Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Wednesday February 3 2010
A goal from Jonathan Greening, in the second half, was enough to give Fulham all three points against a resilient Portsmouth side.
After five defeats on the trot, in the Premier League, Fulham were looking to get back to winning ways against a Portsmouth side whose form in recent times could be described as bad as ours.
Interesting to point out as well that with regards to how the crow flies, this is a Premier League derby for Portsmouth with Craven Cottage being the nearest ground to Fratton Park.
With the squad hit by injuries meaning that Pantsil, Konchesky, Dempsey, Johnson and Gera were all not available for selection, Roy Hodgson had no choice but to give debuts to his two deadline day signings Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka.
Interesting though to see £12 million of defender, in Chris Smalling, warming our bench!
For the visitors one time Fulham defender, Steve Finan was in the starting eleven along with one time supposed transfer target Jamie O`Hara.
With the referee, Anthony Taylor, enjoying his first time officiating a Premier League game it was the visitors that had the first chance of the game when the wonderfully named Kevin Prince-Boateng forced a save out of Mark Schwarzer with only three minutes on the clock.
Eight minutes later the visitors carved out another good chance and Schwarzer produced a good save to deny Frederic Piquonne. The visitors had started better than Fulham who were, for spells, unable to get out of their own half.
In fact it took Fulham twenty five minutes to create the best chance of the game; unfortunately Aaron Hughes could only direct his header straight at David James from ten yards out.
Pompey, through Kevin Prince Boateng then, minutes later, almost took the lead but his skilful work in getting into the penalty area only resulted in his deflected shot being saved by Schwarzer.
As half time approached Stefano Okaka had a glorious chance to open his scoring account in the Premier League. Danny Murphy saw his cross headed down by Jonathan Greening and from one yard out Okaka saw his header go well wide of the post. Bobby Zamora, coming into the game, skipped past two defenders but saw his shot blocked.
Portsmouth undeterred by the spell of Fulham pressure then almost took the lead themselves. Piquonne saw a header deflected over and then saw a sea of Fulham bodies desperately diving in to block a shot.
Half time 0-0 but an enthralling forty-five minutes.
The second half started much the same as the first had done with neither side creating a clear cut chance in the first ten minutes. Aruna Dindane had the first decent chance of the half but his header was easily saved by Schwarzer.
Sixteen minutes into the half Damien Duff saw a curled shot deflected behind. Six minutes later Zamora had a glorious chance to open the scoring but his header went straight into the hands of David James. Chances continued to be few and far between.
Just as it looked as if it`d end 0-0 Fulham opened the scoring. Duff put in a cross that Zamora missed and there was Jonathan Greening to net to score his first goal for Fulham.
The goal seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of Portsmouth and it was Fulham that ended their losing streak earning all three points!
Date:Wednesday February 3 2010
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