Fulham scrape Victory.
A dogged performance, a brilliant keeper and a bit of luck all contributed to Fulham's defeat of Reading on this, the first Saturday of winter. Steve Coppell must be absolutely clueless as to why his side lost to a Fulham side there for the taking. A keeper called Antti Niemi proved to be the stumbling block in front of Readings path, making a number of superb saves, once again proving, why he is one of the best keepers in the Premiership.
A slow start to the game was brought to an abrupt end with Simon Davies opening the scoring, firing in from 18 yards out from goal, into Hahnemann's bottom corner. This coming after Hahnemann made three outstanding saves from the Fulham attack in quick succession.
Fulham, looking to build on their lead, went close only for an offside to deter Dempsey's chance. Dejan Stefanovic picked up a booking and Michael Duberry had Reading's best chance, seeing his bicycle kick go wide.
Reading came out of the traps early in the second half, desperate for the equalizing goal. Leroy Lita had a goal disallowed for offside, correctly so, and Michael Duberry failed to connect with a cross and the ball went out for a goal kick.
At the other end, Duberry handled the ball, leading to huge appeals from Diomansy Kamara for a penalty only for the ref to quench the fire of his protests by awarding a goal kick to Reading. Reading did equalize however after Kevin Doyle headed home from a corner with Aaron Hughes the culprit of slack marking.
Healy came on and fired straight into Hahnemann's gut but Fulham did regain the lead through Clint Dempsey, tapping home unmarked. Reading pushed as hard as they could for a second goal and when a whipped in free kick missed everybody, Antti Niemi was sent sprawling to his right to palm the ball out for a corner.
Fulham were playing counter attacking football and Simon Davies broke, fed the ball to Healy, who seemed to be offside at the time, and Healy scuffed the ball into the net with his right foot ensuring Fulham the 3 points. The downside to this was seeing Elliot Omozusi sent off after a second bookable offence late on.
Vital Man of the Match: A toss up between Simon Davies and Antti Niemi but on this occasion I'll pluck for Davies who's contribution to this match was priceless.
Vital Fact: This is the first time Fulham have won a game by more than two goals since Fulham beat West Bromwich Albion six one back in February the 11th 2006.
Vital Note: David Healy and Shefki Kuqi formed a good partnership today when brought on; proving Healy needs a target man by him to play well.