Saturday 25 April 2009, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Nevland 29'
Stoke City
Stoke City
0
An Erik Nevland goal was enough to give Fulham a deserved victory over Stoke down by the Thames on Saturday afternoon. A frustrating early period saw the Whites repeatedly denied by Potters 'keeper Thomas Sørensen, but a great move by Dempsey and Nevland saw the ball in the net which was enough for Fulham to claim all three points.

29' Goal

Erik Nevland

45' Yellow Card

Erik Nevland Card was given for a foul

20' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Bobby Zamora

34' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:Andrew Johnson

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Paul Konchesky

39' Yellow Card

Liam Lawrence Card was given for a foul

58' Yellow Card

Ryan Shawcross Card was given for a foul

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Henri Camara
Off:Richard Cresswell

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ibrahima Sonko
Off:Stephen Kelly

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carl Dickinson
Off:Danny Pugh

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

After a frustrating first half hour for Fulham at the Cottage on Saturday, substitute Erik Nevland earned the Whites a first half lead, finishing a superb counter-attacking move with a clinical strike from close range. Fulham's lead came at a price, with Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson both departing the field of play with injuries during a testing first half.

Stoke created two opportunities early on with both chances falling to Rory Delap on the edge of Fulham's area. On both occasions the midfielder fired high over Schwarzer's bar.

Fulham attacked from the flanks during the early stages and in the fifth minute a pinpoint delivery from the right wing by Johnson found Dempsey on the penalty spot. The midfielder's headed effort under pressure flew wide.

As the ten-minute mark approached Fulham began to take control of possession but in a congested midfield Fulham's passing game was quickly disrupted. Ten minutes later Roy Hodgson replaced Zamora with Erik Nevland. The striker appeared to have taken an early knock and headed back to the dressing room for treatment.

Fulham saw plenty of Stoke's aerial bombardment with Delap firing in four long-range throw-ins during the first twenty minutes. However Brede Hangeland was colossal, commanding Fulham's area with his superior aerial ability.

A superb piece of interplay between Nevland and Dempsey after 20 minutes almost broke the deadlock. A pass into Nevland on the edge of the area was knocked down to the American international, whose ferocious drive seared past Sorensen's left hand post.

Fulham's breakthrough came just before the half hour mark with Nevland finishing the move he started on the halfway line.

A quick counter from the edge of the area saw Nevland burst forward for almost thirty yards before peeling the ball wide to Johnson, overlapping on the right of Stoke's area. Johnson played the ball the back to Nevland, racing into the centre of the area, and the Norwegian made no mistake from close range.

Fulham grew in confidence after Nevland's strike but there was more bad news on the injury front when Johnson limped off after 35 minutes. Roy Hodgson introduced Diomansy Kamara alongside Nevland.

Liam Lawrence received the first booking of the game after a late challenge on Zoltan Gera 25 yards from goal. Fulham then produced a superb set piece, which should have produced a second goal.

Danny Murphy feinted the free kick and delivered a pass to Paul Konchesky racing to the left by-line. The defender fired in a pinpoint cross to Dickson Etuhu but the midfielder fired over from three yards out.

Fulham began to cut Stoke's defence apart as half time approached with Konchesky, Dempsey and Nevland all going close before the break. Nevland was booked in first half injury time after challenging Sorensen for a fifty-fifty ball as the keeper stretched to reach a poor back pass.

Fulham made a bright start to the second half, dominating possession with some intricate passing play in an around Stoke's area. All that was missing was a finishing touch.

The game was brought to a halt after 50 minutes when Nevland accidently caught Danny Pugh with a boot to the face. Pugh required treatment but returned to the fray as the pressure increased on the visitors.

As the hour mark approached Fulham were literally camped in Stoke's half. Stoke's frustration began to show as Shawcross was booked for a cynical challenge on Kamara after 57 minutes.

Despite Fulham's dominance only Nevland's strike separated the two sides as the second half wore on. Stoke's direct approach led to a few nervous moments at the back for Fulham. Attacking from deep, Fulham had to be constantly on their guard, especially with strikers Fuller and Cresswell containing the power and stature to upset any Premier League defence.

Fulham suffered a third injury ten minutes from time when Paul Konchesky limped from the field of play. Chris Baird was introduced and took up the left back position. Tony Pulis made a double substitution moments later, introducing Sonko and Camara for Kelly and Cresswell respectively.

The game was once again held up five minutes from time when Delap went down on the half way line. Stoke had a glorious chance a minute later. A cross from the right flank found Shawcross unmarked 16 yards from goal. Fortunately the midfielder blazed his headed effort over the bar.

The stop-start nature of Saturday's game at the Cottage resulted in four minutes of added time, which featured a Stoke penalty appeal as Fulham were forced to defend in numbers. Roy Hodgson's side withstood the pressure to seal three hard earned points. Victory over Stoke moved Fulham into seventh place in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 25 April 2009
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,069

Referee: Lee Mason

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky (Baird 82'); Gera, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey; Johnson (Kamara 34'), Zamora (Nevland 20')

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Dacourt, Gray

Stoke City

Line-up: Sørensen; Kelly (Sonko 83'), Delap, Shawcross, Faye; Etherington, Pugh (Dickinson 87'), Whelan, Lawrence; Cresswell (Camara 83'), Fuller

Unused substitutes: Simonsen, Cort, Olofinjana, Tonge

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 34 74
2 Manchester United 32 74
3 Chelsea 34 71
4 Arsenal 33 62
5 Aston Villa 34 55
6 Everton 34 53
7 Fulham 34 47
8 West Ham United 34 45
9 Manchester City 34 44
10 Tottenham Hotspur 33 44
11 Wigan Athletic 32 41
12 Stoke City 34 39
13 Bolton Wanderers 34 38
14 Portsmouth 33 37
15 Sunderland 34 35
16 Blackburn Rovers 33 34
17 Hull City 34 34
18 Middlesbrough 33 31
19 Newcastle United 33 30
20 West Bromwich Albion 34 28
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 9Bobby Zamora
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 15Diomansy Kamara
Stoke City (4-4-2)
  • 29Thomas Sørensen
  • 22Stephen Kelly
  • 24Rory Delap
  • 17Ryan Shawcross
  • 25Abdoulaye Faye
  • 26Matthew Etherington
  • 14Danny Pugh
  • 6Glenn Whelan
  • 7Liam Lawrence
  • 16Richard Cresswell
  • 10Ricardo Fuller
Substitutes
  • 1Steve Simonsen
  • 5Leon Cort
  • 16Ibrahima Sonko
  • 31Carl Dickinson
  • 4Seyi Olofinjana
  • 23Michael Tonge
  • 27Henri Camara