Davis returns

Wednesday 8 October 2003

Watford res. 2-2 Fulham res.

Sean Davis returned to action for the reserve team on Wednesday evening as he took part in the first half of Fulham's draw against Watford at Vicarage Road. However it was Malik Buari who stole the show with a brace as Fulham fought back from being two goals down.

The match started brightly for Fulham when Robert Watkins narrowly failed to connect with a Sean Davis cross following a short corner on five minutes. Fulham's bad luck with crosses continued when Sean Davis and Pratley both couldn't apply the final touch after Buari played a dangerous ball into the box.

As the first half progressed the Whites upped the tempo and enjoyed a good spell of passing, but with the home side looking stubborn in defence Fulham's possession failed to translate into goals. Shortly after on 25 minutes, the home side opened the scoring after Fiskin capitalised on a defensive mix up following a Watford corner. The goal came as no surprise as only moments earlier the impressive Rosenior came to Fulham's rescue by clearing the ball from a dangerous position.

Fulham were back on the front foot almost immediately after the restart and could so nearly have equalised when Fazakerley headed Buari's cross goalwards - despite beating the onrushing goalkeeper with his effort, a quick-thinking defender was on hand to hack the ball away.

There was no such luck at the back for Fulham when, on the half-hour mark, Watford increased their lead. Ashley Young's cross from the right found its intended target in the area, Beasant saved well from close range but Patterson was first to react to the loose ball and tapped in from a couple of yards.

Any hopes that Watford had of going into the break with a two-goal cushion were dashed on 42 minutes after a beautiful strike from Buari. With the goalkeeper off his line, Buari spotted his chance and floated a perfect shot over the 'keeper's head which sailed just under the bar.

The second half saw Fulham again go close through Rosenior and Willock before Godfrey threw away Watford's chance to re-establish a two-goal advantage when he successfully rounded Beasant but side-footed against the post with the goal at his mercy.

That miss eventually cost the home side dearly when, deep into injury time, Malik Buari latched on to McDermott's far post cross and side footed home. The drama didn't end there as almost immediately from the restart Watford made a last-gasp push for the winning goal and struck the post with header.

Speaking after the match, reserve team manager Paul Nevin was disappointed with the performance.

"We were lucky to get a point," he said. "I thought we were very poor in terms of retaining possession of the ball. We didn't get into our rhythm and that was probably our weakest performance of the season."

Fulham: Beasant, Rosenior, Green, Djetou, Watkins, T Davis, Buari, S Davis, Noble, Pratley, Fazakerley

Subs Used:
Willock on for T Davis 45'
McDermott on for S Davis 45'

Attendance: 355