Saturday 12 April 2008, 3:00pm at Madejski Stadium, Reading
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
McBride 24'; Nevland 90'

60' Substitution

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

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dave Kitson
Off:Shane Long

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Kalifa Cissé
Off:Marek Matejovsky

24' Goal

Brian McBride

90' Goal

Erik Nevland

80' Yellow Card

Paul Stalteri Card was given for a foul

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:David Healy

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlos Bocanegra
Off:Clint Dempsey

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Leon Andreasen
Off:Danny Murphy

Goals from Brian McBride and Erik Nevland secured Fulham's first away win in the Premier League for 18 months, in a game that saw Fulham dominate from start to finish with the Whites hitting the woodwork no less than three times.

First Half Action

Over 2,000 Fulham fans made the trip to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and their superb support was rewarded in the first half with a fine Fulham performance. David Healy, recalled to the starting line up, got the game underway and his presence certainly had a telling effect. His movement in the final third added a new dimension to Fulham's attacking play. The opening exchanges saw Reading attack down Fulham’s right flank through Hunt but Stalteri marshalled the striker effectively down the channel. It was a confident start by the Whites.

5 min
Fulham’s attack minded 4-4-2 formation saw Hodgson's side move the ball around with real purpose. Their approach in the final third had far more guile than in previous fixtures.

10 min
Reading continued to press down the flanks and Keller was called into action twice in as many minutes to show a safe pair of hands from threatening crosses. On the first Keller had to content with a heavy pepper of hail stones as the conditions verged on the tropical at the Madejski.

15 min
Fulham’s first clear cut opportunity fell to Brian McBride. Jimmy Bullard’s free kick from 30 yards found McBride unmarked on the far post but the striker's shot was deflected over the bar following a last ditch challenge from Bikey.

24 min - GOAL FULHAM - McBride
A superb passing move led to Fulham’s opener. Fulham worked the ball up the park with some intricate passing and once again Simon Davies turned provider. The Welshman switched flanks and after a neat one two with Konchesky whipped in an inch perfect cross to McBride, racing in on the near post. McBride’s finish was clinical and the Fulham end erupted.

30 min
Fulham continued to press. This was confident, attacking football and the fans were loving it. “We are the Fulham boys” rang out at the Madejeski. Bullard was in the thick of the action and after a tete-a-tete with Harper the Reading player received a verbal warning from Referee Rob Styles for a raised arm to the Bulldog’s bugle.

36 min
Reading caused little discomfort to Fulham’s back-line during the first half and their only real threat came from crosses from the flanks. One corner before the break required McBride to intervene with a fine headed clearance. Keller’s authoritative presence at the back was evident not only from his safe keeping but the constant vocal direction he gave to his defence.

40 min
Two golden opportunities were handed to both sides before the break. After a long spell of possession Clint Dempsey delivered a cross from the right to the near post. McBride ghosted his defender to challenge Hahnemann for the ball. The keeper spilled but Fulham lacked a runner form midfield to capitalise. Seconds later Reading steamed upfield and a cross from the right caught Hughes and Keller in no man’s land. Fortunately Matejovsky’s header looped over Keller and wide of the post.

45 min
Reading turned on the pressure before the break but Roy’s troops held firm and went into half-time a goal to the good. If Fulham could replicate the same form in the second half a Premier League life-line was in their grasp.


Second Half Action

0 min
Fulham were so unfortunate not to double their lead five minutes into the second period. David Healy was released down the right flank. McBride, alone in the final third, raced behind his marker and across the penalty area. Healy delivered a peach of a ball into McBride’s path and the American met the cross with a stunning left footed volley. From 16 yards the ball smashed against the cross bar.

57 min
Hodgson’s attacking intentions were evident. This was the best attacking spell of the season from Fulham. The movement and support play pulled Reading’s defence apart at times and Fulham’s dominance led to Stevel Coppell making a double substitution on the hour mark. Glenn Little replaced John Oster and Dave Kitson came on for Shane Long.

