6mins: Geremi centred from the
right for Mark Viduka to turn and shoot low
past Kasey Keller into the Leazes net for his sixth goal of the season. 1-0
Half time: Newcastle 1 Fulham 0
82mins: Michael Owen won a free kick when he was bundled over by Toon
old boy Aaron Hughes.
The Newcastle captain then headed home Geremi's delivery at the Gallowgate End
to register a fourth goal in his last seven games under Keegan.
Full time: Newcastle 2 Fulham 0
Kevin Keegan said:
"It was a great result and it might stop
people saying Newcastle have not won under Kevin Keegan.
"The pleasing thing was the way the players stuck together and it was a
really good team performance.
"We showed good character, got the
goal early on and possibly should have scored two or three more. When we had
to dig in the players stuck together and that was one of the things the
players have been criticised about in the past.
"I felt there was a good spirit
around the place and we just needed a win to endorse that.
"It was thoroughly deserved and I
don't think anybody at Fulham could say any different.
"We deserved to win this game and we
played some really good football in the telling areas.
"The crowd today really stood by us,
they were fantastic as they nearly always are.
"These players are lucky that in such
a season it would have been so easy to go the other way as a big club like
ourselves shouldn't be fighting relegation.
"I think the players now realise what
it takes to get out of the bottom and they have been led by Michael Owen who
has been absolutely superb not just for his goals, but also his leadership on
"He has worked, foraged, played in a
couple of different positions against different teams, but he has never
questioned anything - he is a great team player."
"I thought in the first half the performance actually was
good, especially attacking wise."
"We were a goal down early which meant life was going to be more difficult for
us but I thought we more than held our own in the first half.
"I was really looking forward to kicking on from there in the second half but we
didn't play as well - I took a risk by sending on a third attacker, there was
always the chance we'd get exposed at the back and that's what happened.
"I'm disappointed about our lack of chances in the second half. It's the final
third that's been our problem and that's where games are won. The two
goalscorers today - everyone knows their quality and their names.
"We need to keep working hard. We've still got two teams above us who we're
near to and if we can get ourselves above them then we'll save ourselves. I
still believe we can do it, I've got confidence in the players but I can't give
any guarantees we'll do it."
Toon - all-time:
2007/08: won 2-0 Viduka,
2006/07: lost 1-2 Parker
2005/06: drew 1-1 N'Zogbia
2004/05: lost 1-4 Bellamy
2003/04: won 3-1 O'Brien, Speed, Robert
2002/03: won 2-0 Solano, Bellamy
2001/02: drew 1-1 Dyer
1983/84: won 3-2 Wharton, Keegan, Mills
1982/83: lost 1-4 Keegan (pen)
1981/82: lost 1-2 Barton (LC)
1979/80: won 2-0 Rafferty, Withe
1978/79: drew 0-0
1974/75: won 3-0 Cannell, Macdonald, Cassidy (LC)
1967/68: won 2-1 Bennett 2
1966/67: drew 1-1 Noble
1965/66: drew 1-1 McGrath
1960/61: won 7-2 Gilfillan 2, Neale 2, Tuohy 2, White.
1960/61: won 5-0 Allchurch, Neale 3, Woods (FAC)
1959/60: won 3-1 Allchurch, Eastham, White
1951/52: lost 0-1
1950/51: lost 1-2 OG
1949/50: won 3-1 Hannah, G.Robledo, Thompson
1947/48: won 1-0 Stobbart (pen)
1946/47: lost 1-3 Shackleton
1938/39: won 2-1 Birkett, Bowden
1937/38: lost 1-2 Pearson
1936/37: drew 1-1 Smith
1935/36: won 6-2 Cairns, Harris, Pearson 3, Ware
1934/35: drew 1-1 OG
1909/10: won 4-0 Higgins 2, Rutherford, McCracken (pen) (FAC)
We got our first league
win on home soil in seven attempts - our first three point return
since Birmingham were beaten 2-1 in early December 2007.
Kevin Keegan saw our first victory in ten attempts under his
stewardship and we ended a winless league run of fourteen matches,
since that 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage in December 2007.
Fulham's main threat Jimmy Bullard made a first return to the ground
where he suffered a career -threatening leg injury back in September
That day had seen the Cottagers record a 2-1 success, but this was to be their
32nd fruitless attempt since then to record a win on the road and failed to stop us claiming a first win double of the campaign.
October 1983 and the Match of the Day cameras
were at Gallowgate to cover Newcastle's home game with Charlton Athletic.
