Seventeen-year-old Lewis Miley’s first senior goal set Newcastle on their way to a seventh successive Premier League win at St James’ Park as they beat 10-man Fulham 3-0.
The midfielder, thrust into the action as a first-half substitute after Fabian Schar and Joelinton had been added to head coach Eddie Howe’s lengthy casualty list, fired the Magpies into a 57th-minute lead and saw Miguel Almiron and Dan Burn follow suit to clinch a hard-fought victory.
Fulham, who had striker Raul Jimenez sent off with just 22 minutes gone after needlessly careering into and flooring midfielder Sean Longstaff, frustrated the hosts for long periods but eventually succumbed in front of a crowd of 52,035.
Howe had insisted in advance there could be no hangover from Wednesday night’s Champions League exit and his players set about their task with relish in a bid to end a run of three consecutive defeats.
In the absence of the suspended Kieran Trippier, defender Schar took charge at a fifth-minute free-kick and after tapping the ball short to Anthony Gordon, he whipped a curling shot just wide of Bernd Leno’s left post.
However, the visitors, who had scored five without reply in each of their last two matches, had arrived intent on taking advantage of any weariness among the black and white ranks and repeatedly stretched the home defence on the counter.
Bruno Guimaraes fired high over from Gordon’s 17th-minute pull-back after Jamaal Lascelles had muscled Jimenez off the the ball with the striker needing treatment after being caught by a flailing arm.
The frontman was even more aggrieved five minutes later when, after referee Sam Barrott had been invited to review his ugly challenge on Longstaff, the official upgraded the yellow card he had originally awarded to a red.
Newcastle came desperately close to the opening goal on the half-hour when Gordon controlled substitute Emil Krafth’s cross and smashed a left-foot shot against the underside of the bar before Callum Wilson headed straight at Leno from Gordon’s cross.
Burn then did just enough to put Alex Iwobi off as he shot having run on to Joelinton’s loose pass with Martin Dubravka having earlier fielded Joao Palhinha’s long-range attempt.
Leno denied Longstaff after he had run on to Tino Livramento’s through ball and the half-time whistle arrived with the sides still locked together.
Guimaraes drilled a speculative effort straight at Leno as the home side resumed on the front foot but lacking the necessary invention or precision to fashion genuine opportunities until Gordon sent Leno full-stretch from Wilson’s lay-off seconds before Miley tested him with a rising drive.
However, it was the academy graduate who finally made the breakthrough with 57 minutes gone when, after Guimaraes had driven into the penalty area, he fired low across Leno and inside the far post.
The second goal arrived within seven minutes when Gordon’s through ball evaded Wilson and defender Antonee Robinson and fell nicely for Almiron to slot into an empty net.
It was three with eight minutes remaining, Burn bundling home at the far post after Leno had repelled his initial header.