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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Sunday, 9 November 2008

Fulham 2-1 Newcastle

By Sam Lyon

Andy Johnson rifles home
Fulham striker Andy Johnson rifles in the opener at Craven Cottage

Danny Murphy's 100th club career goal earned Fulham a welcome win as Newcastle's recent renaissance under Joe Kinnear ended at Craven Cottage.

Andy Johnson rewarded the hosts' bright start when he lashed home from 16 yards following Claudio Cacapa's error.

But the Magpies rallied and, after Damien Duff had hit a post, Shola Ameobi fired them level from six yards.

However, Fabricio Coloccini's foul on Johnson gave Murphy the chance to win it from the spot, and he duly obliged.

It was a match that could have gone either way, but Kinnear will no doubt regret the nature of the defeat following their two recent wins over Aston Villa and West Brom, a loss that sends them back into the relegation zone.

'Utter disappointment' for Kinnear

And it could have been so different had substitute Michael Owen not contrived to volley away from goal six yards out with the net beckoning 10 minutes from time.

To compound the striker's misery, England coach Fabio Capello was watching from the stands and the Italian will not have been impressed with the diminutive frontman's profligacy.

Owen had claimed in midweek that Newcastle are targeting a Uefa Cup spot, such is their new-found belief under Kinnear, but it was Fulham that made all the running for the first half hour, with Jimmy Bullard forcing the first save of the match from eight yards on seven minutes.

Minutes later, Zoltan Gera headed wide at the back post after Simon Davies had done well to stand the ball up from the byline, before Jose Enrique stretched to clear away another header from the Hungarian.

With the Cottagers controlling the play it was easy to see why Newcastle are without a win away from home in the league this season, but the nature of Johnson's opener had little to do with their sluggish start to the match.

Cacapa, brought into the side at the expense of Steven Taylor before kick-off, was the guilty party, contriving to head against his own defender under no pressure at all with the rebound falling to Johnson, who smashed home.

Despite that, Newcastle are made of sterner stuff under Kinnear than at the beginning of the season and they refused to buckle. Duff gave sign of their intention to battle back by driving into the box and slamming a decent effort against the near post.

And after the break they drew themselves level - deservedly, having dominated the chances at the start of the half.

Hodgson delighted by Fulham character

There was a touch of fortune about the goal, though, as Duff's cross found its way to Ameobi via Nicky Butt, and the striker swept home from an apparently offside position six yards out.

Joey Barton came close to a second moments later, forcing keeper Mark Schwarzer into a smart, low stop from 25 yards, while Butt also drilled a long-range effort at goal, though the ball flew wide.

It looked like only one side would grab a third goal of the match but, to their credit, Fulham rallied themselves and a fine turn and touch from Johnson brought about Coloccini's foul in the box.

The Argentine could have few complaints about the decision and Murphy converted the spot-kick with aplomb.

Murphy credits Fulham team spirit

The match was wide open in the closing stages, with Simon Davies curling inches wide of Given's post from 20 yards at one end, and Martins drilling a stinger straight at Schwarzer at the other.

But Fulham showed the resolve they needed to hold on for the win and move up to 10th in the table.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"We deserved the win over the 90 minutes if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, we were hard pushed and I was especially concerned when they equalised because we weren't on our game at that time, but I thought we deserved it overall.

"We're trying to keep our feet on the ground and take results like this one with a pinch of salt. We don't want to go down, but we'll be hard pushed to get into Europe, that's for sure.

"If we keep doing what we did today for the rest of the season, we'll be OK."

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear:
"I'm fuming, to be honest. We were the better team at the end of the first half and all the way through the second but we've lost.

"It comes down to a referee's decision and it's cost us dear. Just before the penalty, Cacapa is pushed off the ball and the referee lets it go - it was an appalling decision and I'm so angry.

"It keeps happening to us and the referee has a lot to answer for. I'm trying to hold back on what I really feel but I'll probably get in trouble anyway."

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard, Murphy (Baird 88), Gera (Dempsey 64), Johnson, Zamora (Nevland 74).
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Gray, Stoor, Andreasen.

Booked: Hangeland, Murphy.

Goals: Johnson 23, Murphy 66 pen.

Newcastle: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Cacapa, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez (Owen 70), Butt, Barton, Duff, Martins, Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Guthrie, Bassong, N'Zogbia, Geremi, Carroll.

Booked: Coloccini, Beye.

Goals: Ameobi 57.

Att: 24,740

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Fulham's Andy Johnson 7.09 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
09 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
09 Nov 08 |  Football

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