Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday January 3 2009
Fulham travelled north today and finally registered that vital first away win of the season with a victory over a gallant Sheffield Wednesday side at Hillsborough.
It took two goals from Andrew Johnson, his fifth and sixth of the season, to finally put Fulham through to round four after our hosts had equalised with a splendid strike from Spurr.
For the fixture Roy Hodgson chose to make only a few subtle changes to his normal starting eleven. Dickson Etuhu replaced the ill Jimmy Bullard whilst Julian Gray and Fredrik Stoor came in for Simon Davies and John Pantsil respectively.
In the early stages of the first half there was very little between the two teams with Mark Schwarzer having to be alert to deny Jermain Johnson. But, as the half wore on, Fulham gradually took control and when a Danny Murphy through ball found Andrew Johnson, in the twelfth minute, he wasted no time in slotting home from close range.
The goal might have been the catalyst for Fulham to go on and enjoy an easy win but all credit to our hosts, Sheffield Wednesday, who plugged away and nine minutes later equalised.
Spurr picked the ball up some thirty yards out and let fire, the swerve on the ball beat Mark Schwarzer and it went just inside the post, for a splendid goal. Our hosts then had further opportunities to score but some woeful finishing from Jermain Johnson was, to eventually, cost them dearly.
The second half saw Fulham establish themselves as the better team, their Premier League class and fitness finally wearing Sheffield Wednesday down. A second goal always looked likely and it almost came when Clint Dempsey saw his shot go narrowly wide of the post.
Lee Grant, in the home goal, then bravely denied the same player with a block and just as you thought we`d all be heading back to Craven Cottage, Fulham got that crucial breakthrough when Andrew Johnson scored with two minutes left on the clock.
In the end it was close, time wise, but class wise, Fulham`s eventually shone through!
Anyone got a preference for a fourth round opponent?
Date:Saturday January 3 2009
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