Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Fulham 0 - 1 Newcastle United

I was in half a mind not to write about this match because, scandalously, I had to live 20 minutes from the end to catch a train down to Sussex and as such missed the denouement. This was another live match on Setanta, although why they wanted to show Fulham v Newcastle is beyond me. Maybe any Newcastle away games are good for ratings as the Toon have quite an army of supporters. I couldn't quite see any other interest in it, other than the fact that Fulham inevitably slipped into the relegation zone after the 3pm KOs.
I doubt Setanta will be battling Sky to show the return fixture anyway. The first half was particularly tepid and tedious, with neither team playing football of any discernible quality. In fact Fulham looked pretty clueless whenever they had the ball. Still half time came and it was still 0-0 with Newcastle having just one clear attempt that was well saved by Niemi.
However the boos from the fans in the Hammersmith End still rang out as the players trudged off. I really, really don't understand the constant booing. I think it began way back in September when performances were good, but the results were poor. Now both are poor and Fulham need a bit of confidence, but are not getting this from the crowd. Maybe I don't care enough, but I think the manager should be given more time. He certainly did something at half-time with Fulham playing some great football for the first 20 minutes. When I had to leave, Newcastle had played themselves back into contention but it looked odds on for a stalemate.
There seems to be a general consensus that it was a penalty in the last minute. On TV I thought it looked a little harsh, but could understand why it was given. Fulham NEED to win against Wigan on Saturday, for Sanchez's sake. I will say Fulham are justifiably in the relegation zone - they've only won two games all season. But the rest of the league is so poor that an unbeaten run would boost the team up the table again.

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