Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday August 15 2009
Fulham got their Premier League campaign underway with a narrow win at Fratton Park.
More importantly, we won away from home with comparative ease and at the first attempt.
Last season it took us a mind-boggling 14 attempts to register that elusive first win.
The season before it was a mind-numbing 17 games before we took three points on our travels.
Boy does it feel good!
Roy Hodgson stuck with his tried and tested starting eleven for the trip to Portsmouth with Simon Davies the only absentee from those who`d normally figure.
Our recent signings Kelly and Riise were both on the bench.
As for the Portsmouth side named by Paul Hart, I have to admit some of the names were new to me, but with the likes of Defoe, Crouch and Johnson gone that was always going to be the case.
The game was settled by a solitary goal and it was a slightly fortunate goal at that. In the 13th minute a Fulham free kick, taken by Danny Murphy resulted in a freak goal fro Bobby Zamora.
From twenty-five yards out Dempsey`s shot struck Zamora on the back and the ball, despite a despairing dive from David James, drifted into the far corner of the net.
Zamora could well have doubled our lead in the first half but the striker put his header straight at James from a mere six yards out.
Portsmouth look set for a hard season. Despite being cheered on by a vociferous home crowd they carved out very few chances.
A free kick from Kranjcar momentarily had us worried but most of the time the Fulham defence coped all too easily.
In fact, instead of surviving a last few nervy minutes when the Portsmouth substitute, David Nugent, wasted a good chance we could well have been on easy street if Andrew Johnson hadn`t of missed a sitter.
Never mind - three points is three points and its back to Europa League qualification in midweek.
Well done to Roy and the lads from all at Vital Fulham.
Date:Saturday August 15 2009
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