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Newcastle's Given thrilled with first cleansheet in 15 months

Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given admitted he felt like somersaulting across the pitch after keeping his first clean sheet away from home in 15 months.

The 31-year-old Irishman stood at the other end at Fulham on Saturday as midfielder Joey Barton converted a last-minute penalty to hand the Magpies a second successive Barclays Premier League victory.

It was Newcastle's first league clean sheet away from St James' Park in 13 months, and it was Steve Harper who was between the posts that day as Manchester City recorded a blank.

Given had to go back even further to his last unbeaten game, which came in a 2-0 victory at West Ham on September 17 2006, the day he was carried off in agony after suffering a perforated bowel in a collision with striker Marlon Harewood.

He said: "I didn't realise it had been that long.

"It has been frustrating, and it feels like that long since we have kept a clean sheet home or away.

"I was celebrating the clean sheet as much as the victory. I was going to 'do an Obafemi Martins' across the box, but I don't think I could have managed it.

"It was a good feeling to keep a clean sheet. It's not just me or the defenders, the whole team should get credit for it.

"We defend as a team and if we don't do that, we won't keep clean sheets."

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Tribal Football Staff

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