Fulham 2 Hull City 0: match report
Fulham celebrated their 130th anniversary on Monday night with a victory against a wretched Hull City thanks to goals in either half from Bobby Zamora and Diomansy Kamara. The victory allowed Fulham to move into 12th place while leaving Hull - who were third at this stage of last season - in the relegation zone. These are hard times for both clubs; Fulham went into the game with one league win in six while Hull could claim just three Premier League victories in the whole of 2009. It was, therefore, understandable that the opening exchanges were cautious, laboured and nervous with the only effort a speculative 40-yard lob from Geovanni, a man known for a dead eye from distance. Apart from the sight of the odd beach ball, the only other early excitement was the response from the Fulham fans of Jimmy Bullard warming up on the sidelines. Since leaving London for Hull last season, the midfielder has played just 33 minutes for his new employers, but there was little sympathy on show. There was, at last, a chance of note midway through the first half when Fulham, missing striker Andrew Johnson, came close when Kamara's cross was met by the right foot of Zamora, only for the ball to rise wide of the left post. Perhaps the prospect of facing Claudio Ranieri's AS Roma in Thursday's Europa League tie was playing on the minds of the Fulham players. But Hull could not hide behind the excuse of a European adventure as they struggled to find the rhythm of the game. Matters did improve though before the break when Damien Duff, probably the liveliest player on show, forced Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to stretch to his left to save as the home side began to take charge. Hull defender Andy Dawson was cautioned for pulling Duff's shirt and minutes later Fulham's left-back was also booked, Paul Konchesky shown a yellow card for taking Algerian midfielder Kamel Ghilas's bright yellow boots. But just before the interval, Fulham threatened then struck. Firstly, Zamora's flick from Konchesky's corner almost produced the game's first goal. And seconds later, in the 43rd minute, Duff's volley was parried by Myhill before Zamora, who turned down a summer move to Hull, headed beyond the goalkeeper. Last season, Zamora's first at Fulham, the striker scored two league goals in 32 starts; his goal last night enabled him to match that total, having scored the winner against Portsmouth early on. Add two European goals, and Zamora is becoming positively prolific. Hull were beginning to flounder with key players losing possession and with little threat of finding an equaliser. If the win against Wigan in their previous outing had brought a much-needed boost to Phil Brown's side, there was little evidence on show on a cold night down by the River Thames. There was a worrying sight for Fulham fans early in the second half when Danny Murphy, their captain, went down clutching his ankle. With Italian masters due to visit, this was a worry though the former Liverpool player, while still limping, was able to return after treatment. Soon afterwards, Bullard made a belated second appearance for Hull, replacing Ghilas. That he was tormented with cries of 'one greedy b******' will not have dampened his spirits, neither will a shoulder charge from Kamara that sent the one-time Cottage favourite sprawling. Soon afterwards, Murphy departed and will be an injury concern ahead of the visit of Roma. Fulham extended their advantage in the 64th minute when, from Aaron Hughes's pass from inside his own half, Zamora turned provider, his centre from the right dropping invitingly for Kamara to convert for his second goal of the season.
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