• Date: Wed 03 February 2010
  • Venue: Craven Cottage
  • Ref: Taylor, A
  • Attendance: 21,934
Fulham

Fulham

Greening (74)

1 - 0

Fulham vs Portsmouth

Team Lineups

Fulham

Mark Schwarzer
Stephen Kelly (Kagisho Dikgacoi, 55)
Brede Hangeland
Chris Baird
Nicky Shorey
Aaron Hughes
Danny Murphy
Damien Duff
Jonathan Greening
Stefano Chuka Okaka (Erik Nevland, 70)
Bobby Zamora (David Elm, 78)

Portsmouth

David James
Steve Finnan
Tal Ben Haim
Nadir Belhadj
Jamie O'Hara
Kevin-Prince Boateng
Hassan Yebda
Angelos Basinas (Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, 82)
Marc Wilson
Frederic Piquionne (Danny Webber, 62)
Aruna Dindane

Match Report
Portsmouth's players were paid on Wednesday but their wage packet was the only thing they picked up as Jonathan Greening's goal saw Fulham claim all three points after a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage. Avram Grant's visitors were the better side for long periods of this uninspiring match but, as has been the case for much of the season, they only had themselves to blame for not taking their chances before giving a sloppy goal away. And on this occasion it was left-back Nadir Belhadj who should hold his head in his hands as Damien Duff robbed him of possession inside his own area and laid the ball across goal to Greening to score his first ever goal for the club at the back post. The result ensured Roy Hodgson's hosts ended their own terrible run of seven league games without a victory but, while they can look forward to the rest of their season from the safety of mid-table, Portsmouth are surely doomed. Labouring under financial chaos for the entire season, Grant saw his two most valuable assets, Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic, sold from under his nose on transfer deadline day, with the money from those sales ensuring the players and staff received their wages only a day late this month. Yet their side has been left woefully short of depth as a result, although the Israeli was still able to field eight full internationals in his starting line-up. And it was the visitors who dominated the opening stages with their front three of Aruna Dindane, Frederic Piquionne and, in particular, Kevin-Price Boateng causing havoc. However, chances were at a premium with only Piquionne testing Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer having cut in from the left after ten minutes. Fulham's fans were growing increasingly frustrated at their side's poor display, yet they missed an astonishing chance to take the lead just after the half-hour mark as debutant Stefano Okaka - who has joined on loan from Roma for the rest of the season - wasted a wonderful opportunity. It seemed all the Italian had to do was make contact with the ball as Greening's knock-down found him lurking just one yard from goal but somehow Okaka put it wide. Yet while Okaka's miss was at least something to talk about, the second half failed dreadfully to live up to expectations which, as Fulham were in the middle of an horrendous injury crisis, were relatively low. The game developed into a gritty midfield battle with either a moment of genius or a shocking mistake likely to settle game. So it proved as Belhadj, playing for the first time since returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty, dwelt on the ball and allowed Duff in. There was still a lot to do but the Republic of Ireland international picked out former West Brom skipper Greening at the far post to slide home the goal that lifts Fulham to 10th and leaves Portsmouth an ominous six points from safety.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

The final whistle goes and Fulham take the points while the misery continues for Pompey.

90

Three minutes added time to be addd.

89

O'Hara is still full of running but his cross from the right-hand touchline drifts out for a goal-kick. It's not looking good for Pompey.

87

Duff has another effort on goal, but doesn't really connect and James smothers the ball.

87
Yellow Card
 

Tal Ben Haim is booked for a late tackle on Greening.

82
Substitution
 

Angelos Basinas is replaced by debutant Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

80

Damien Duff, who has been impressive this half, tries and ambitous low drive from 25 yards which James comfortably holds.

77
Substitution
 

Bobby Zamora comes off for David Elm.

74
Goal
 

Goal for Fulham! Damien Duff tackles Ben-Haim in the area and fires the ball low across the box which takes a deflection and falls to GREENING who slots home from 12 yards.

70

Erik Nevland nearly scored with his first touch, his dipping 20-yard volley hitting the side netting.

70
Substitution
 

Stefano Chuka Okaka comes off for Erik Nevland.

69

Shorey whips in an ecellent cross from the left but Wilson does well to head away.

66

The Duff-Zamora combination is the action again, this time Zamora's flick header from Duff's cross flashes just wide.

64

Duff is again in the action down the right, he then lays it off for Baird whose cross is met by Zamora, bu he can't get enough power on the header and James easily saves.

62
Substitution
 

Frederic Piquionne comes off for Danny Webber, who scored his first goal for the club last week.

60

Damien Duff twists and turns before firing in a shot that deflects wide for a corner.

55
Substitution
 

Stephen Kelly makes way for Kagisho Dikgacoi.

52

O'Hara's corner is met by Dindane who is unmarked at the far post, but he can only head straight at the 'keeper. Should have done better there.

48

Greening curls a free kick to the far post where Zamora heads back, but no one is there to finish and Pompey can clear.

Second half
 

We are underway again in the second half.

Half time
 

The referee blows for half-time, here's hoping for a much improved second half.

44

Great cross from O'Hara form the left is met by Yebda, who seems surprised that the ball reached him and tamely heads straight at Schwarzer.

39

Zamora is played in down the right and mazes past defenders but he can't get his shot in. It's not quite working for Fulham at the moment

33

Chance of the game! Zamora crosses to the far post fo Greening who heads back to Stefano Chuka Okaka, who somehow heads wide from thre yards out, shocking miss!

29

Kevin-Prince Boateng drives into the area evading four Fulham defenders in process, his low shot however is well saved by Schwarzer.

25

Good save! Damien Duff's corner is met by Aaron Hughes at the far post but his header is well pushed out by David James, Fulham's first chance of the game that.

20

Fulham have their first decent spell of possession but their final ball is lacking, the move ends with Chris Baird completely over-hitting his cross out for a goal-kick.

17

Fulham keep giving the ball away, this time Dindane is released down the left and fires a cross into the box, Schwarzer is alret through and claims just ahead of Piquionne.

14

Porstmouth will be encouraged by the start they have made while Fulham are playing like a team that have lost their last five games - their fans are getting restless.

12

Chance for Portsmouth! O'Hara plas the bal through to Frederic Piquionne on the left hand side of the area and his shot is forced away by Schwarzer for a corner.

6

Frederic Piquionne wins a free kick near the left touchline, Jamie O'Hara whips it in but he can't beat the first defender.

3

Kevin-Prince Boetang is played in down the left but opts to shoot instead of cross and Mark Schwarzer easily saves - think the cross was the better option there.

Kickoff
 

We are underway at Craven Cottage

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Portsmouth welcome back African Cup of Nations trio Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda and Aruna Dindane.Quincy Owusu-Abeyie makes his debut, while fellow new signing defender Ricardo Rocha is on the bench.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has named loan signings Nicky Shorey and Roma striker Stefano Okaka into the starting XI for their Fulham debuts after Andy Johnson and Zoltan Gera dropped out through injury.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Fulham face Portsmouth at 8pm on Wednesday, February 3rd.