Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday January 12 2013
What has happened to fortress Craven Cottage?
Once again, from a winning position, we failed to take all three points, instead having to make do with a share of the spoils.
For the fixture against Wigan this afternoon, Martin Jol was able to recall Mark Schwarzer, Mladen Petric, Kieran Richardson and Damien Duff, however Steve Sidwell was absent having strained his hamstring last time out.
Our visitors started well and could have taken an early lead when Sean Maloney scuffed his shot wide from eight yards out. Fulham were losing the battle in midfield with James McCarthy looking very effective.
Continuing to push forward, James McArthur fired over from outside the area before Berbatov, from a free kick, got it horribly wrong and saw his effort fly high and wide. But, with twenty-five minutes gone, Fulham edged ahead through Karagounis, our Greek international slipping inside one marker to fire in a beautiful shot, in off the post, from twenty-five yards out.
Wigan could have equalised almost immediately when Emmerson Boyce set up Franco Di Santo but the Argentine put the ball over the bar from six yards out.
Half Time - Fulham 1 Wigan 0
Wigan started the second half better than Fulham and looked as if they`d soon be on level terms. Schwarzer produced a great finger-tip save to deny an effort from Maloney that looked bound for the top corner.
Richardson then produced a decent tackle as Di Santo burst into the area following some good work from James McCarthy before the Argentine had our hearts in our mouths with a shot, on the turn, that went narrowly wide.
But Wigan`s domination did pay dividends in the 71st minute when Di Santo took advantage of some slack defending to skip past Reither and beat Schwarzer with a stunning shot. Suddenly it looked as if Wigan would take all three pints with Roberto Martinez side pushing forward. Di Santo forced anther save from Schwarzer before Gomez, after good work from Ramis and Beausejour, saw Schwarzer keep his effort out
With the clock running down, Di Santo skipped past the challenge of Hangeland but Schwarzer was once again equal to his shot. But Fulham almost snatched an injury time winner when Ruiz thought he had scored but Figueroa headed the ball off the line.
Two tough trips to the north-west await us, Blackpool in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the league, it could be time to up the ante a bit or we could be about to hit a bad spot.
Date:Saturday January 12 2013
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