Well I thought this would be the first home win I'd seen since the start of the season, but sadly the picture was all too familiar. At least on the pitch. Off the pitch and in the stands was a little bit strange.
As we only booked the seats for the cup match on the Friday I had to pick the tickets up from the ground (which cost an extra £1 for some unfathomable reason), so I got to Craven Cottage early. The place was swarming with Bristol Rovers fans. I met the boys in the Fulham fans only Golden Lion (locked doors and I had to show my season ticket to be let in) as the other two pubs were closed to football colours, probably because of the scary influx of Bristollians. What I didn't expect is that they would still outnumber the Fulham fans once inside the ground.
Apparently the 'pirates' brought 7,000. The official attendance was 13,500. Not surprisingly, they made more noise than the Fulham fans - especially as the Fulham team had actually given them plenty to sing about. In all honesty, they were better than most Premiership fans that have visited the Cottage. They even had some inventive and original songs.
We'd billeted ourselves in the Riverside Stand as that meant I had watched a match in all four sections of the ground this season, but the Riverside is a much different prospect than its three other brethren. It feels wrong somehow to sing-a-long (and swear at the players) when surround by the infant and infirm. At half time we decamped back to the Hammersmith Stand, pretty much like a lower league team's fans can, and joined in some of the singing there instead.
I even heard a song that I'd not come across before - Fulham fans singing sarcastically about winning the Intertoto Cup. Perhaps there's life in the old dogs yet.