Live Commentary: Newcastle 1-0 Fulham - as it happened
Find out how Newcastle United recorded their first win of the season over Fulham with Sports Mole's text updates.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 14:00 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 17:46 UK
Newcastle United went in search of their first goal and victory in the Premier League this season when Fulham visited St James' Park this afternoon.
After large parts of poor play, the winning moment arrived for the home side four minutes from time when Hatem Ben Arfa cut in from the right to power a shot beyond David Stockdale in the Fulham net.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute by minute updates below.
2.02pmAfternoon all. Well, as mentioned in the introduction, the season may only be around three weeks old, but you get the feeling that Alan Pardew could do with a win here. Standing in his way is a Fulham side who have been busy this summer in the transfer market. Whatever happens, let's hope that it is more entertaining than Newcastle United's last clash against West Ham United!
2.05pmRight, without further ado, the team news from Tyneside is starting to filter through to us. Let's start with the home side...
2.09pmAs expected, there is no Yohan Cabaye for Newcastle. However, despite speculation regarding his future and reported desire to move away from the club, the French midfielder is included among the substitutes. On the pitch, Shola Ameobi will partner Papiss Cisse up front, while Vurnon Anita continues in the centre of midfield.
2.13pmIt is Tottenham Hotspur reunited up front for Fulham as ex Spurs strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent both start. Another former Tottenham player, Scott Parker, has also been handed a place in midfield. Elsewhere, Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is still and injured, meaning that David Stockdale retains his place between the posts.
2.17pmGot to admit, looking at those lineups, Newcastle would be much stronger if they had their full squad to select from. Ryan Taylor, Cheick Tiote and Jonas Gutierrez are all injured, while defender Steven Taylor is suspended. It is a quintet that would make a lot of difference for Pardew. But when your luck is out...
2.19pmHowever, they have received a boost on the bench in the form of Loic Remy, who has joined from Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan basis. The French striker has just recovered from a calf injury. With that in mind, let's take a quick peek at who is among the substitutes for both sides.
2.24pmIt's nice of Cabaye to show his face as well, isn't it?! At last Pardew has put his foot down and told the midfielder that he has to be included today. Newcastle pay his wages after all, so the least he can do is show some commitment until he is sold, which is expected. It will be interesting to see what sort of reception he receives from the Newcastle faithful should he get on.
2.27pmStaying with Cabaye, here is what Pardew has just told Sky Sports News about the French international's inclusion in the squad:
"He's trained well this week. He can't expect to come straight back into the side. I'm pleased to see him back but it is a saga that isn't over yet."
2.30pmAnother interesting selection, this time for Fulham, is that of Bent. Not just because he scored a number of goals for Newcastle's rivals Sunderland, but he also could have become a Magpie earlier this summer, only to link up with Fulham from Villa.
2.35pmThe threat of the former Mackem is something that Newcastle striker Ameobi is aware of, having just told Sky Sports News: "Darren Bent always scores goals and was linked with a move here. He will be looking to do well."
2.39pmRight, let's find a reason for Newcastle fans to be cheerful, shall we? They may not have scored in the Premier League this season, but they do have a positive record over Fulham at St James' Park. From the 30 meetings on Tyneside, Newcastle have won 14, losing eight and drawing eight as well.
2.41pmFrom a Fulham point of view, they last won at St James' Park back in 2009 when Diomansy Kamara scored the only goal of the game just before half-time. It's a match that all connected with Newcastle are probably keen to forget because it went a long way to condemning the club to relegation down the Championship.
2.44pmThey are bound to have fonder memories of when they last met back in April ,though, when Cisse struck in stoppage time to hand Newcastle a 1-0 win. It prompted this celebration from Pardew:
2.46pmSuch is the pressure on Pardew right now, don't be surprised to see a similar reaction if his side win in similar circumstances this afternoon!
2.50pmA bit of a change of subject and back to Cabaye, having just seen clips of him warming up, he looks extremely relaxed and is full of smiles. Perhaps that is the conduct of a man that is aware he will be granted his desire of a move away in the not too distant future.
2.54pmPREDICTION: Right, let's make a fool of myself! That Fulham starting lineup looks a bit open, so it seems a good bet that Newcastle will get their first Premier League goal of the season. On the flip side, it does mean that the visitors have a number of options up front and Newcastle do not have the most water-tight of defences. With that in mind, it's some fence-sitting from me - 1-1.
