Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Fulham 2 - 1 Bolton Wanderers

Wow. We'll have some more of the same please. Granted it was against a poor and injury-depleted Bolton Wanderers side, but the football played was some of the nicest in the league this weekend.
I still wonder if Fulham have a soft centre, especially after the defeat at Hull, but Bolton tried their bullying tactics and failed. Danny Murphy was strong in the tackle and, surprisingly, Zoltan Gera weighed in with a few crunching challenges too, out-muscling the Wanderers in the middle of the park. It was no surprise that Bolton's only real effort (and goal) was a hoof up from the keeper which was nodded in by Kevin Davies. It was typical of Fulham to make hard work of a game they had dominated for so long, but fortunately they were at least 2-0 up by this time and had also hit the bar.
I guess many comments will be made about Andy Johnson's effective and encouraging debut, but the surprise of this game for me was the unveiling of the new player previously known as Bobby Zamora. Zamorandonna's goal, where a quick drag back took him past two players and allowed him to belt the ball in the back of the net from the edge of the box was a revelation and perhaps highlighted the fact that defences will be more worried about Johnson and perhaps give Bobby Z a bit more room in which to maneuver.
Gera was also impressive with a fine finish from the edge of the box and a header against the bar.
The Cottage was a bit busy this game, in glorious weather. It's the first league game in which the clappers weren't laid out for us, but the atmosphere didn't suffer too much. At half time I went to the little cabin next to the Riverside Stadium in order to buy a cap as it was so sunny. There was a light grey cap available for £5 - bargain. Only they all had security tags on there that the cashier didn't have the tools to remove. Pointless! The £8 black caps didn't have any tags on them, but were really horrible. I did without.
To cheer me up on the Thames there was some sort of weird river race with dozens of boats being rowed down the river, each one with different livery or flags giving it some. The Fulham fans gave shouts of encouragement (and abuse) but I guess that's part of the fun of being 2-0 up at half time.
So that's three home games and three wins. Last season it took until the middle of March for me to see three home victories (I was in Australia for the Reading fixture). Things are definitely looking up this season.

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