Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Monday May 14 2007
Well, thank goodness 2006-2007 is now over!
We may have survived and Premiership football guaranteed for another season but yesterday was another of those days when being a Fulham supporter was hard work.
Indeed, it looks as if Lawrie Sanchez has an almost impossible job on his hands if he wants to improve our standing with the current crop of players. The squad is crying out for some investment and we can only hope that Al Fayed releases sufficient funds to spare us the same agony next season.
Unfortunately, perhaps some of the blame for our defeat can be laid firmly at my feet, after all it was me that suggested that Mark Viduka was the Middlesbrough player to watch. Little did I know he was going to score twice in what could be his farewell game.
At times it was left to Anti Niemi to mount a one-man show as Middlesbrough threatened to run riot. Niemi pulled off fine save after fine save denying the likes off Lee Dong Gook, Emanuel Pogatez.
Indeed, whilst Fulham struggled to stem the tide our hosts were more than a little wasteful in front of goal. Stewart Downing shot wide, Lee Dong Gook missed a sitter when he blazed into the stands before Niemi had to be on top of his game to deny George Boateng.
Perhaps it was inevitable that Middlesbrough were eventually going to score and just past the half hour mark it was that man Viduka who opened the scoring. He raced onto a fine ball from Jonathan Woodgate, held off Zat Knight before smashing it past Niemi.
Therefore it was something of a miracle when we snatched an equaliser three minutes before half time. It came after David Wheater made a hash of things and Simon Davies nipped in to beat Schwarzer. Unfortunately for us, the youngster made amends just three minutes later when he put Middlesbrough back in front heading home a corner.
When Viduka made it 3-1 just after half time, it was all over and Fulham did well to keep it to that score line. Indeed, Niemi had to produce another top-notch save to deprive Viduka of a hat-trick with just minutes left.
Now it`s all over, let`s just relax and enjoy the summer, I think we`ve earned it.
Date:Monday May 14 2007
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