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Newcastle United lost their first game without suspended boss Alan Pardew as Fulham boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win.
Assistant manager John Carver took charge in Pardew's stead, but he could not inspire the visitors to a third consecutive Barclays Premier League win.
It was a mistake from Newcastle that proved to be the difference as goalkeeper Tim Krul allowed a long-range effort from Ashkan Dejagah to creep into the bottom corner to hand Fulham the win.
The away side were boosted by the return of captain Fabricio Coloccini, while Papiss Cisse came in for the injured Loic Remy.
The early stages were scrappy with few goalscoring opportunities, although Felix Magath’s side did have slightly the better of things without really troubling the Newcastle defence.
It was the visitors who eventually had the first real sight of goal as Paul Dummett curled over from a free-kick midway through the first half.
Krul was the first of the two goalkeepers to be called into action just after the half-hour mark, diving to his right to keep out Lewis Holtby's effort from the edge of the area.
The visitors gradually grew into the game and would have taken the lead before the break had David Stockdale not produced a fine reaction save to prevent Cisse from turning home Moussa Sissoko's right-wing cross.
Magath’s side did have the ball in the net almost immediately after the break, but Pajtim Kasami's strike was ruled out after John Heitinga was adjudged to have strayed offside before heading the ball back for the winger.
Newcastle then crafted a good opportunity at the other end but Luuk de Jong could only shoot tamely wide after latching on to Yoan Gouffran's pass.
The home side quickly began to dictate play with just the offside flag denying Fulham's teenage striker Cauley Woodrow.
Woodrow looked to have netted his first goal for the club when he prodded home a rebound after Heitinga's rasping drive had crashed off the underside of the crossbar and out, only for the linesman to rule out the effort.
The Cottagers were finally rewarded for their initiative after 68 minutes when a Krul error handed them the lead, just after Stockdale had denied Cisse for a second time.
Substitute Dejagah cut in from the left and fired in a low, right-footed effort, which Krul allowed to bounce under his grasp and into the bottom corner.
The Magpies pressed in the final stages to try and find a leveller but could not find a way through ensuring that Fulham held on - although the London club remain four points adrift of safety.
Fulham first-team manager Felix Magath: "You can imagine how glad I am after not winning for three games and now the first win. The players fought for 93 minutes and it was a great result for us.
“We are very proud and very happy. For us, it is a turning point. We need confidence. I know it takes time and I hoped we would win because that is the most important thing.
“The players believe now they can not only win but they can avoid relegation. They believe we are going the right way now. We are convinced we can manage it.”
Newcastle United assistant manager John Carver: “(On Ashkan Dejagah’s goal) “Well it’s very similar to two weeks ago when Tim (Krul) made a fantastic save against Hull and we went down the other end and scored through Moussa Sissoko. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you.
“What we should have done is defended a little bit better. He comes inside on his right foot, his strongest foot, and he hits it. We shouldn’t open up the goal, we should show him on the outside, but we didn’t deal with it.”
|19 Apr 2014||v Spurs (A)|
|12 Apr 2014||v Norwich (H)|
|26 Apr 2014||v Hull (H)|
|30 Mar 2014||v Everton (H)|
|22 Mar 2014||v Man City (A)|
|05 Apr 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|