Dowd only producing a yellow card.

But Fulham got the second goal their dominance deserved when Diop used brute strength to force his way down the right and cross for McBride to coolly slot home.

Martins grabbed a consolation deep into stoppage time when he latched on to a pass to fire past Lastuvka, but Fulham held on.


  • Fulham boss Chris Coleman:
    "It wasn't great as far as entertainment, but we fought hard and on the second half showing I think we definitely deserved three points.

    "We wanted a reaction after the poor display at Sheffield United and that's exactly what we got from the players.

    "In particular Simon Davies was great today. His energy levels are great and he knows this league inside-out."

  • Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder on refusing to blame Nicky Butt for his mistake:
    "Nicky has been brilliant for us this year and I will be the last person to criticize him. It wasn't on purpose, it's just one of those things.

    "I thought we shaded the first half but gave them a goal and from that point on we were very much on the back foot.

    "We didn't get service in to Obafemi Martins and Kieron Dyer at all."


    Fulham: Lastuvka, Rosenior, Christanval, Bocanegra, Queudrue, Routledge (Dempsey 78), Brown, Volz (Diop 67), Davies, Helguson, McBride (Montella 80).
    Subs Not Used: Knight, Radzinski.

    Booked: Bocanegra.

    Goals: Helguson 49, McBride 73.

    Newcastle: Harper, Carr, Bramble, Onyewu, Taylor, Milner, Parker, Butt, Duff (Sibierski 68), Dyer (Solano 85), Martins.
    Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Huntington, O'Brien.

    Booked: Butt, Bramble, Milner.

    Goals: Martins 90.

    Att: 24,340.

    Ref: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    03 Feb 07 |  Football


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