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Fulham 2 Newcastle 3 – What a comeback 17 years ago by NUFC after delay as car was blown up

6 months ago

The match ended Fulham 2 Newcastle 3 and it was a game that had so many angles, including some of my favourite players and one of my very favourite ever goals.

The date was 21 October 2003, exactly 17 years ago to the day.

Fulham were playing at the home of QPR at the time and the game had been delayed by half an hour after police blew up a suspicious car in a controlled explosion.

Not exactly what you need, especially when it is a night match almost 300 miles from home.

After league finishes of fourth and third, a terrible start to the season for NUFC with three draws and three defeats.

However, wins over Southampton and Middlesbrough had steadied the ship.

Indeed, after that start, Newcastle went on to lose only two of their next 21 Premier League matches.

However, a few too many draws and indeed a massive 17 in total by the end of the season.

This was the season of the ‘invincibles’ as Arsenal won the league without losing a game and actually only they and runners up Chelsea lost less games than the eight NUFC lost. However, those draws did the damage and Newcastle ‘only’ finished fifth in what proved to be Sir Bobby’s final full season.

There were three former Newcastle players on the opposition side and within eight minutes the 16,506 crowd had seen two of them score.

Lee Clark refusing to celebrate when opening the scoring on six minutes, Louis Saha making it 2-0 two minutes later. Alain Goma the other former NUFC player, who was also to play a key role in the game…

On 16 minutes Laurent Robert combined with Alan Shearer and an excellent half volley finish by the Frenchman.

On 51 minutes, Goma outpaced by Shola Ameobi(!!!) and bringing him down for a penalty – Shearer going with a cool roll it into the net instead of his usual powerful rising spot-kick.

Then a really beautiful goal.

I know Jermaine Jenas gets a lot of stick now but he was a decent player and capable of some great moments, I just love this so subtle pass in behind the defender and Shearer’s finish, a brilliant and underrated goal in my opinion.

Seeing these highlights reminds you of what it is like to see a Newcastle team playing football and actually touching the ball in the box!

Fulham 2 Newcastle 3 and this was the team:

Shay Given

Aaron Hughes

Titus Bramble

Andy O’Brien

Gary Speed

Olivier Bernard

Lee Bowyer

Jermaine Jenas

Laurent Robert (Darren Ambrose 87)

Shola Ameobi

Alan Shearer


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