65 min
Andre Bikey came close for the home side but fortunately for Fulham the powerful centre back sent his header from 12 yards over the bar. Fulham countered immediately and McBride had a half chance from 15 yards. Bullard’s corner found the American on the edge of the area but his shot flew over the bar.

70 min
I don’t believe it. Hangeland’s header smashed against the cross bar from Bullard’s corner. Fulham deserved to have this wrapped up. Two minutes later – you couldn’t make this up – David Healy, Fulham’s terrier in attack, earned a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Bullard stepped up and sent a superb 30 yard free-kick against the cross bar. Three times in twenty minutes…

78 min
Steve Coppell made his final substitution of the game, introducing Cisse for Matejovsky. Seconds later Fulham earned another free-kick on the edge of the area. Fulham’s supporters cried out “We’re gonna hit the bar”. Not this time as Reading held firm.

80 min
Stalteri was booked for a late challenge on Hunt as Hodgson prepared Nevland to enter the fray. David Healy made way for the striker. Healy was superb on Saturday and Fulham looked to have found the right blend in attack with Healy and McBride.

85 min
Five minutes remained and Hodgson wanted this game sealed up. Bocanegra came on for Dempsey to firm things up in defence with Konchesky moving into left midfield. Despite the defensive intentions, Fulham continued to attack. McBride had a shot from 25 yards which deflected away to safety. As the game entered stoppage time, four minutes of which were indicated by the Fourth Official, Hodgson replaced Murphy with Andreasen in central midfield.

90 min - GOAL FULHAM - Nevland
Get in!! Fulham countered and Nevland sprinted clear of Reading’s defence for a one-on-one with Hahnemann on the right hand side of the area. His finish was sublime. A fierce right footed shot into the corner of the net.

90 min
Rob Styles called time on the game and Roy Hodgson’s side thoroughly deserved their first away win since September 2006. Fulham’s fight for survival was alive and kicking. Saturday was a memorable day at the Madejski and one that Fulham must now build on next weekend when they take on Liverpool. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 12 April 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading
Attendance: 24,112

Referee: Rob Styles


Line-up: Hahnemann; Rosenior, André Bikey, Ingimarsson, Shorey; Hunt, Harper, Matejovsky (Cissé 77'), Oster (Little 60'); Doyle, Long (Kitson 60')

Unused substitutes: Federici, Sonko


Line-up: Keller; Stalteri, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy (Andreasen 90'), Bullard, Dempsey (Bocanegra 85'); McBride, Healy (Nevland 83')

Unused substitutes: Warner, Kamara

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 33 77
2 Chelsea 33 74
3 Arsenal 33 71
4 Liverpool 33 63
5 Everton 34 61
6 Portsmouth 33 56
7 Aston Villa 34 55
8 Manchester City 34 52
9 Blackburn Rovers 33 51
10 West Ham United 34 44
11 Tottenham Hotspur 34 41
12 Newcastle United 33 38
13 Middlesbrough 34 36
14 Sunderland 34 36
15 Wigan Athletic 33 34
16 Reading 34 32
17 Birmingham City 34 31
18 Bolton Wanderers 34 29
19 Fulham 34 27
20 Derby County 34 11
Reading (4-4-2)
  • 1Marcus Hahnemann
  • 2Liam Rosenior
  • 23André Bikey
  • 16Ivar Ingimarsson
  • 3Nicky Shorey
  • 10Stephen Hunt
  • 15James Harper
  • 8Marek Matejovsky
  • 11John Oster
  • 9Kevin Doyle
  • 9Shane Long
  • 32Adam Federici
  • 31Ibrahima Sonko
  • 4Kalifa Cissé
  • 7Glen Little
  • 12Dave Kitson
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 17Paul Stalteri
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 31David Healy
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
  • 15Erik Nevland