Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday May 3 2008
Fulham made it three wins in four fixtures to ease out of the relegation zone this afternoon.
Goals from Brian McBride and Erik Nevland were the difference between the sides on an afternoon that saw us finally us move out of nineteenth place.
For the fixture, Roy Hodgson chose to make only one change form the eleven that started at Manchester City last Saturday with Diomansy Kamara coming in for David Healy.
For the visitors, Franck Queudrue could only make the bench.
At a once again sold out Craven Cottage, the scene was set for a cracking game with both sides cheered on by expectant support.
Fulham started the sharper and were closing down Birmingham well and denying them any time on the ball. In the early exchanges Brian McBride headed against the bar but was given offside.
Maik Taylor then had to produce a marvellous finger-tip save to deny Simon Davies. The opportunity came when Jimmy Bullard stunned the visitors by not shooting from a well placed free kick but lifting the ball for Davies to hit.
After that chance Birmingham started to come into things slightly with James McFadden looking their best player. The Scottish forward saw a goal ruled out for handball as Birmingham threatened to spoil the party.
The first half had been a lively encounter with some great end to end football but without any serious chances being created apart from that finger tip Taylor save.
The second half saw Birmingham forced into making a change when Ridgewell was forced off through injury to be replaced by Queudrue and it was immediately obvious that Fulham had lost none of the impetus shown in the first half.
The opening goal came after fifty two minutes when a Bullard free kick, from the left hand side, was floated in and Brian McBride rose to head firmly past Taylor, the ground erupted to salute the ageing striker.
Birmingham couldn`t mount a serious comeback and Kamara had two half chances to finish them off but couldn`t. Still the white shirts poured forward and Dempsey could have probably done better when he headed a Davies cross over.
Fulham were showing more desire, more fight and it looked as if their perseverance would provide those valuable three points. Thankfully, the situation was made safe three minutes from the end Nevland capitalised on a Jaidi error to net our second.
I`ve got a strange feeling it`s going to be a good nigh tonight!
Date:Saturday May 3 2008
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