FULHAM 2 STOKE CITY FC 0
We took six points from The Cottagers last season,none this.The Stokie wrist slashers have been out in force this weekend on the messageboards.All manner of advice for the manager.....if he's listening (or reading!).Fulham got off to a flier in the last match.Stoke could have in this one,had Ryan Shawcross netted Etherington's fine cross early doors.Similarly things could have been different had Kenwyne Jones' piledriver gone in off the post instead of rebounding away to safety.
It could be argued that the injury Higginbotham suffered at Cardiff cost us today,because replacement Danny Collins was led a merry dance by winger Duff.Fulham's first goal was worked down the left side with Johnson getting in behind our defence and cutting the ball back for Dempsey to net from close range on 33 minutes.To me,to shift all the blame onto Collins would be unfair.There were plenty of defenders about,but Johnson was given too much space.
After a bright start our performance as a TEAM was, in the manager's word, FLAT.Any rejigging at halftime, with a view to getting back into the game, was undermined on 53 minutes when Ryan Shawcross was dismissed for a tangle with Dempsey in front of goal as the striker prepared to shoot.Dempsey netted the penalty sending Begovic the wrong way.
The rest of the game was an exercise in damage limitation as far as Stoke were concerned.