Date:Tuesday March 25 2008
Billy McKinlay continued to utilise the First Team`s large squad by bringing in a number of players with game time from this season.
Tony Warner started in goal after recently returning from Barnsley. The Defence lined up with Development Squad regulars Elliot Omozusi and Adrian Leijer, the experienced Dejan Stefanovic and also included Under 18s captain Joe Anderson.
Rob Milsom, back after a month at Brentford, started in the centre of midfield with Alexey Smertin. Right wing was occupied by Lewis Cumber and Nathan Ashton showed his positional flexibility by filling in at left wing. Ismael Ehui and Diomansy Kamara completed the line-up.
Reading`s team had many Familiar names such as Graeme Murty, Ibrahima Sonko, Michael Duberry, Bobby Convey and Shane Long were all playing from the start in a bid to impress the watching Steve Coppell.
The game kicked off at a frenetic pace and it took just two minutes for the match to see its first chance with Reading coming close.
Fulham`s backline seemed slightly hesitant in the opening exchanges, there was nothing wrong in attack. Successive chances for Ehui and Kamara alerted the Royals` defence to the fact that it wouldn`t be one way traffic.
The pace of Kamara was causing the central defensive pairing of Michael Duberry and Ibrahima Sonko considerable problems.
One such occasion Kamara and Duberry chased down a bouncing ball, as they challenged for it, Kamara was adjudged to have impeded the former Chelsea defender. From the resulting free kick, Reading were keen to take it quickly, however Murty was robbed of possession by Nathan Ashton. Ashton fed the ball to Kamara who raced into the left hand side of the box before whipping a ball across the area. It missed two Fulham players in the six yard box but Lewis Cumber, bursting a lung to reach it at the back post, connected and rifled the ball into the roof of the net off Adam Federici in the Reading goal.
As the half progressed the ball was zipping from end-to-end and it was Fulham that were creating more clear chances. Ehui had a goal ruled off for offside before the end of the first half.
The players ran out in the second half looking to keep up the frantic pace of the first half. Good strength by Kamara allowed him to run into the box before cutting the ball back to Ehui eight yards out but his strike partner shot wide.
Fulham were upping the momentum and looked dangerous every time they broke into Reading`s half. Following another close offside and a free-kick in a dangerous position, the Whites finally got the second goal. Nathan Ashton had his back to the touchline and rolled the ball into the path of Ehui. The striker jinked his way into the box, around Sonko and slipped the ball in at the near post to give Fulham a two-goal cushion. This would prove to be the final goal of the game and gives Fulham the double over Reading this season.
Fulham: Warner; Omozusi, Leijer, Stefanovic, Anderson; Cumber (Smith 63), Milsom, Smertin, Ashton (Thompson 88); Ehui, Kamara
Subs Not Used: Etheridge (GK), Hall
Goals: Cumber (18), Ehui (71)
Date:Tuesday March 25 2008
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