Monday, 20 August 2007

Fulham 1 - 2 Middlesbrough

No-one else appears to be bothering posting on here just at the moment, but I'll keep the engine running.
You could tell that nothing was going to go Fulham's way in this match when the captain dislocates his kneecap while scoring even though there was no-one around him - an injury that will keep him out for 3 months!
Added to that Bouazza somehow dislocating his shoulder from a nothing challenge (which Sanchez originally told him to 'run off' from the byline), the point-blank save made by Schwarzer with his FACE from Healy, the abomination that was Mido's goal and the officials missing Healy's injury time equaliser all add up to a bad day at the office for Lawrie Sanchez's team.
The trend in each of Fulham's games this season has been a massive goalkeeping howler and the leading team end up losing 2-1. Unfortunately Fulham have been on the wrong end of both these trends twice now. Tony, Tony, Tony... you gifted Boro an equaliser. Bolton I could explain and understand with it being the wettest evening ever, but this was just crap.
On the bright side, Fulham played some wonderful football on the day and really deserved to take at least a point off Boro, with Simon Davies being particularly creative. The opposition were pretty poor to watch in comparison. Still they got the points.
A couple of interesting things happened at this match which I'd never seen before. After about five minutes the ref pulled up injured and Andy D'Urso (shudder) had to replace him. About ten minutes after that there was an announcement over the tannoy asking if there was any qualified referees in the stadium! I reckon a Boro fan said he was and acted as the fourth official, which is why Healy's goal was disallowed. I've heard of tannoy announcements for doctors, but qualified referees? What would have happened if D'Urso got injured? We'd have had the supporter of one of the sides running the line! Suspicious offside decisions ahoy.
Also during one stop for a Fulham injury where Warner had booted the ball out, Sanchez called the whole outfield team over to the dug out for an impromptu team talk, leaving the officials and the Boro players a bit non-plussed. If I was the Boro player I would have taken the throw-in to a colleague and rushed to goal while the Fulham players were still talking, get a one-on-one then purposely boot the ball wide of the net to really shit the players up. It could have seriously back-fired on Sanchez.
It remains to be seen now if McBride can be replaced by £6m Kamara, but I haven't seen a lot to suggest this could be the case yet. The away match at Villa on Saturday might answer some questions.

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