Fulham 1 West Ham 3
No festive cheer for Fulham fans down by the River Thames today!
Fulham produced the kind of display that can be so infuriating. At times our movement of the ball, and subsequent passing, was exquisite but we lacked that end product needed to take advantage of such fine work.
Mark Hughes gave us no surprises with his starting eleven selection and after weathering a good first five minutes from West Ham, Fulham started to control the match even taking the lead with just eleven minutes completed.
West Ham failed to clear a corner and when the ball was worked nicely across the park, Simon Davies delivered a great ball into the box for Aaron Hughes to head home his first goal in six years.
A goal to the good we controlled matters and we should have double dour lead but Andrew Johnson couldn`t get a touch to a wonderful ball into the box, from a wide position, from Davies.
Fulham were to rue that missed chance because just as it appeared we`d be heading into half time with the lead, disaster struck. West Ham pushing forward but without creating any serious chances, fed a ball behind Etuhu and an instinctive reaction from the midfield player saw him divert the ball into the path of Cole who wasn`t prepare dot waste the opportunity.
Matters got worse right on the forty-five minute mark when West Ham took the lead. A ball from out wide, to the far post, saw Piquionne in acres of space steer the cross in.
Hughes sent out the same eleven for the second half but West Ham weren`t to give us the same room we had in the first half and after Murphy had wasted a free-kick, steering it over the bar, introduced Eddie Johnson and Damien Duff for Etuhu and Demspey.
Eddie Johnson looked lively but Fulham couldn`t break down the Hammers defence, especially with Green being in such good form and the game was to be put to rest when Cole scored a second finishing off a move that had started with a long ball out of defence.
If we were to get something we had to strike quickly and we almost did. Eddie Johnson hit a good shot, from an acute angle, but somehow the right hand of Green kept the ball out.
With two tough fixtures to follow any suggestions that we`ll not be in a relegation fight seem to be wide of the mark at the moment. These are worrying times down at Craven Cottage.
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