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Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)

Started by White Noise, February 21, 2010, 07:40:55 PM

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White Noise

Zamora's Golden Touch

Sunday 21st February 2010

Fulham FC News

In form Bobby Zamora once again reminded Fabio Capello of his striking credentials and drew praise from team-mate Brede Hangeland.

Zamora grabbed his 15th goal of the season and fourth in four games, with his spectacular last minute free-kick earning Fulham three points and sending battling Birmingham home empty handed.

Zamora bossed the front line with conviction and assurance with Roger Johnson and Scott Dann given a torrid time.

And Norway international Hangeland may have little sympathy for the opposing pair but as a centre-back himself knows only too well just how good Fulham's number 25 is.

He told "He's a very difficult player to go head to head with. I come up against him in training and all I will say is that I am very happy that he is on my team. He's in great form at the moment and is finally getting his reward and scoring a lot of goals.

"I don't like to talk up players' chances of international recognition, and after all I just watch Fulham. But he is obviously a brilliant player and if I played against England for Norway I'd be worried if he was lining up against me.

"Everything he touches at the moment seems to turn to gold, whether that be a shot hitting the back of the net, a clever pass or knock on. He's having a great season.

"There was a time when we weren't really a danger from free-kicks but you'd back him wouldn't you? He scored another fairly recently and I had a good feeling when he stepped up – and I was right."

Birmingham may have taken the lead on Sunday, but the Whites controlled the majority of the match although they had to wait until the hour mark before Damien Duff – another who is enjoying a rich vein of form in front of goal – fired home with an exquisite drive.

When the impressive Zoltan Gera was bundled over on the edge of the box following Stephen Carr's challenge Zamora did the rest.

"I thought that we did well today, especially when you take into account the fact that we had a really, really hard game on Thursday," said Hangeland. "We did get off to a bad start and we were very unlucky with the early goal.

"But after that I think we responded well and saw a lot of the ball. Birmingham are a difficult side to break down and made life difficult for us. But we stuck to the task and kept going until the end and obviously we got the reward.

"We saw two fantastic goals and Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora are players that are giving us something a little bit extra at the moment. Although I've singled them out I also thought the character and work ethic of the team was first class."

Read more:

White Noise

Bobby Zamora leaves it late to win it for Fulham

Feb 21 2010

By Jacob Murtagh

Fulham 2-1 Birmingham City

BOBBY Zamora's last-gasp free-kick earned Fulham victory against Birmingham City.

Trailing 1-0 to Chris Baird's early own goal, Damien Duff levelled things before Zamora curled home a 90th minute winner at Craven Cottage.

Birmingham had taken the lead inside three minutes when Lee Bowyer's teasing cross was headed into his own net by Baird.

Simon Davies came close to squaring things up, but the Whites went in behind at the interval.

Fulham had a strong penalty appeal turned down at the start of the second when Zoltan Gera's flick was handled by Scott Dann, only for referee Phil Dowd to wave play on.

But the Whites finally levelled on the hour mark through Duff's piledriver.

The Irishman picked up the ball on the right before exchanging passes with Gera, then unleashed an unstoppable 20-yard effort in off the post.

However, only the woodwork stopped Birmingham regaining the lead when James McFadden's rocket cannoned off the underside of the bar before the ball was cleared to safety.

Fulham pressed for a winner, and they got it in the dying minutes.

Gera was poleaxed on the edge of the box, and Zamora stepped up to snatch victory from 20 yards.

White Noise

Fulham 2 Birmingham City 1: Bobby Zamora is Fulham's Hero Once Again

21/2/2010 10:17 AM GMT

By Ian Winrow

Bobby Zamora was Fulham's match-winner for the second time in four days after the striker struck an outstanding 89th-minute free-kick that ensured his side moved above Birmingham into ninth.

Zamora had clinched the Cottagers' Europa League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday with a long-range drive and he repeated the feat in front of the watching Fabio Capello.