2.57pmHere come the players, to a noisy reception. You get the impression that Newcastle's supporters sense how big this match is for their club. Not long now until we are off an running on sunny Tyneside.
1 minGAME ON! Fulham, attacking from left to right, get this Premier League encounter started.
4 minIt's been a very quiet opening to proceedings here, with neither side forcing the two goalkeepers into action. You'd have to say that Fulham have been the better in possession, while a lot of what Newcastle have produced so far has been lofted passes into the likes of Ameobi.
6 minCHANCE! Newcastle are having no luck in front of goal at the moment, are they?! It's a powerful downward header from defender Fabricio Coloccini, which appears to be causing Stockdale in the Fulham goal problems. Ameobi cannot get out of the way in time, though, and he blocks his teammates's effort.
9 minA very, very promising move from Fulham comes to nothing just now. It's a neat switch across the pitch involving the likes of Parker and Alexander Kacaniklic, but John Arne Riise's cross is poor and flies out for a goal kick. Fulham had two men waiting in the penalty area as well there - a waste it must be said.
13 minThere is a real lack of intensity about Newcastle at the moment. When they break from the back, there doesn't seem to be enough desire to get too many players forward and as a result Fulham are able to snuff out any danger with relative ease.
17 minThat's better from Newcastle and Hatem Ben Arfa in particular. The French attacker just picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove at the Fulham defence. He reached the edge of the box before he was dispossessed by Steve Sidwell, who didn't appear to play too much of the ball. The referee Chris Foy was having none of his protest, though, and waved play on. Nevertheless, that's much more positive.
21 minThere really is very little happening at the moment. If truth be told, there is a real lack of quality about both teams. Players like Ben Arfa and Berbatov have not been involved enough, which is having a negative impact on the game. Still neither goalkeeper has had a real telling save to make.
25 minSomebody do something! Anything! Both sides are getting to a certain point, but then either the final pass or shot is woeful. Even some of the routine passes are going astray. Still, things can only get better, hopefully!
30 minFulham have enjoyed a spell in possession during the last few minutes and it has not gone down too well with the home faithful, who are getting a bit restless. A bit like last week against West Ham, Newcastle are struggling to keep hold of the ball. What's more, when they do win possession, they've been wasteful.
35 minThis game so far has been summed up by Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, who with time and space on the halfway line, simply chipped the ball straight to his opposite number Coloccini. What an earth was going through his mind there?! He had at least three short passes on in front of him.
38 minThe biggest cheer of the game has just gone up as Remy comes out to warm-up on the touchline. If this carries on, don't be surprised if Pardew gets him on at half-time. Both Ameobi and Cisse have been passengers.
43 minIf Berbatov starts to show a poor first touch and range of passing, you know that it's going to be a poor game. Parker has just set Fulham away on the break by playing in Bent, who in turn picks out the Bulgarian. His pass forward is overhit, though, and Tim Krul collects with ease.
45 minBOOKING! At last a bit of drama, although it is only in the form of a yellow card. It goes to Fulham midfielder Parker, who knew exactly what he was doing when he pulled back Ben Arfa. Meanwhile, we will have one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
3.49pmWell, there will be more quality on show down on the pitches at Hackney Marshes tomorrow morning then what has been produced during the opening 45 minutes at St James' Park. Some of the players out there are international footballers - let's hope for their sake none of their managers have been watching this one!
3.53pmAs I mentioned towards the end of the half, bringing on Remy may alter Newcastle's fortunes. He would inject some much needed pace into proceedings, although there is probably a question mark over his fitness, having been out for so long.
3.56pmIn fairness to Fulham, there is no real need for them to make any changes. Being the away side, there is no real onus on them to take the game to Newcastle. They look quite happy to bide their time, soak up any pressure (of which there isn't much) and then try to hit their hosts on the break. Perhaps the introduction of Adel Taarabt at some stage may help their cause.
4pmGoing back to Newcastle, it's a really important team talk that Pardew will be giving right now. After all, if his side go on to lose this encounter, or even if it stays 0-0 and they show no real signs of improvement, it wouldn't be a major surprise if he was sacked. There isn't much time given to managers in football these days and he is certainly under pressure.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! Here we go then, Newcastle get the second half started. Let's just hope we see at least a shot on target! No changes from either side.
