Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
Fulham and Spurs battled their way to a goal less draw at Craven Cottage but it was far from being the dull match the score line might suggest.
For this fixture Roy Hodgson chose the same starting eleven that beat Manchester United so comprehensively despite Brede Hangeland slipping during the pre-match warm up and appearing to be struggling.
Fulham supporters would have been glad to see the return of Andrew Johnson albeit only on the bench.
The visitors, Spurs, elected to start with Keane up front in place of Defoe and Jenas in midfield in place of Huddlestone.
The first half saw Fulham get off to a good start when a Bobby Zamora header down for Damien Duff saw the Irishman produce a sizzling shot that was, unfortunately, straight at Gomes in the Spurs goal.
Spurs, slowly but surely, started to get back into the game and their passing game was a joy to watch but for all the prettiness there was no real end product to trouble Fulham.
Fulham though were looking dangerous going forward and Danny Murphy produced a great shot that forced Gomes into making a fantastic save before Duff saw a shot go wide.
Spurs thought they had taken the lead but Crouch was dismayed to see that the referee had already awarded a free kick, before he`d netted, for a foul. From the resulting free kick Kronjcar shot a yard wide with Schwarzer merely a spectator.
Fulham continued to cause Spurs problems and one spell of pressure saw a Gera shot go wide, a Murphy shot tipped over the bar and a Baird header go wide.
Just before half time Clint Dempsey hit the bar from thirty yards with a tremendous shot.
The second half was more even though with Spurs playing better than they had in the first half. As far as chances went though it was that man Bobby Zamora who forced yet another good save out of Gomes when the keeper was forced to claw away a header.
Not to be out done Mark Schwarzer also produced a great save keeping out a Peter Crouch volley before diving at the feet of Jenas to deny the chance of the midfielder netting the rebound.
With minutes remaining Damien Duff, who had a great match, produced a cross-cum-shot that Dempsey just failed to meet at the far post.
A game of many thrills but no goals but a game that cements our place as one of the better teams just outside of the top four.
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
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