Fulham 1 Newcastle 0: Bad start to life after Carroll

Fulham's Damien Duff (second left) celebrates scoring his team's opening goal.
Fulham's Damien Duff (second left) celebrates scoring his team's opening goal.
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DAMIEN Duff twisted the knife into former club Newcastle, ensuring life after Andy Caroll got off to a bad start for the Geordies.

Duff netted his first league goal for almost a year to give Fulham victory and take them 12th in the Barclays Premier League, one point behind Newcastle.

Newcastle lost Shola Ameobi to a suspected fractured cheekbone just 13 minutes in, less than 48 hours after selling Carroll to Liverpool.

Newcastle could ill afford to lose another forward but that was exactly what happened when Ameobi took an elbow to the head in a challenge with Steve Sidwell after just 10 minutes.

Three minutes of futile treatment followed before Ameobi was led down the tunnel and replaced by Nile Ranger.

Newcastle were briefly down to 10 men again before half-time thanks to another head injury, this time to Danny Simpson.

Mike Williamson produced a great block to deny Duff an early second-half opener but the winger should then have put Fulham ahead in the 50th minute when he prodded wide from barely three yards after Dempsey's shot was saved by Harper.

Poor defending cost the Magpies in the 67th minute when Jose Enrique was too easily beaten by Duff to Murphy's 60-yard ball and the Irishman kept his cool to strike right-footed past Harper.

Ranger turned well to force Mark Schwarzer into a sharp save before Steve Harper kept out late efforts from Dempsey and Kakuta.