Thursday, 5 March 2009

Fulham 0 - 1 Hull City

Well I'm somewhat at a loss to explain this result. Hull were by far the worst team to visit the Cottage this season, yet they escape with three points, thanks to an injury time winner from Man United loanee Manucho.
The goal came after most Fulham players had turned off mentally - two minutes into three minutes of injury time. John Paintsil ended up making a defensive throw in as no-one up front was making any movement and a poor clearance by Schwarzer was snapped up by a Hull winger who rode two or three challenges before putting a hopeful cross into the box. Unfortunately Konchesky watched it traverse the six yard box and Manucho stole in behind him.
In fairness the whole team was at fault, as Fulham should have been a number of goals to the good, but possession in dangerous areas was not translated into goals. Zamora himself had a strange game. His movement frequently got him past one or two players, yet his passing (and then his lack of passing) frequently let him down. He wasn't alone though, as Danny Murphy was frequently harried into mistakes by Hull's midfield.
The biggest problem today was Fulham's lack of a plan B, typified by the first and only substitution occurring with three minutes left. It is probably Hodgson's biggest weakness.
Hull were nowhere near this match, but the longer they went without conceding the more confident the players got. They still didn't deserve to score though. Fulham had several chances and a couple of shots cleared off the line by defenders, but just didn't breach the Hull defence, for which they paid the penalty.
Speaking of which, it looked like Bobby Z should have been given one in the second half, but the referee waved the protests away. In fact the referee had a strange game, with inconsistent decisions and a couple of puzzling yellow cards for Fulham players.
The big question is: can the players draw a line under this result as a one off aberration or will it continue to haunt Fulham for the rest of the season?

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