Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fulham 0 West Ham 0

West Ham started with one change from last week with Dailly in for the injured Collins.

There was a lively start to the game with both sides creating a couple of chances in the opening three minutes, which both sides failed to convert. After that West Ham had the better of the first 30 minutes, dominating possession and territory. In the 13th minute the Fulham keeper punched the ball from a West Ham corner straight at Etherington and his looping header over the goalie clipped the underside of the bar and was cleared. In the 17th minute Harewood smashed the ball from the corner of the penalty area and Reo-Coker tried to deflect the ball into the net but the ball flew a couple of yards high and wide.

In the 36th minute Bowyer crossed the ball into the box from the left wing. Harewood brought the ball down well with his right foot on the five yard line and then shot with his left but the ball clipped the left hand post and went wide.

In the last 15 minutes of the half Fulham finished the stronger. In the last couple of minutes they has two good chances. First Volz was put clean through but Green got down well to save at his feet from a couple of yards. Thirty seconds later Brown shot from the edge of the area but straight at Green for an easy save.

Fulham probably had the better of the second half although West Ham had two clear chances to win the match. In the 62nd minute Reo-Coker was put through by Etherington. His 9 yard shot was saved but rebounded to Harewood whose close range shot was cleared off the line by Rosenior. In the 77th minute Harewood fed Benayoun inside the full-back but Benayoun's shot was straight at the keeper.

Fulham's best chances were a Routledge volley from 11 yards which was well blocked by Konchesky and a 57th minute eight yard header by McBride which was straight at Green.

The game looked liked it was going to come to a boring end until in the 84th minute Etherington gave the ball away deep in the Fulham half, Fulham broke and Routledge looked to be clean through only for Konchesky to get across and win the ball. Unfortunately the referee deemed that Konchesky had fouled Routledge and sent him off.

West Ham held on for the remaining nine minutes and have managed to crawl out of the relegation zone, at least for the next two hours.

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