Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday April 21 2007
Still in Danger!
After taking a point from a thrilling match against Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, thanks to other results still face an uncertain Premiership future.
With four matches left to play, I`m darned if I know whether we`ll stay up. It could even go to that final match of the season against Middlesbrough.
For his first home fixture in charge, Lawrie Sanchez went for three up front with Montella, McBride and Radzinski all selected. As expected Pearce and Queudrue were not considered fit for selection.
On a beautiful sunny day, in front of a great atmosphere, the game started with both teams having an even share of the play in the opening exchanges. However, Fulham were to lift the threat of relegation as early as the tenth minute by opening the scoring.
From a Davies corner, Diop headed the ball down and it squeezed into the net courtesy of the knee of Montella. Blackburn would have been devastated as moments earlier Niemi had produced a great save to deny Bentley from scoring with a thirty yard free kick.
The goal galvanised Blackburn and Fulham were to be on the back foot for the remainder of the half. Pedersen had a series of free kicks, one of which Niemi did well to save before the same player hit the post with a header when well placed.
Roberts was proving to be a particular thorn in our side and a Nelson forty yard ball saw the striker lob the ball over Niemi only for Knight to clear off the line. In all honesty Roberts should have done better.
As the half approached its conclusion, Fulham could have doubled their lead. Montella found Diop and his shot, from twenty yards, was deflected by Brown, sadly Freidel managed to keep the ball out with a good save.
The second half saw Blackburn push for that equaliser. Roberts saw a shot hit the cross bar with Niemi doing well to save the Pedersen header from the rebound. Blackburn then won another corner and although it was cleared Dunn fed a dangerous ball back in that Samba somehow, from six yards out, put over the bar.
Fulham were now looking nervous as Blackburn started to dominate the game and just past the hour mark the visitors got their reward. A nice build up down the left involving Warnock and Pederson saw Warnock deliver a ball into the box that McCarthy netted with a left foot finish for his twenty-first goal of the season.
Fulham were living dangerously and a fine ball from Roberts gave McCarthy another chance but this time the striker fired just over. Both teams were seeking the three points on offer and both were creating chances.
Niemi was forced to save from Pedersen whilst Brown curled a shot just wide before Volz produced a marvellous tackle to deny Roberts as he raced through. In the final stages Knight headed a Davies corner into the side netting and it became obvious that the spoils would be shared.
Yet another draw. Could we be relegated through too many? It remains to be seen.
Date:Saturday April 21 2007
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