Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday April 5 2008
It was supposed to be the game we dare not lose, well we did just that - lose!
Strangely enough, the defeat may not prove to be as calamitous as first thought as we exited Craven Cottage.
With both Bolton and Birmingham City getting turned over our situation remains very much as is, except we now have one game fewer in which to save ourselves from relegation to the Championship.
In front of a packed Craven Cottage we started brightly. Jimmy Bullard looked dominant and could have opened the scoring. However, in all honesty Sunderland will point to the fact that they should have opened the scoring before they did when Evans nodded home a cross only to be given offside. If the decision had been given against us I`d have been a touch miffed.
During the first thirty minutes the action flowed from end to end with both sides having chances. Kamara saw a shot go narrowly past whilst Sunderland will point to a Bardsley shot that went over the bar.
However as half time approached the game had turned into a stalemate and it looked as if the break would come with the score at 0-0, how wrong we were to be!
On the stroke of half time a Murphy cross took a slight deflection off Konchesky and Collins headed it past Keller to give the visitors the lead.
It was tough on us but nine minutes into the second half it was to get tougher when Sunderland doubled their lead through Chopra. A long clearance saw Stalteri dither and Chopra beat Keller with his shot.
At 2-0 things looked gloomy but there was brief hope. In the seventy-fourth minute Healy curled a beautiful shot past Gordon to reduce the arrears. Sadly, any hopes of a fight back were thwarted two minutes later when our defence once again under-performed (and that is putting it mildly) to allow Kenwyne Jones to shrug off a weal challenge and shoot low past Keller.
The Craven Cottage crowd departed in there thousands knowing that defeat would be a bitter pill to swallow, can we escape, my heart says yes but my head tells me it`s Championship football for us next season!
Anyone care to disagree?
Date:Saturday April 5 2008
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