Sunday 7 May 2006, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Helguson (pen) 84'
Middlesbrough
0
Heidar Helguson came off the bench to score the decisive goal in a close end of season encounter between Fulham and Middlesbrough. The Icelandic international won and converted an 83rd minute penalty.

84' Penalty

Heidar Helguson

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Heidar Helguson
Off:Collins John

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Brian McBride

51' Yellow Card

Danny Graham Card was given for a foul

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Josh Walker
Off:Malcolm Christie

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tom Craddock
Off:Danny Graham

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Colin Cooper
Off:Jason Kennedy

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

The absence of Luis Boa Morte through injury saw Fulham line up with WayneBridgeon the left wing and the Englandleft back put in an admirable performance. Bridge’s spot in defence was filled by Liam Rosenior, with Moritz Volz coming in at right back.

Bridge was immediately in the thick of the action in the first minute when his forward run was picked out by Rosenior. The cross was blocked for a corner and from the set piece, taken by Bridge, Carlos Bocanegra managed to force a header wide of goal.

Fulham came close just a matter of minutes later when another move down the left flank reaped dividends. This time Bridge played a through ball for the rapidly advancing Rosenior, whose cross was met at the back post by Collins John but he could only direct his downward header into the side netting.

Boro hit back almost immediately. A long diagonal ball was played to Morrison on the right. His low cross found Graham in space at the near post, however the Boro player scuffed his effort.

Antti Niemi made his first contribution of the day when he sprung low to his right to beat out a dangerous free kick from Adam Johnson.

With Boro adopting an effective counter attacking approach, Fulham were struggling to find a breakthrough in open play. The Whites’ best early chances came from set pieces and free kicks, with Bridge’s left foot putting in a series of testing deliveries.

Fulham’s first clear-cut chance in open play came just before the 20 minute mark when Bridge curled a pass into the path of Collins John. Unfortunately for Fulham, the Dutchman elected for the first touch finish when rounding the keeper would have been a better option.

Carlos Bocanegra was a whisker away from giving Fulham the lead after he beat Boro keeper Turnbull to the ball and flashed a header wide.

Fulham then broke the laidback pace of the match in the 30th minute when Moritz Volz made a 60-yard sprint down the right flank and crossed for McBride to head his effort into the arms of Turnbull.

Another fine corner delivery from WayneBridgeon 42 minutes had the Boro defence at sixes and sevens as they struggled to clear the loose ball.

Danny Graham looked to have given Boro the lead early in the second half when he apparently bundled the ball into the net with a diving header. However Referee Halsey correctly spotted a handball and booked the young Boro player.

Chris Coleman wasted little time ringing the changes for Fulham when, after just ten minutes of the second half, Heidar Helguson replaced Collins John.

As the second half progressed, the pace of the game gradually increased. Boro, whose well-organised defensive display was making it difficult for Fulham to build any forward momentum, started to show some signs of fatigue as Fulham continued to look for the opener.

That ever increasing threat from Fulham manifested itself in the form of two penalty appeals. The first, a push on Volz was correctly adjudged to have taken place outside of the area. Whilst the second, a push in the back of a leaping McBride, was open to interpretation.

Fulham finally broke the deadlock and understandably, given the nature of the game, the goal came from a penalty kick. Phillippe Christanval’s superb long pass fell straight into the path of Heidar Helguson, who took the ball on his chest but was brought down by Wheater before he was able to take a shot.

The referee pointed to the spot and the Icelandic striker coolly stepped up and rolled the ball into the net, sending Turnbull the wrong way. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 7 May 2006
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,434

Referee: Mark Halsey

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Volz, Christanval, Bocanegra, Rosenior; Malbranque, Brown, Diop, Bridge; McBride (Radzinski 70'), John (Helguson 56')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Goma, Elliott

Middlesbrough

Line-up: Turnbull; Bates, Wheater, Davies, Taylor; Kennedy (Cooper 85'), Cattermole, Morrison, Adam Johnson; Christie (Walker 62'), Graham (Craddock 81')

Unused substitutes: Knight, McMahon

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 38 91
2 Manchester United 38 83
3 Liverpool 38 82
4 Arsenal 38 67
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 63
6 Blackburn Rovers 38 63
7 Newcastle United 38 58
8 Bolton Wanderers 38 56
9 West Ham United 38 55
10 Wigan Athletic 38 51
11 Everton 38 50
12 Fulham 38 48
13 Charlton Athletic 38 47
14 Middlesbrough 38 45
15 Manchester City 38 43
16 Aston Villa 38 42
17 Portsmouth 38 38
18 Birmingham City 38 34
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 31
20 Sunderland 38 15
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 19Philippe Christanval
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 9Michael Brown
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 31Wayne Bridge
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 15Collins John
Substitutes
  • 1Mark Crossley
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 27Simon Elliott
  • 10Heidar Helguson
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
Middlesbrough (4-4-2)
  • 21Ross Turnbull
  • 4Matthew Bates
  • 5David Wheater
  • 24Andrew Davies
  • 26Andrew Taylor
  • 7Jason Kennedy
  • 27Lee Cattermole
  • 25James Morrison
  • 18Adam Johnson
  • 11Malcolm Christie
  • 30Danny Graham
Substitutes
  • 32David Knight
  • Colin Cooper
  • 29Anthony McMahon
  • 8Josh Walker
  • 42Tom Craddock