Monday, 19 April 2010

Fulham 0 - 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

A number of firsts at this weekend's game. 1) I'd never seen Wolves play before. 2) I sacrificed the start of the game so I could watch all the Manchester derby (thank heavens). 3) Ish was well up for the game. 4) There were no planes flying over Craven Cottage!
When games are particularly boring, spectators can usually amuse themselves by playing the which airline game as planes slowly drift across Putney airspace towards Heathrow. Not this weekend though, which is a shame as there wasn't much happening on the pitch. Fortunately there was the tonic of bright sunshine instead.
Wolves had just three players that I was aware of Doyle, Hahnemann and Craddock, although I didn't recognise the defender at first because of his head bandage. However despite this lack of superstars (or perhaps because of it) Wolves were a surprisingly tidy team, but without much of a cutting edge. Pretty similar to Fulham at the moment, really.
Ahead of this Thursday's trek to Hamburg, it was a surprise to see such a strong Fulham side, with just Smalling replacing Hangeland in the starting XI. The young lad had a more promising game than he has in recent appearances, but the steady hand of Aaron Hughes once again stood out. The Irish defender has had an outstanding, unsung season and is a big reason for the team's success. Just remember the games where Smalling and Hangeland were the central pairing.
Fulham had two outstanding chances during the game. One where Duff was put through, but chose the wrong option and tried to unsuccessfully come inside the last defender, much to the crowd's disgust, which I thought was a bit harsh. The other chance was a glorious Zamora strike from nothing, 25 yards from goal, which bounced off the post.
And that was it. Neither team looked particularly dangerous, Fulham with one eye on Europe and Wolves with one eye on a valuable point for securing Premier League status. It was a shame that we didn't see some of the Fulham bench warmers - It would have been good to see Johnny P and Okaka - but Woy knows best.
At the end of the game Ish and I went exploring and clambered over to the Johnny Haynes Stand to check out the sightlines of where we might potentially be moving to next season. A year in the truly historic stand feels right for plastic tourists such as us, but it will be a hard wrench to leave the Hammy End. We'll be seeing what comes available.

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