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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Fulham taste more cup bitterness as Newcastle make off with fifth-round slot



FA Cup 4th Round

Fulham (0) 0

Newcastle United (1) 2 Longstaff 38, Burn 61



Fulham suffered a second cup exit in the matter of days as they followed up their League Cup semi-final heartbreak with defeat in the FA Cup.


A team re-jigged after the ultimately fruitless attempt to beat Liverpool on Wednesday offered up some decent football but foundered in the final third - unable to make a telling impression against a no-nonsense Geordies backline featuring former Whites defender Dan Burn.


Clear-cut openings were at a premium and the pragmatic Magpies - without reaching any great heights themselves - cashed in with two goals from corners from Sean Longstaff and Burn himself.


The defeat was not the only dull note struck. The obvious gaps in the crowd was another.


It could have been the strange Saturday kick-off time of 7pm. It could have been the fact they have three home games in six days. But the Fulham hierarchy will be deluding themselves if they believe those are the sole reason for a turn-out that was well below capacity.


The black and white elephant in the room was the ticket pricing, which caused plenty of normally diehard fans to vote with their wallets.


Classic FA Cup clashes like this one should be full to the rafters. The away end certainly was. As usual, the Geordies travel in great numbers. They even had Alan Shearer amongst them. But the Hammersmith End in particular looked way roomier than usual.


"We've been here through thick and thin, don't price us out" said one banner. From a fan who still paid up to watch his team, in spite of what many see as an off-putting deal at £40-45.


The Whites had lost all four previous FA Cup meetings with the Magpies between 1908 and 1961, conceding at least four on each of those occasions - so a chance to rewrite history was clear. But the only part of the equation they improved upon was in not letting in four.


Longstaff's blast into the bottom corner separated the teams at the interval - the goal coming after a short corner routine that ended with Lewis Miley flicking the ball back for the midfielder to sweep home as the home defence dithered.


The ball accidentally struck the arm of Bruno Guimaraes on its way to the goalscorer, but not enough to rule out the strike, the officials decided.


On the hour, it was the turn of the big defenders to punish the Whites. Sven Botman rose highest at a corner and Rodak's save from the header only succeeded in offering up a simple finish for Burn, who crashed in with a left foot shot from all of three yards..


In truth, there was little for Fulham fans to get their hopes up. In the first half, Rodrigo Muniz almost found the bottom corner after a set up from Harry Wilson - Martin Dubravka making a fine save. And Muniz later turned on a pass from De-Cordova-Reid to send a deflected shot just wide.


But it was a case of slim pickings and Wilson's departure at the end of the first half did not help the cause.


Joao Palhinha and Tom Cairney - so vital when it comes to making Marco Silva's men tick - were kept back until late and their arrival off the bench made little difference this time.


Whites: (4-2-3-1) Rodak - Tete, Ream, Diop (Tosin 71), Robinson - Reed (Palhinha 71), Lukic - De Cordova-Reid (Jimenez 71), Andreas Pereira (Cairney 65), Wilson (Willian 45) - Muniz


Magpies: (4-3-3) Dubravka - Trippier (Krafth 86), Schar, Botman, Burn - Miley, Guimaraes, Longstaff - Murphy (Livramento 75), Isak, Gordon (Ritchie 90+4)


Attendance: 18,960

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