- Fulham News
- News Archive
- League Table
- Premier League News
West Ham United 1 Fulham 1: match report
Published : 02 Oct 2010 17:18:30
Rob Green against Clint Dempsey. For all England fans, an encounter wrought with desperate grasps and choking memories. Perhaps Green could have been forgiven for entertaining similar thoughts as he came up against the American for the first time since the World Cup. West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2: match reportBut ultimately, it was an afternoon where honour was satisfied on both sides. Dempsey got his goal, but Green gave a fine account of himself, salvaging a point for West Ham United with a number of fine saves. For Fulham, it was yet another draw, and for their manager Mark Hughes a remarkable 14th draw in his last 18 Premier League games as manager, a run that included his dismissal by Manchester City. It was a run of eight consecutive draws that did for him at Eastlands; Fulham will give him a little more credit, remaining as they do unbeaten and in the top half of the table. Not that either side could be accused of failing to press for the win. It was simply that with Bobby Zamora injured and Carlton Cole absent until late on, both sides were missing their most potent goal threat, and it showed in an encounter that was rich in biting tackles but distinctly lacking in bite. There was a curiously lop-sided tenor to the game; West Ham, with Scott Parker again in imperious, talismanic form, had marginally the better of the play, but Fulham had their fair share of the chances. Foremost among these was Fulham's goal, which arrived without portent. Simon Davies laid the ball off for Dempsey on the right-hand side of the penalty area and cut inside to collect the return ball. The sliding Luis Boa Morte's outstretched foot only sent the ball looping back into the path of Dempsey, who stole goal-side of Danny Gabbidon and finished left-footed past Green. Unlike in Rustenberg four months ago, no blame could be attached to the goalkeeper this time. It was certainly an eventful game for Dempsey, who sported a beautiful black eye for most of the match after being caught by Manuel Da Costa's lazy forearm early on. He fought an intriguing duel with Green all afternoon, mischievously testing his opposite number with a couple of early long-range efforts. Green gave as good as he got, at one point diving bravely at Dempsey's feet to smother the bullet before it could leave the gun. But almost as incongruously as Fulham had taken the lead, West Ham had levelled, courtesy of an error by the strangely off-colour Brede Hangeland. The Norwegian's clearance went straight to Boa Morte, who picked out Victor Obinna on the right by-line. Obinna looked up and picked out Frederic Piquionne, who converted the simplest of headers. The force was with the home side, and they knew it. Pablo Barrera, who had been largely nullified by his fellow Mexican Carlos Salcido in the first half, switched to the left with éclat. He should have capped an incisive West Ham breakaway with a goal, but snatched at his right-footed shot as he cut inside Chris Baird. Both managers substituted wingers for strikers, Cole replacing Barrera and Zoltan Gera coming on for Damien Duff. Cole immediately squandered a promising one-on-one with a leaden first touch, but otherwise looked sharp. There were chances for either side to win the game. Dickson Etuhu, as he did against Everton last week, missed a glorious aerial opportunity. Obinna ended a powerful run with a fine shot that whistled past Mark Schwarzer's near post. Diomansy Kamara had the best of the lot, bursting into the area but lifting his shot over the bar when he had only Green to beat. But in the final few minutes, it was England's former No 1 who proved most decisive. He needed to be at his best to flick a wicked shot from Davies just wide of the post, and immediately afterwards produced the save of the match, instinctively knocking away Etuhu's powerful header with his right hand. Former England No 1? If he continues to turn out displays like this, not for much longer.