—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|John Paintsil (Stefano Chuka Okaka, 86)|
|Damien Duff (Erik Nevland, 46)|
|Matthew Etherington (Salif Diao, 88)|
|Ricardo Fuller (Liam Lawrence, 90)|
|Mamady Sidibe (Sanli Tuncay, 72)|
Full Time: FULHAM 0-1 STOKE. The final whistle goes and Stoke take a hard-fought three points away from Craven Cottage. This one could have gone either way and Fulham will be disappointed to have lost.
Fuller is replaced by Lawrence.
Fuller is cautioned for dissent after he is flagged offside.
Hughes' frustration gets the better of him and he hacks down Tuncay. Unsurprisingly, he is duly cautioned.
As we move into injury time the home side are pilling the players forward!
Can Fulham get back into this one? Stoke look set to see this game out at the moment.
Etherington is withdrawn as Diao comes on to bolster the midfield.
Paintsil makes way for Okaka.
FULHAM 0-1 STOKE. Tuncay picks out ETHERINGTON arriving in the box and he slots it home from close range to give Stoke the lead. That was a composed finish.
Paintsil goes in hard and firm on Tuncay and wins the ball in the Stoke half before quickly unleashing a snap shot at goal but sends it into row Z.
Dempsey tries his luck from range but the strike is rising all the way and goes high into the stands.
Stoke reply with a flowing attacking move on the left. Higginbotham comes forward to join in the attack but his cross is too long and sails out of play.
Murphy clips a corner into Etuhu who outjumps his marker and heads towards goal but Begovic is perfectly positioned to catch without moving his feet.
Sidibe makes way for the Turkish international Sanli Tuncay. Can he provide the craft to break down the Fulham defence?
Dempsey chips the ball into Gera and the Hungarian comes in with a flying volley but Begovic turns it wide with a superb reaction stop. Total football all around!
Another fumble from Schwarzer this time from Fuller's low ball. Again he gets away with it but he appears a little shaky in the last few moments.
Schwarzer gathers an Etherington cross and launches a counter attack. Fulham keep possession and slip the ball into Murphy but his shot is deflected wide.
Etuhu drives forward into space and can't resist the shot from range but he drags it well wide with a very disappointing effort.
Delap's long-throw is once again flicked on by Fuller at the front post but this time the ball drops into the arms of Schwarzer.
Etherington crosses again from the left and Schwarzer fumbles but the Australian keeper gets away with it.
Excellent play from Etherington as he breaks beyond Paintsil and whips the ball in but he has very little to aim at and the cross is dealt with easily.
Shawcross is cautioned. That's for a series of totting up offences particularly on Dempsey.
Gera delivers the ball low to Dempsey but he is quickly shut down in the box by Shawcross who toe-pokes the ball away from the American in a dangerous position.
Trademark long-throw from Delap finds the head of Fuller who flicks a glancing header towards the far corner but it grazes the outside of the post and goes wide. Best effort so far!
That's better from Stoke! Fuller holds off the challenge of Hangeland, turns him and runs at goal before unleashing a strike towards goal but it goes wide.
Apparently Damien Duff is suffering from a slight calf problem. Let's hope its nothing serious and that he is available for the Europa League Final.
Erik Nevland enters the fray. Damien Duff is the player to make way.
The second half is underway.
Half Time: FULHAM 0-0 STOKE. The half-time whistle goes and the teams go into the break level despite Fulham having the better of the play and the chances.
Robert Huth is booked for unsporting behaviour.
Gera plays a raking pass out to the left hand side and picks out Konchesky who drills it back across the box but Dempsey can't get anything on it.
Dempsey plays the ball into Gera and gets the return on the edge of the box. The American steadies himself and shoots first-time but the strike is straight at Begovic.
Stoke appear to have very few ideas in attack and another long ball is dealt with. This time it's Paintsil rising to head the ball away from Etherington.
Dempsey races in behind but Huth comes across showing great anticipation and forces the ball out of play to put an end to the attack.
Shawcross sends it long towards Fuller and the Jamaican does well to hold off the defenders and bring it under control but he has no support and is dispossessed.
This has been far from a classic so far despite Fulham's best efforts to build some momentum. Once again a period of possession and pressure is wasted by the homeside with Konchesky's wayward diagonal ball.
Stoke have a chance to work the Fulham defence with a corner after Etherington's cross was blocked behind. The ball is played in but it is comfortably dealt with by the Fulham defence.
Stoke gift the ball back to Fulham far too easily after a misplaced pass by Pantsil. Fuller races with Hangeland to keep a ball in play and pushes the big defender to the floor but he is instantly up after clattering into the advertising boards.
Duff breaks down the left hand side and whips the ball in low, Gera meets it but can't keep his shot down and it flies harmlessly over the crossbar.
Davies delivers a corner from the left hand side and it falls kindly for Duff in the box but he drags his effort wide of the left hand post.
Wilkinson gifts a corner to Fulham as he miscontrols it out of play. Fulham work the corner short and Gera looks to shoot but cannot force it through the crowd and the hopeful cries for a penalty are denied.
Davies links up with Knochesky with a neat one two on the left hand side but the fullbacks cross is a poor one and the opportunity is wasted. Encouraging signs though.
If there were any doubts that this game may be a tentative exhibition style match they have been put to bed by Sidibe as he clatters into Davies. No caution for the frontman and Davies is OK to continue.
The long throw does come in but Mark Schwarzer is alive to the danger and he punches it away.
Stoke's first move of the game ends with the ball worked wide to Whitehead but his cross is comfortably headed away by Hangeland. However the Delap long-throw is now an inevitability.
A quiet start to the game with Fulham retaining possession without too much pressure from the Potters midfield but a well orchestrated offside trap wins Stoke possession.
The game is underway.
Fuller and Sidibe start in attack for Stoke City with Etherington and Delap playing from wide. Whelan and Whitehead will operate from central midfield with Shawcross partnering Huth at centre-back.
Roy Hodgson's side takes on a familiar form with the ever presents Duff, Murphy, Dempsey, Hangeland, Pantsil and Konchesky all featuring. Schwarzer will keep goal and Gera will support Dempsey in attack.
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Fuller, Sidibe
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Dempsey, Gera
Hello and welcome to Craven Cottage where Fulham will take on Stoke. Both sides will be playing with the freedom of knowing they are safe and Fulham will be high in confidence given their recent European exploits.
Fulham face Stoke at 8pm on Wednesday, May 5th.
Sarajevo has been through more than most cities in recent years.