Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Charlton Athletic 1 v Fulham 1

My concern for Fulham's Championship status proved short-lived. There is clearly fight left in the Cottage dog and they should have taken all the points this evening. 

The reflection for me, then, is why we couldn't find fourth gear. We competed well enough in an even first-half and could argue that a 2-1 lead would not have been unfair had Johan Berg Gudmundson not missed a far post sitter before the break. 

Ross McCormack did what he does best at the Valley and headed Fulham into an early lead after getting in between our defence and looping a forward header over Stephen Henderson after good build-up play and a flick on. With Scott Parker anchoring the Fulham midfield and pinging balls back, forth and around his team, Cousins and Diarra (signed a one year contract extension today) struggled to hold midfield. 

Bulot and Gudmundson huffed and puffed but Igor wasn't finding any space and when played up to Tony Watt, he was left with too much to do. The equaliser came after sixteen minutes and was strange. Morgan Fox got past his man on the left wing and it appeared that the referee had blown his whistle for an infringement as he rattled a cross into the box. The Fulham players all appeared to stop and I wondered if they thought an offside had been given. As it was the ball dropped six yards out and evaded the stretching Bulot but Gudmunsoon was hurtling in at the far stick and managed to get enough on it to beat Bettinelli. We enjoyed a good 15 minute spell after that and it looked like Fulham's flash-in-the-pan was over.

After the break, however, there was only one side interested in winning. Fulham went for the jugular and we went to sleep. If I am honest, I didn't concentrate as much on the second-half. An old mate was sitting with me and we were catching up on twenty years of news (great to see you Paul). There wasn't much to report bar several fine saves from Henderson and a spate of last ditch tackles and blocks which somehow kept Fulham at bay.

Eyes on next season and my only remaining interest is in a top-half finish which will see me collect a Grand from the bookie. Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Cardiff also have nothing much to play for but I am guessing they would have put in a better performance against Fulham than we did today. I can see 13th place staring back at me. Charlton eh?

1 comment:

Tony said...

Let's see how we get on at Sheffield this weekend.
If we lose that I may consider betting against us for our remaining games as a type of damage limitation.