Saturday 25 November 2006, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Reading
Reading
1
Doyle (pen) 17'
A Kevin Doyle penalty consigns Fulham to a 1-0 defeat at home to Reading.

16' Red Card

Ian Pearce Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlos Bocanegra
Off:Franck Queudrue

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Routledge
Off:Tomasz Radzinski

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Papa Bouba Diop
Off:Michael Brown

17' Penalty

Kevin Doyle

39' Yellow Card

James Harper Card was given for a foul

47' Yellow Card

Ivar Ingimarsson Card was given for a foul

50' Yellow Card

Ibrahima Sonko Card was given for a foul

33' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brynjar Gunnarsson
Off:Steve Sidwell

38' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:John Oster
Off:Glen Little

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Leroy Lita
Off:Seol Ki-Hyeon

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

A penalty and the dismissal of Ian Pearce was all that separated Reading and Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

The Fulham defender was shown a straight red card early on for a foul on Kevin Doyle in the area. The visitors duly converted the spot kick but Fulham battled hard to nullify Reading's numerical advantage.

Following on from last weekend’s defeat away at Manchester City, Chris Coleman rang in the changes. Collin John was handed a place in the starting line up as the Whites reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. Michael Brown, who had just recovered from an ankle injury, went straight into the centre of midfield.

The match started with a number of ill-tempered challenges coming Fulham’s way. Within the first few minutes Luis Boa Morte was trying to shrug of the effects of a heavy challenge from Glen Little, whilst Ibrahima Sonko welcomed Brian McBride to the match with a painful looking challenge in the middle of the park.

Fulham won a corner on 12 minutes, which Claus Jensen powered to the back post where Ian Pearce was waiting to head the ball back into the danger area. Unfortunately, there were too many bodies in the box for any meaningful contact to be made.

Pearce was in the thick of the action again on 15 minutes, but this time his contribution was not so positive.

The visitors worked the ball forward where Kevin Doyle’s touch took him past the challenge of Pearce and Rosenior on the edge of the Fulham area.

The knock forward was a touch heavy and with Niemi edging out to meet the ball; Pearce attempted a sliding challenge but only succeeded in bringing down the Reading striker. Referee Gallagher pointed straight to the spot and showed the Fulham defender the red card. Doyle stepped up and sent Niemi the wrong way to give Reading an early lead.

Pearce’s dismissal forced Fulham into something of a reshuffle, with Franck Queudrue moving into the centre of defence and Luis Boa Morte dropping back to fill in as part-time left back. The Whites maintained a two-man attacking line, preferring to have Boa Morte moving from defence to attack when play dictated.

Despite being a man down, Fulham, through honest endeavour and effort, more than held their own in the first half.

The Royals were certainly struggling to keep up with Fulham’s pace and energy. As a result they made their second substitution of the match on 33 minutes. Whilst on 38 minutes, James Harper was shown the yellow card for a cynical challenge on Rosenior.

However, the Fulham right back showed no ill effects from the tackle – when on 42 minutes he sprinted down the wing and crossed for McBride. The delivery took a deflection but the Fulham striker readjusted well and forced Marcus Hahnemann into a sharp save down to his right.

Franck Queudrue’s match ended just before half time when he picked up an injury to his left ankle. The Frenchman, who had been playing at centre back was replaced by Carlos Bocanegra.

The Whites missed a glorious chance to go into the interval on level terms when Collins John forced Hahnemann into a scrappy save. The ball rolled past the former Fulham keeper but Claus Jensen was unable to reach the ball in before it was stabbed behind for a corner.

The Whites came out for the second half with the same attacking line up which saw them effectively playing with three defenders.

Fulham wasted no time in attacking the visitors and Claus Jensen managed to work half a yard of space from himself on the edge of the area on 47 minutes – but his right footed shot was saved by Hahnemann.

Despite having the additional man, Reading were struggling to force Antti Niemi into any action.

Radzinski had a penalty appeal turned down in the 57th minute when he took a tumble in the box chasing a speculative ball over the top.

Fulham continued to battle away and it was their attacking play that was the more incisive.

On 62 minutes, having forced a corner, Fulham again came close to scoring when Collins John rose highest and nodded a Claus Jensen delivery just over the bar from eight yards.

Minutes later, John was making a nuisance of himself again at the heart of Reading defence when he bundled the ball past two challenges, allowing Radzinski to strike a shot goal wards.

Niemi was called into action on 72 minutes when Seol Ki-Hyeon tried to chip in from a narrow angle. The Finnish keeper tipped the ball over.

Fulham made two changes on 75 minutes when Brown and Radzinski were replaced by Bouba Diop and Routledge in an attempt to keep the attacking impetus going. Brian McBride did almost just that when he decided to let fly from fully 35 yards. His piledriver narrowly missed the top corner.

As the minutes ticked by, Fulham started attacking with greater desperation. Reading, for their part, were taking no risks and kept players back in numbers. However, they were still a danger going forward, as they demonstrated on 87 minutes when the ball was flashed across the face of Fulham’s goal.

The Whites tried gamley to force the equaliser in the dying seconds but the visitors held out. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 25 November 2006
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,673

Referee: Dermot Gallagher

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Rosenior, Knight, Pearce, Queudrue (Bocanegra 46'); Radzinski (Routledge 75'), Brown (Diop 75'), Claus Jensen, Boa Morte; John, McBride

Unused substitutes: Lastuvka, Helguson

Reading

Line-up: Hahnemann; Murty, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Shorey; Little (Oster 38'), Hunt, Sidwell (Gunnarsson 33'), Harper, Seol Ki-Hyeon (Lita 90'); Doyle

Unused substitutes: Federici, André Bikey

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 13 34
2 Chelsea 13 31
3 Portsmouth 13 23
4 Aston Villa 14 23
5 Arsenal 12 22
6 Reading 14 22
7 Everton 14 21
8 Liverpool 14 21
9 Bolton Wanderers 13 21
10 Wigan Athletic 12 18
11 Fulham 14 17
12 Tottenham Hotspur 13 16
13 Middlesbrough 14 16
14 Manchester City 14 16
15 West Ham United 14 14
16 Blackburn Rovers 13 13
17 Newcastle United 13 10
18 Sheffield United 14 10
19 Watford 13 9
20 Charlton Athletic 14 9
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 7Liam Rosenior
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 19Ian Pearce
  • 4Franck Queudrue
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 8Michael Brown
  • 16Claus Jensen
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 15Collins John
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 12Jan Lastuvka
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 22Wayne Routledge
  • 9Heidar Helguson
Reading (4-5-1)
  • 1Marcus Hahnemann
  • 2Graeme Murty
  • 16Ivar Ingimarsson
  • 31Ibrahima Sonko
  • 3Nicky Shorey
  • 7Glen Little
  • 10Stephen Hunt
  • 4Steve Sidwell
  • 15James Harper
  • 19Seol Ki-Hyeon
  • 9Kevin Doyle
Substitutes
  • 32Adam Federici
  • 23André Bikey
  • 11John Oster
  • 26Brynjar Gunnarsson
  • 8Leroy Lita