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Fulham F.C.

Year 2000/2001   (Phespirit cheered Fulham F.C. from the terraces of the Hammersmith End)

Tuesday 5 September 2000

FULHAM 4 - 1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN

Tuesday night graveyard shift at the Cottage for a first round, second leg match in the League Cup. Having lost the first leg one-nil fielding eleven reserves, and now starting this game with only four of the first team (Brevitt, Davis, Clark, Hayles), the last thing we need is to go a goal down to lax defending from a corner on seven minutes.

After a quarter of an hour, mutterings from the terrace include:
"I knew I should have stayed at home tonight"   and
"Is anything on the telly?   plus an occasional cry of:
"Fucking hell, Lewis!!"

Throughout the match, though, Fulham absolutely run the show with at least 80-90% of the possession. Davis equalises just on half-time with another of his quick free kicks. Then for the second half we are treated to a master class from substitute Louis Saha. The man is a magician, finishing exquisitely for the last two goals.

In summary: first half, loads of possession, lots of neat passing, little real penetration; second half, more possession, quick passes, lots of movement, attacking spaces, commitment to win the ball, taking on defenders, bags of goals, total football. The improved fitness and mobility under Tigana is staggering. God help the Premiership.

Tuesday 12 September 2000

FULHAM 3 - 1 BURNLEY

Six wins out of six and still looking sound, despite conceding the early goal and being behind at half-time.

Taylor is still a bit suspect in goal. Looking from the Hammersmith End it seemed their deflected free-kick goal took forever to cross the line. Perhaps Taylor could have reached it if he hadn't made his mind up it was unsaveable when he saw it skim off the defender.

Burnley's big players (physical but honest) and the close defending set whole new problems. This result was ground out, comfortable at the end but hard work to get there. Good skills from Fernandes and Goldbaek.

The referee, though: utterly mad. The Burnley lad never should have been sent off. Decisions were a lottery all night. In the words of the song: "Ohhh, wank wank wank wank wank wank ....."

Tuesday 24 April 2001

FULHAM 2 - 0 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

"Anyone would think this was an end-of-season match with nothing to play for."

Back to the Cottage on a Tuesday night to see Fulham - with the Championship already in the bag - take a stroll in the park against utterly disinterested opposition. The Whites coasted despite having the likes of Boa Morte, Goldbaek and Finnan away on international duty. With Saha scoring two penalties, this was one of those rare matches in which goals outnumbered shots on target.

The highlight was undoubtedly the appearance of Simon Morgan as substitute with ten minutes left, his first turn out of the season and, who knows, perhaps his last ever for the club he has been with for over a decade. The crowd cheer his every touch, at one point even booing when other Fulham players get possession. The presence of Wolves players on the pitch is completely irrelevant by this stage. Naturally he walks off with the man of the match award.

The win brings up a hundred points for the season.

Championship Trophy Division One