Best brace enough for Magpies
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Newcastle United striker Leon Best bagged a clinical double to fire his side to a 2-1 victory over Fulham at St James' Park.

Best displayed predatory instincts that have been missing for much of his time on Tyneside as he struck twice in the second half to give Alan Pardew's side their second win of the season. The Magpies have now taken seven points from three matches.

Clint Dempsey got one back for Fulham late on, but three matches into Martin Jol's reign the west London outfit have only one point after two successive defeats.

With Shola Ameobi ruled out by a hip injury, Best was preferred to close-season signing Demba Ba in attack, while Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez and Gabriel Obertan were restored to the starting line-up after missing the midweek League Cup win at Scunthorpe United.

Although Fulham enjoyed more of the possession in the first half, their only clear sight of goal came when Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul did well to keep out Pajtim Kasami's strike.

Newcastle finished the half strongly and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was called into action to keep out Gutierrez's header from a Tiote cross. The Australian also had to tip away Yohan Cabaye's curling effort before Ryan Taylor shot inches wide from the resulting corner.

Best makes the breakthrough
Pardew's team were able to maintain their momentum after half-time and it was just three minutes before they finally took the lead with a helping hand from Schwarzer. The Fulham goalkeeper could only push Cabaye's shot onto the crossbar when it dipped in front of him and Best was on hand to tap home the rebound.

Jol's side would have been level five minutes later had it not been for a fine reaction save by Krul. Damien Duff sent in a cross which Steve Sidwell headed firmly towards goal, only for the Dutchman to turn it onto the bar and over the top.

Pardew made a change with 62 minutes gone when he replaced Peter Lovenkrands with Ba and the Senegal forward made his mark within four minutes, controlling Obertan's pass before crossing for Best, whose clever turn allowed him to poke the ball past Schwarzer.

Although Dempsey met Danny Murphy's free-kick to head home in the 88th minute, Newcastle were able to hold on for the points.