Less than 24,000 fans were present on that damp Saturday afternoon and some
miserable weather and two open ends meant that many of those present were
But events on the field proved rather more heartening, as two Kevin Keegan
goals saw his side scrape through 2-1.
John Motson's summarising soundbite remains lodged in the memory as much as
the scenes of steam rising off a cavorting mass of Gallowgate Enders: "Keegan
sees the fans happy".
A quarter of a century later and the perm may have gone, but the same guy
finally had the same effect on the crowd - and the city. To paraphrase that
credit card ad: smiling faces? priceless.
The elusive victory was achieved with McDermott at his side as he had been in
1983 and other former team mates including messrs Anderson, Beardsley,
McCreery and Wharton sitting just yards away in the Milburn Stand.
And there may be slightly more youngsters present than in recent seasons, but
a fair chunk of those encouraging and applauding were doing the same the first
time round for KK, never mind the second coming in the 1990s.
Then as now, the only thing that really mattered was the team winning and
entertaining in the process. The identity of the opposition was secondary,
merely the team we were going to beat.
In that respect a 50K plus crowd was heartening, lessening suspicions that
we'd partly succumbed to the big game hunter mentality, where casual fans buy
tickets only when the occupants of the away dressing room have some alleged
glamour and allure.
The media - and some fans - expected a revolution in the dressing room when KK
returned, but in reality it's been a combination of little things once the
transfer window ended with no arrivals.
It then became a motivational exercise -
coaxing performances out of players and shunning others.
Owen - body language improving even from the Birmingham game, when his goal
was followed by a sullen-faced celebration that was appreciated better from
behind the goal than on TV.
He does genuinely look happier with life here - and that cannot surely be down
to. It would be nice to think that Keegan had offered Owen some advice (and it
had been accepted) about altering one's game to remain effective when that
burst of speed is no longer there.
Barton - probably his most effective display yet for the club, both in terms
of industry, accuracy and discipline.
Geremi - surely the 21st century Kevin Brock - didn't have a great game and
frustrated on occasion with careless passes and duff set pieces, but got two
over that mattered - both leading to goals.
Duff and Ameobi - not wanted on voyage and banished from the sixteen players
Enrique - frustrating but starting to show an improvement at both ends of the
The short-term element here is genuine, with the only thing mattering being
the final league position this season. The likes of Enrique and Geremi may
well only have weeks to go at this club, but are contributing to the
And while Keegan has been lavish in his praise of Owen, only time will tell
whether those comments are genuine or he's indulging in a little of the
product promotion that Sir Bobby Robson adopted (his getting money for the
misift Maric being the footballing equivalent of water into wine).
It's not all plain sailing though and there were enough areas of concern today to make
us grateful that it was Roy Hodgson's travel sick side providing the
Mark Viduka quickly blew any dark
clouds away with a typical strike, but his record of just two starts and one
sub appearance in Keegan's ten games suggests that he's hardly gone the extra
mile to aid the cause - something that the absent Turk also stands accused of.
Expect the fitful contributions of both of those players not to be forgotten
come the summer. But for now though, it's nothing but positive noises about
the Australian at least.
Back to the game and our failure to find a second goal led to some inevitable nervousness from a crowd who had seen the
smoggies and Blackburn plunder vital late goals here recently to deny
However the vital second goal to dispel fears arrived with eight minutes
remaining and for the first time in far too long we were able to collective
Not a classic then, but now we're firmly at the business end of the season the
ends justify the means. As we had at St.Andrews, there was an attempt to
play football rather than randomly batter the ball upfield.
Against that though there was a woeful lack of pace throughout the side
exacerbated by the removal of Martins once again, to mild disapproval from the
If one single moment encapsulated our work rate and industry, it was
seeing Owen starting a counter-attack by bringing the ball out of his own
Those long overdue three points and other results saw us lifted up to
thirteenth spot, six ahead of third-bottom Bolton with seven games to play.
Our victory meanwhile was mirrored by a 1-0 success by the mackems, with
Michael Chopra's goal at Aston Villa giving Roy Keane's side a first away win
of the season.
That upcoming Tyne-wear derby could just yet be about nothing more than local
bragging rights, rather than the survival battle that it looked a couple of
An undoubted confidence booster ahead of the visit to Spurs, our fortunes
remain very much in our own hands and home successes against Reading and the
mackems will surely banish any thoughts of relegation.
And then the real work can start.