As Fulham headed to St. James’s Park on Sunday, Whites’ supporters were hopeful the club could get their first win on the table before the end of August. The match started quite well for us, with some decent possession but no clear-cut chances. A quarter of an hour before the half-time interval,the momentum began to swing in the favour of the hosts, with Yohan Cabaye forcing a save from Mark Schwarzer, which certainly set them up well to take control in the second period. The Magpies’ took the lead when Leon Best collected a rebound from a Cabaye shot which Schwarzer had only been able to push onto the crossbar. The Whites’ had a string of efforts beaten away brilliantly by Newcastle keeper Tim Krul before Leon Best converted a Demba Ba cross,
Fulham (left) clearly had the better of the chances, but Newcastle took the points
which Aaron Hughes failed to keep away from the former Coventry man. Clint Dempsey stole the clean sheet from Krul with a header which caught the Dutchman far off his line. In my opinion, we really should’ve had a draw at the very least, with at least five quality chances not finding the back off the net. The problems weren’t shown in many areas by the statistics, with the Whites out chancing the Magpies 16 to 7. The possession, at 54% to 46%, and crossing accuracy, at 35% to 12%, were also in our favour. The problems, as is usually the case, lie in conversion of chances. Hopefully Brian Ruiz can help in this department, as in 61 games for Twente he has converted 36 times, more than a goal every other game. Not the best opening month for our season, but things can only get better from here, especially with the Europa League group stage just around the corner.