Schwarzer shuts out Magpies

2010-11-13 20:29

Newcastle - Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer kept Newcastle United at bay as his saves helped Fulham claim a much-needed point in a goalless draw at St James' Park on Saturday.

Evergreen at 38, Schwarzer pulled off a superb save to deny a fierce volley from Magpies hotshot Andy Carroll as the hosts met their match in a determined Cottagers side.

Championship winners Newcastle, who have had a superb start back in the English Premier League, were frustrated as Schwarzer showed why he is still considered one of the best goalkeepers in the top flight.

The draw left Newcastle seventh in the table, while last season's Europa League finalists Fulham are 15th, a point above the relegation zone. The Cottagers have won just once in their last 10 games.

Newcastle were without volatile midfielder Joey Barton - suspended for punching an opponent midweek - and injured striker Shola Ameobi, meaning manager Chris Hughton handing starts to Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes also made two changes, with striker Andy Johnson making his first start since January and midfielder Zoltan Gera coming in as Dickson Etuhu and Matthew Briggs dropped to the bench.

Fulham winger Damien Duff was booed every time he touched the ball on his return to St James' Park.

In the early exchanges, neither side was able to create dangerous chances, with shots flying wide or presenting little challenge to the goalkeepers.

Fulham were able to handle the Magpies' attacks, as Cottagers defender Brede Hangeland kept hitman Carroll quiet.

Schwarzer was forced into action in the 36th minute to deny Lovenkrands at close range with a reaction save after Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan inadvertently blocked a shot from housemate Carroll.

At the other end of the pitch, Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul had to deal with a flurry of efforts, blocking two from striker Clint Dempsey and another from Gera.

After the interval, Schwarzer parried a Lovenkrands shot after Guthrie played the Denmark striker through.

Five minutes later, Carroll got on the end of a clearance and unleashed a fierce volley towards the bottom corner before Schwarzer got down low to pull off a stunning save.

With 66 minutes gone, Schwarzer was called into action again, saving a good Lovenkrands header.

Three minutes on, Fulham could have won it when Belgium striker Moussa Dembele hit the crossbar with a volley from a corner.

The Magpies survived the scare and went looking for a winner with Carroll still toiling away up the pitch, but Fulham held out for a deserved point.