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Fulham 0 Newcastle 2: Alan Shearer breaks 39-year tradition during Toon’s FA Cup win

SEAN LONGSTAFF and Dan Burn gave their fellow Geordies the last laugh with the goals that lifted the Newcastle gloom.

The travelling fans insulted by the ridiculous kick-off time dictated by the demands of television went home happy after cameras of a different kind failed to rule out Longstaff’s controversial first-half opener.

Alan Shearer watches Newcastle's win over Fulham in the away end with children Will, centre, and Chloe

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Alan Shearer watches Newcastle’s win over Fulham in the away end with children Will, centre, and Chloe
Alan Shearer and Lee Clark watched Newcastle make the fifth round of the FA Cup

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Alan Shearer and Lee Clark watched Newcastle make the fifth round of the FA CupCredit: Rex

And then another local hero, Burn, scrambled home the second goal just past the hour mark to seal a win that could yet prove highly significant.

Victory keeps alive Newcastle’s hopes of having a trophy to show for a so-far disappointing season.

It also eased the pressure, for a few hours at least, on beleaguered Toon boss Eddie Howe.

The coming days are likely to be difficult, with the threat of a player or players being sold to help balance the books of the richest club in the world.

The sound you can hear is the world’s smallest rabab – the ancient Saudi Arabian ancestor of the violin.

But if it’s hard to feel sorry for Howe and Newcastle, it is important for them not to feel sorry for themselves as they face up to their current problems.

They have a lot of work to do to secure a second consecutive season of Champions League football.

But perhaps an FA Cup run (or even better a win), plus a place in European football of some description, would be sufficient to demonstrate a direction of travel.

It was clearly a big game for the visitors. Among the black and white hordes in the Putney End were a number of celebrities, including Alan Shearer and fellow former Newcastle team-mate Lee Clark.

Shearer said: “Ah man. What a f——— night that was. In the away end for the first time since 1985. I bloody loved it. TOON TOON. 🖤🤍”

On the face of it, Howe’s team selection was that of a man who knew his season and probably his job depended on it.

Injuries undoubtedly restricted his options but the Newcastle boss picked the strongest starting 11 available to him.

Not so Marco Silva. The Fulham boss made seven changes to the side that had tried and narrowly failed to overcome Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg three evenings earlier.

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Sean Longstaff opened the scoring for Newcastle against Fulham

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Sean Longstaff opened the scoring for Newcastle against FulhamCredit: Alamy

But if those decisions suggested an attitude of “That’s enough cup runs for this year, lads”, the players in white on the pitch did not get the memo, in the first half at least.

Fulham started brightly and second-string centre-forward Rodrigo Muniz fired a shot high into the Putney End inside three minutes.

A defensive mix-up at the other end gifted Jacob Murphy a chance but he hit his shot straight at stand-in Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak, who made a meal of saving it.

Rodak was in action again to stop Fabian Schar touching in a Kieran Trippier free-kick at the near post and Anthony Gordon fired wide.

But Fulham were holding their own. Muniz might have done better than force a decent save out of Martin Dubravka in a promising opening to the game which suggested, if nothing else, that neither side wanted a replay.

The visitors were showing purpose but struggling in the final third to turn it into chances.

Dan Burn sealed Newcastle's victory at Fulham in the second half

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Dan Burn sealed Newcastle’s victory at Fulham in the second halfCredit: Getty

Muniz again went close when his shot on the turn was deflected just wide by Sven Botman.

But six minutes before half-time the home side fell controversially behind.

Fulham had only themselves to blame, having failed to deal with a Trippier cross after a corner.

The ball fell into Longstaff’s path after being diverted there by Bruno Guimaraes’ hand but the VAR officials must have deemed it accidental – check the laws, nothing to do with me – and so saw no reason to chalk off the fine finish.

Dan Burn started at left-back and dominated the wing against Fulham

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Dan Burn started at left-back and dominated the wing against Fulham
Newcastle made it to the next round even though Fulham dominated possession

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Newcastle made it to the next round even though Fulham dominated possession

Newcastle were noticeably more confident coming out for the second half.

Fulham chances dried up and Alexander Isak tested Rodak before the Fulham keeper was unable to prevent the visitors doubling their lead.

The Slovak kept out Botman’s header from Trippier’s corner but the ball fell for Burn to jab in from close range.

Silva brought on more first-choice players with 20 minutes to go but it was too little, too late.

The Fulham momentum had been halted by Longstaff’s goal and Burn’s strike seemed to have robbed them of belief.

Substitute Raul Jimenez headed over the bar but there was to be no comeback and no more cup heroics from Fulham, as he and Tom Cairney fired wide in stoppage time.

Newcastle and Howe live to fight another day.

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