The strike completed Fulham's comeback after Roy Hodgson's side had been playing catch-up from the moment Chris Baird headed into his own goal in the third minute.

Damien Duff levelled with a superb run and shot in the 59th minute and Zamora secured the points after Stephen Carr had fouled Zoltan Gera on the edge of the area.

Hodgson was delighted with the way his team responded after the midweek victory over Shakhtar and believes Zamora's continuing good form could win him an England call-up.

"We played really well in first half but came across the resolute defence we expected to find," said the Fulham manager "My concern in second half was that we wouldn't be able to find the power, find the energy and find the legs to really back into it.

"But the players carried on where they left off and I thought we were really good value for our victory.

"And we won the game through two wonder strikes on goal; first there was Damien Duff's magnificent left foot strike and then Bobby Zamora's, so not only did we win but we won with two great goals."

England coach Fabio Capello was watching from the Craven Cottage stands and Hodgson added: "If he believes Bobby can do a job for him I am sure he'll take him.

"I'm sure that today good judge of a player that he is he will have gone away realising that in Bobby Zamora Fulham have a good player. Whether that is something for him as well only he knows."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish was disappointed not have claimed a point.

He said: "I don't think it would have been harsh on Fulham if we had got a draw. We got a break with the own goal early in the game. I didn't think the two goalkeepers were troubled throughput the game.

"It took a piece of inspiration to get Fulham back in the game from Damien Duff and that is what you need sometimes. It gave them a little surge. Murphy became more of an influence and Bobby Zamoira was a thorn the whole day long. He caused us a lot of problems."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Baird's own-goal handed Birmingham the best possible start and from that moment the onus was on the home side to attempt to break the visitors down. Chances were limited in the first half but Fulham's persistence meant Birmingham were forced to defend deeper and deeper and Duff's moment of brilliance brought a deserved equaliser. The visitors had been guilty of committing too many needless fouls on the edge of their own box and Carr's foul on Gera proved costly.

WHAT IT MEANS: Fulham are undoubtedly on a roll right now with Zamora in the form of his life. With the Europa League return and FA Cup quarter-final to come in the next two weeks, this could be a decisive period in the Cottagers season. Much will depend on whether they have the legs to maintain this momentum, but they are showing no signs of wilting. Birmingham are experiencing a dip after their extended unbeaten run and their resilience will now come under close scrutiny.

We might even see a Fulham player in one of those goal of the month competitions, we don't see that very often.
- Roy Hodgson delivers a broad hint that he will be sat by his phone, getting ready to vote.

FULHAM 2 (Duff 59, Zamora 89) BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 (Baird og 3)

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer 8; Baird 5, Hughes 8, Hangeland 7, Shorey 8; Duff 9, Etuhu 6, Murphy 8 (Smalling 90, 6), Davies 7 (Riise 83); Gera 7; Zamora 7.
Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Okaka, Greening, Elm.

Birmingham City (4-4-2): Hart 8; Carr 5, Johnson 8, Dann 6, Ridgewell 6; Larsson 6 (Gardner 68, 6), Bowyer 8, Ferguson 7 (Michel 90, 6), Fahey 6; McFadden 6, Jerome 5 (Phillips 77, 6).
Subs not used: Taylor, Benitez, Parnaby, Vignal.


- Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk (Away), Europa League 25/02, 1800 GMT
- Birmingham City v Wigan Athletic (Home), Premier League 27/02, 1500 GMT

Damien Duff (Fulham): Fulham were in need of something special to bring them back into the game and the winger responded in spectacular style, producing a stunning run and shot to cap a hard working display.

White Noise

Defensive strength and Duff

by Dan on February 21, 2010

Timmy makes a decent point, with the aid of a couple of chalkboards, about how well the Fulham defence did today. That might sound a little odd given the game we just watched but think about it: Birmingham had a lot of the ball and a lot of time in our half, but didn't really test Mark Schwarzer with too many shots. The visuals prove it.

