Best brace sinks Fulham
Newcastle 2 Fulham 1
Leon Best emerged from the Tyneside shadows to prove there is life after Joey Barton as Newcastle maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
The Ireland international was asked to stand in for the injured Shola Ameobi and responded with a second-half double.
However, the Magpies were indebted to 'keeper Tim Krul for three superb second-half saves from Steve Sidwell, Chris Baird and Danny Murphy before he was finally beaten for the first time in the new league campaign by Clint Dempsey's 88th-minute header.
It was far from a vintage performance by the home side but, just as they did at Sunderland last weekend, they got the job done to bank another precious three points.
After yet another eventful week at St James' Park, during which Barton's stand-off with the board came to a head and striker Nile Ranger was arrested, many of the club's fans voted with their feet and there were around 10,000 empty seats inside the stadium as the game kicked off.