An Islam Feruz strike and a Lewis Baker penalty saw Fulham taste defeat in the first match from the second phase of their league season against Chelsea on Thursday night.
Kit Symons' boys were up against a side led by former England captain John Terry, who was making his return from injury. The Whites, though, had our own fans' favourite returning in the form of Simon Davies. New signing Chris David was also involved, making his first appearance in a Fulham shirt when he entered the action as a second-half substitute.
“It was a good game of football actually and was very even,” Kit told fulhamfc.com after the match. “The first goal you felt was always going to be crucial and it was a really disappointing one, from our point of view, when it came.
“It was our corner and we made a couple of bad decisions that led to them scoring a really, really soft goal. The second was a penalty given for handball against Sean Kavanagh – the lad blasted the ball at him from pretty close so it’s one of those where it certainly hit him on the hand and you’ve seen them given before but you’ve also seen them not given.
“So that was disappointing but we had a few good chances as well and overall it was a pretty decent game of football. We were disappointed to lose but the effort and the performance overall was quite pleasing. You don’t like losing any game, especially not to your local rivals, but with the performance levels I was reasonably pleased.”
Terry played the first 45 minutes for the hosts and while Kit admits it is good for his young troops to test themselves against players of the Chelsea captain’s calibre, he felt they may have gained more from someone else on the pitch.
“It’s always good to come up against big name players like John Terry,” he said. “So that was good for them but it was probably better for them that they played alongside Simon Davies. I think that was a big boost for everyone because he’s a top pro who does things the right way so a lot of the boys will have learnt a lot from playing alongside him.
“Simon did really, really well. He was scheduled to play 60 minutes and ended up playing 65 but looked really fresh. It was his first game for a while and we had to take him off but he did look really fresh – his fitness levels looked really good and I was very pleased with him and I’m sure he’ll be pleased with his own performance.”
Fulham’s longest-serving player was replaced by the latest addition to our ranks and Kit was pleased with the contribution of young Dutchman David.
“Chris came on for Simon and showed some nice touches,” he said. “With all new boys coming in – but especially those coming in from a foreign country – you’d imagine it’s going to take a little time to adapt to the British game.
“It was quite a high-tempo game so it will take some getting used to for him but he’s clearly a good footballer and he showed some nice touches.”
Fulham: 1. Joronen, 2. Vigen Christensen, 3. Kavanagh, 4. Davies, 5. Grimmer, 6. Pritchard, 7. Williams, 8. Smith (c), 9. Dalla Valle, 10. Minkwitz, 11. Altman. Subs: 12. Somogyi, 14. Islamovic, 15. David, 16. Peniket, 17. Gameiro.