Thursday, 6 May 2010

Fulham 0 - 1 Stoke City

The last home game of a momentous season ended up something of a damp squib because a) it was a Wednesday night, b) it was the third home game in a week, c) there is a small matter of next week's Europa League final and d) it was against Stoke City.
I must admit that I quite admired the Potters for the way they have comfortably remained in the Premier League and pulling off some shocking results along the way. However this is because I've never watched them actually play. They're in danger of being categorised with Bolton and Blackburn as another side that uses the physical approach to bridge any perceived skill gap.
I've never seen so many off the ball incidents go unpunished by a referee - who got booed off at the end of the game. The ref seemed to let all Stoke's niggles pass as legal, yet every time one of their players hit the deck it seemed to be a foul. Bizarre.
There wasn't a whole lot else going on pitchside. There were a couple of shots each before Fuller's deflected cross (off Tuncay's hand irritatingly) caught the defence cold-footed and allowed Matty Etherington to put the ball beyond Schwarzer, who had a bit of a shakey game. Get it out of your system here, Mark. Good thinking!
The Stoke fans were amusing - at one point doing a conga in and out the bowels of the Putney End. It looked more fun than watching another cold match at the Cottage.
After the match a rather the players conducted a rather half-hearted lap of honour around the ground in front of a set of lukewarm fans. Everyone knows that Hamburg will host the true end to this season rather than a low-key league match. Fingers crossed for a better outcome.

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