Two of the Best eases pain produced by Barton's departure

Newcastle United 2 Fulham 1

A pre-match airing of Morrissey's "Every Day Is Like Sunday" was the closest they came to marking the not inconsiderable void left by Joey Barton as Newcastle started life without The Smiths-loving midfielder. If subsequent sabbaths turn out like this one, then they are set to be happy in the haze of a drunken hour or two.

Perhaps the only downside for the hosts was the concession of a late consolation courtesy of a looping backward header from Clint Dempsey, Fulham's first in the Premier League this season and the only time so far Newcastle's defence has been found wanting in the league this term.

In fairness to the visitors, Tim Krul was called on to make three stunning second-half saves to keep his side, despite their turbulent build-up to the season, among the early-season pace-setters. "He's a young lad from my hometown," Fulham manager Martin Jol revealed. "He's a keeper I like a lot, but maybe not so much after that outstanding display."

One point from Fulham's first three games makes uncomfortable reading for Jol, who said: "If you create the number of chances we did then you should take something from the match."

It was his side's 11th game of a season already approaching its third month and he added: "It's been a tough week with three matches, but the players need to realise that the ball never gets tired."

Leon Best must never tire of facing teams from London. He made the most of a rare start to ensure that six of his eight appearances on the scoresheet for the club have come against opposition from the capital.

The second, shortly after the hour, was the pick, the Republic of Ireland international taking a sublime touch to kill a low cross from substitute Demba Ba, before turning to fire low past Mark Schwarzer. The Fulham goalkeeper was powerless on that occasion, but should have done better with Newcastle's first, three minutes after the restart. He could only push Yohan Cabaye's shot on to the bar, Best reacting first to bundle home.

"He still has to prove himself," Alan Pardew insisted, in an attempt to keep the forward's feet on the ground. The manager added: "For me he's never had a run where he's been able to say 'I'm the man'. He's got an opportunity now."

Newcastle's express start may make it more difficult for Pardew to persuade owner Mike Ashley to invest in the squad in before Wednesday's transfer deadline. Erik Pieters, the Dutch international Pardew thought would be coming to Tyneside before the weekend,instead featured for PSV Eindhoven yesterday.

"There's nothing that I want to disclose now," Pardew added. "We've lost Joey and we need to get some bodies in through the door."

Substitutes: Newcastle Ba 5 (Lovenkrands, 62,), Vuckic 6 (Best, 78), Smith (Vuckic, 85).

Fulham Johnson 6 (Kasami, 73)

Booked: Newcastle Simpson, Smith.

Fulham Sidwell.

Man of the match Best.

Match rating 7/10.

Possession: Newcastle 50% Fulham 50%.

Attempts on target: Newcastle 9 Fulham 9.

Referee K Friend (Leicestershire).

Attendance 42,684.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders