Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
Fulham lost (again) on their travels and to make matters worse also lost Clint Dempsey to what could be a serious knee injury!
With John Pantsil and Bobby Zamora out of action, joining Simon Davies and Diomansy Kamara on the sidelines, there were no shocks with regards to Roy`s starting eleven. Stephen Kelly stood in for Pantsil and Clint Dempsey partnered Andrew Johnson up front.
The first half was a tale of what might have been. Fulham dominated the half but went in a goal down courtesy of a strike from Chris Samba after twenty-five minutes, after the defender had taken advantage of a desperate clearance off the line from Damien Duff.
Prior to the goal both sides had chances, Dempsey had produced a good save from Paul Robinson whilst McCarthy had forced Mark Schwarzer to tip away a shot.
After the goal, all the decent action was down to Fulham, Johnson fired a right foot drive just over from the edge of the area, Dempsey produced a fantastic overhead kick that crashed against the Blackburn bar and Duff forced Robinson into a good save from the edge of the area,
Following those efforts, Dempsey again was frustrated by Robinson after the ex-England keeper denied him a scintillating goal after a world class spin off the defender.
Paul Koncheskey failed to appear for the start of the second half after picking up a knock towards the end of the first, Tony Kallio took his place.
Sadly, any hopes of Fulham quickly getting back into the match were killed off, nine minutes into the half, by a second Blackburn goal. McCarthy took a free kick out wide and Ryan Nelsen scored with the Fulham defence culpable of some shocking defending.
Things didn`t get any better when Dempsey, who had performed admirably in the first half, was forced to limp off injured, to be replaced by Erik Nevland. Fulham didn`t meekly surrender though and Robinson had to remain alert to stop a Zoltan Gera shot.
Fulham then appeared to be denied a penalty when Samba pulled back Nevland as he moved into the box, the referee - definitely no friend of ours!
Johnson then failed to take advantage of an error by Robinson who flapped at a cross but couldn`t find the net with a meek shot. Time was running out though and Blackburn could have nicked a third but McCarthy saw his twenty-five yard free kick clear the bar.
With three minutes of stoppage time declared, any hopes of a Fulham comeback were firmly extinguished. Another away trip; yet more disappointment and Dempsey taken to hospital with a knee problem, not a great day was it!
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
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