Fulham 1 Swindon 0
Fulham moved into round four of the FA Cup with a narrow 1-0 win over Swindon Town courtesy of a strike from Bobby Zamora, his eleventh of the season.
For the tie, Roy Hodgson chose not to risk the recently injured Brede Hangeland with Chris Smalling continuing in his absence. With John Pantsil injured, Hodgson elected to start with Stephen Kelly at full back. Rested, and not even afforded a place on the bench, were Danny Murphy and Damien Duff whilst recent first team starters Chris Baird and Zoltan Gera were on the bench. Coming into the starting line-up were Riise, Greening and Dikgacoi whilst Fulham supporters would also have been appreciative of the fact that Andrew Johnson was t make his first start, after injury problems, since October 4th 2009.
After the big build-up, including his own article, we were a bit aggrieved to find that Michael Timlin could only make the Swindon bench.
Cheered on by 6,500 visiting supporters, Swindon were hoping to put on a decent display and for the early stages of the match they more than matched Fulham.
Prior to the visitors settling down though Fulham had a glorious chance to open the scoring when in the second minute Bjorn Helga Riise found Bobby Zamora and the in form striker shot just wide.
During those moments when the game was fairly even, Ferry blasted a shot over the bar and into the huge travelling support.
Thankfully, Fulham got their noses in front, in this tie, in the sixteenth minute when that man Bobby Zamora scored his eleventh of the season after superbly holding of the Swindon defence, latching on to a ball from Stephen Kelly, before slipping the ball past the advancing Swindon keeper, Lucas, and that was the way the first half was to finish.
Swindon refused to buckle though and Mark Schwarzer had to save smartly from Billy Paynter, the same player was to fire over the bar with another effort before Fulham wasted two chances.
The first fell to Bobby Zamora but his heard was off target. The second saw Andrew Johnson beat two defenders before shooting narrowly wide as Fulham upped the ante.
Swindon played well in the second half but all too often their final ball was n the shocking class and Fulham had plenty of opportunities to wrap matters up.
Twenty minutes into the second half Fulham should have put the tie to bed. Andrew Johnson was fouled, in the area, by Lucas but the keeper redeemed himself by saving Johnson`s weekly struck shot to send those aforementioned 6,500 supporters wild with delight.
Thankfully though, despite a few nervy moments, especially a free kick from McGovern that Schwarzer smartly saved, Fulham were able to hold on and will take their place in the fourth round draw, a draw that will take place at 18:15 hours on Sunday evening.
Vital Fulham though would like to thank Swindon for making a game of it and acknowledge that your support was fantastic, how I yearn for such travelling support following Fulham.