Fulham 1 Newcastle 0 Friday 5 August 7.45pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle, to talk about some aspect of the match:

Nat Seaton:

“Sadly, same old away day disappointment.

“Should have had two pens but let’s not hide behind the fact that it was a truly average performance.

“Still glad I travelled down, definitely a different feel to it all than last year…”

Paul Lyon:

“All the pre-match hype pointing towards a resounding victory…

“This is Newcastle United we’re talking about though.

“Nervy start gave Fulham hope and our midfield three were anonymous for large parts of the game.

“I felt we really should have got at them early doors, a signal of intent for the rest of the league watching. Instead we got the old pattern from last season.

“Disappointing but very early days, hopefully the lads put it right at St. James Park next Saturday.”

Jamie Smith

“I believe that this season will be decided on a couple of fronts.

“Firstly, at St James Park, where we need to win most games and probably should.

“Secondly, in the post-Christmas period, where less well-equipped squads start to fail and we should put a good run together.

“Losing the opening away game at a ground we’ve always (inexplicably) struggled at, is not a cause for hysteria.

“Having said, the lack of creativity was worrying and the initial formation did not work.

“Hopefully the addition of Diame in the middle and the return of Mitrovic up front will add more balance and give a better attacking prospect.

“Let’s all stay calm though. Bring on Huddersfield.”

James Rutherford

“Disappointing result on what should have been the first night of a great season.

“Definitely the correct result, despite a few dodgy decisions from Mr Hooper.

“Isaac Hayden was the stand out performer and was head and shoulders above his midfield partner Colback.

“True to form, we are already under pressure to get a result next week at home to Huddersfield.”

Leazes Park Ender

“A poor display and a really poor start to the marathon season that lies ahead. Little up front to trouble the keeper and left the Fulham player unmarked for the goal. Right now on Twitter there are Mackems and Smoggies laughing it up.

“The midfield didn’t seem to click all game and both Anita and Colback sloppy, the latter apparently having a strop as he was subbed.

“We need another target man surely?

“Benitez is a great man and a great football manager, but he’s just one man. The players must step it up and realise that scale of the challenge that lies ahead of them.

“A bad night and a bad start. Feel for the 7,000 who travelled down on a Friday for that tepid showing.

“Huddersfield is already a big game. Blimey, Nufc eh. It’s never easy.”

Jamie Swan

“On holiday with the family having just endured 15 hours of Legoland Windsor in 24 degree heat – I couldn’t wait for a few pints in the hotel bar tonight.

“Then it dawned on me. This is Newcastle United. I’m in a bar full of Cockney knobbers. I mean, surrounded by them. And did I mention that this is Newcastle United?

“Throughout my giddy crack at being a human being, one thing has remained constant – the never ending ruining of my life by NUFC.

“We played poorly. I think Rafa went too negative first half and got it wrong. Plus my son screamed full pelt that we were going to lose 60 seconds prior to their goal.

“Send all hate mail c/o Jack Swan (soon to be of boarding school aged 5).

“Robbed of a pen. Ritchie should have scored. But overall we were not what I had hoped we would be. Played this out in my mind 1000 times – this didn’t make the cut.

“The away day curse continues. Gutted for the lads and lasses there. Only 15 miles from me, come to the Marriott Windsor and share the pain.


Notts Toon:

“Impressed with Ritchie, Hayden and Gayle’s movement, Sels could do nothing about the goal.

“Hanley looks a bit too ‘hands on’ and has definitely got a penalty in him, and not the best day at the office for the new captain.

“Colback offered nothing, the rest were ok.

“Not what we’d hoped for, probably not what we expected, but welcome to the Championship eh?”

George Stainsby:

“Set-pieces. TBC. Better second half.”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Fulham 1 Newcastle 0

Goals – 

Smith 45

Possession was Fulham 45% Newcastle 55%

Total shots were Fulham 5 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Fulham 3 Newcastle 2 

Corners were Fulham 2 Newcastle 2

Team: Sels, Janmaat, Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Colback (Aarons 61), Anita, Hayden (Shelvey 77), Ritchie, Perez, (Armstrong 70) Gayle

Unused Subs: Darlow, Gamez, Mbemba, Sterry

Ref: Simon Hooper

Crowd: 23,922