50 minA positive start from Newcastle as Ben Arfa robs Bryan Ruiz of possession midway inside the Fulham half. He then works a shooting opportunity for himself, but hesitates and the chance is gone. That is unusual for the Newcastle attacker, who normally shows no reluctance in pulling the trigger.
54 minWell, we are now almost 10 minutes into the second half and sadly things have not improved too much. For those that argue that the Premier League is the best in the world, let's hope that they have not tuned into the one!
58 minHalf a chance for Fulham as they decide to go route-one with a long throw from Riise. The ball flies over the top of the Newcastle rearguard and appears to be heading for an unmarked Bent. It skids on the surface, though, and rolls through to Krul before the Fulham striker can get it under control.
61 minAt the moment, there is more drama off the pitch. Cabaye has just come out of the dugout to warm-up for Newcastle and his appearance was initially met with cheers from the home faithful. However, that was quickly replaced by some boos. Long story short, it's a mixed reception for the Frenchman.
63 minSAVE! Some work for Stockdale to do, at last! It's Ben Arfa, who has been lively in the second half, that forces the stop when he cuts in from the right and fires in left footed from the edge of the area. The ball takes a slight deflection off Parker, but Stockdale gets his body behind the effort to hold.
66 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double switch for Newcastle, but the main talking point is that Cabaye is on to a lot of jeers and cheers. It's a very split crowd! Yoan Gouffran is also on, while Amoebi and Anita have been replaced.
69 minSAVE! Cabaye's first involvement is to concede a foul and from the resultant free kick Ruiz curls the ball towards the top left hand corner of the net. Krul is alert, though, and darts across his line to tip clear the danger.
73 minSUBSTITUTION: A forced change for visiting Fulham as full-back Sascha Riether limps off the field with a foot injury. It appeared that he twisted awkwardly after his studs had got caught in the turf. On comes youngster Matthew Briggs in his place.
75 minSUBSTITUTION: It's raining changes at the moment - shame the same can't be said about goals! It's the last substitution for the home team as Sylvain Marveaux trudges off to be replaced by debutant Remy. Can the French striker become an instant hero?
78 minBOOKING! And now a yellow card - things are hotting up! It's Riise that sees yellow for blocking off Moussa Sissoko as the Newcastle midfielder looked to make a run down the right wing. The two clash afterwards, but Foy steps in to stop the handbags from developing into something more sinister.
80 minOFF THE BAR! All of a sudden we have a different game on our hands! At last Ben Arfa sends over a decent cross, which Cisse climbs high to meet. His header beats a rooted Stockdale all ends up, but the ball cannons to safety off the crossbar. Newcastle all of a sudden look interested and it's lifted the crowd as well.
81 minWHAT A MISS! Gouffran missed a sitter last week and he's produced a similar error today. Again it is Ben Afra with the cross as he stands the ball up inside the six-yard box. Up goes Gouffran, who only needs to hit the target. The ball skims off the side of his head, though, and trickles harmlessly wide. A bad, bad miss.
83 minSUBSTITUTION: Former Sunderland centre-forward Bent goes off to a chorus of boos from the home fans. It's been a frustrating afternoon for the England international, who has limited service. On in his places comes the creative Adel Taarabt.
85 minSAVE! Mr Coloccini, you lucky man! It's a poor clearance from the Newcastle skipper, which falls straight to Taarabt. He hits his shot straight into the ground, though, and Krul is able to collect the ball on the bounce.
88 minThis is not an error - do not refresh your page - Newcastle have scored in the Premier League! It's a great goal as well from Ben Arfa, who cuts inside from the right once again and unleashes a curling shot from 18 yards out just inside Stockdale's right post. If it proves to be the winning goal, that's a fitting strike!
89 minSUBSTITUTION: A late alteration from Fulham and it is an attacking one. Off comes midfielder Sidwell, who is replaced by Colombian frontman Hugo Rodallega.
90 minNewcastle have four minutes of stoppage time to hold on here at St James' Park.
90+3 minOne minute left to play and at the moment the Newcastle rearguard is holding firm...
4.52pmWell, it was by no means pretty but Newcastle and Pardew won't care one jot - they've got their first goal and win on the board and what a goal it was. In contrast, Jol is bound to be disappointed that his side didn't hold out.
4.54pmRight, that is all we have time for from the North East. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and be sure to check back with Sports Mole shortly for our analysis of the proceedings. Until next time, goodbye.