Thursday, 20 March 2008

Fulham 1 - 0 Everton

Now this is more like it! (strange sense of Deja Vu).
I was amazed to hear before the match that Everton have not taken even a point from Craven Cottage since 1966. That's 42 years! Granted Fulham have yoyoed through the divisions during that time, but that is some record. Surely their luck would change at some point?
Maybe, but not this season. Possibly knackered from going out of the UEFA Cup on penalties during the week, the Toffeemen didn't get off to a good start when speedy slaphead Andy Johnson pulled up with a groin injury and they didn't have the personnel to fulfil a plan B.
Despite this, Fulham really didn't get going in the first half. In fact I don't think I've ever seen so many misplaced passes by one team during a 45 minute period. It would have been understandable if the Fulham fans had wished it was their own Johnson, American Eddie, that had got injured and carted off, so ineffective and headless was he. I never thought I'd hear the Hammersmith End calling for the introduction of Diomansy Kamara!
Still at half time Woy appears to have actually managed to make the players communicate with one another and Fulham played better stuff in the second half. The goal, when it came, was functional and, tellingly, Fulham's only attempt on target. It's about time the Cottager's luck took a turn for the better. How Simon Davies missed with an open goal later on is one of those enigmas wrapped in riddles that I've been reading so much about recently.
Personally I thought Everton had a strong shout for a penalty just before half-time when I think Pienaar was brought down, but I have seen no other mention of the incident elsewhere so I guess I was wrong.
A mention must be made of the cracking atmosphere at the Cottage. It's been recorded elsewhere, but being part of a crowd shouting, singing and generally having a laugh is what I signed up for in the first place. More please!
Of course the worst thing about this result is the hope that it brings that Fulham will stay up. Eight games left and most are against eminently beatable teams, however only three of these are at home and the away form is worse than useless. We'll see how Fulham do at St James' Park this weekend before making any judgement on whether they can stay up, but I reckon the survival mark will be at a record low point level. Here's hoping.

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