He also puts forward Damien Duff as our MVP ('Most Valuable Player' for those of you not familiar with that particular Americanism) and makes a pretty compelling case:

Today did prove that we need to seriously consider Damien Duff as the team's MVP. Why? Of his 6 league goals, four have come from when Fulham were losing. And all four have resulted in a combined 8 points. Here's the breakdown:

Everton (81) tied 1-1
Manchester City (62) down 2-0
Bolton (75), down 1-0
Manchester United (75), up 2-0
Stoke City (61), down 3-0
Birmingham City (59), down 1-0

I'd still think Zamora's got to up there for that honour but MVP's obviously a different category to player of the season. It's an interesting debate.

White Noise

Fulham 2 Birmingham 1: Bobby Zamora struck in injury time as Cottages come from a goal down to beat the Blues

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 5:55 PM on 21st February 2010

Bobby Zamora fired a dramatic late winner as Fulham came from behind to edge a scrappy Barclays Premier League clash with Birmingham.

Watching England boss Fabio Capello had left before Zamora struck a magnificent free-kick in the 90th minute to claim his 15th goal in 32 starts, provoking chants of 'Bobby for England' - but the Italian will have been impressed by his display.

Momentum has gathered behind calls for Zamora to be selected by England and today's strike will have improved his chances.

Match Facts

Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Danny Murphy (Chris Smalling, 90), Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Simon Davies (Bjorn Helge Riise, 83), Bobby Zamora

Birmingham City
Joe Hart, Stephen Carr, Liam Ridgewell, Roger Johnson, Scott Dann, Lee Bowyer, Sebastian Larsson (Craig Gardner, 68), Barry Ferguson, Keith Fahey, Cameron Jerome (Kevin Phillips, 77), James McFadden

The Blues raced ahead in the third minute thanks to an inexplicable own goal from Chris Baird who, despite being under little pressure, headed home a Lee Bowyer cross.

It was a terrible blunder that will surely cause some sleepless nights but it was also harsh on Baird, who otherwise performed well despite being played out of position at right-back.

Fulham controlled much of the match but had to wait until the hour mark for their equaliser when Damien Duff powered home his ninth goal of the season.

Riled by two clumsy tackles moments earlier, the Republic of Ireland winger took revenge by dashing infield, combining with Zoltan Gera before driving home from the edge of the area.

With both clubs imbedded in mid-table and closing in on the critical 40-point mark, today's contest was about little more than having a say in who would get there first.

It looked like Birmingham would have that honour when Baird handed them the lead in the third minute with an embarrassing own goal.

Bowyer sent in a cross to the far post where Baird directed an unstoppable header past Schwarzer into his own net.

The Northern Ireland defender tried making amends by setting up a good chance for Simon Davies only for keeper Joe Hart to come to Birmingham's rescue.

Gera almost connected with a hanging cross from Duff and was then blocked by Stephen Carr as Fulham pressed for an equaliser.

Danny Murphy expertly weaved his way into the area but was brought to an abrupt stop by Scott Dann and shortly after Davies nodded a superb cross from Gera straight at Hart.

Birmingham were content to hit Fulham on the counter, a tactic that was yielding some success.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot blocked by Dickson Etuhu but more action was taking place at the other end with Zamora hurling himself at two crosses.

Davies failed to connect cleanly with a clever pass from Murphy, giving Hart time to react.

Zamora was applauded for a dazzling piece of skill that saw him expertly control the ball, which he then slipped between his legs before pirouetting away from Bowyer.

The former West Ham marksman fired a well-struck shot from long range but it just lacked the power to really trouble Hart.

Cameron Jerome scuffed a half-chance straight to Schwarzer and in the 57th minute Birmingham were lucky to escape a penalty after Dann clearly handled the ball.

But the equaliser eventually arrived in the 60th minute with Duff driving home a brilliant goal that came just moments after he had been hacked down twice by clumsy challenges.

He weaved his way infield and linked with Gera before taking the return pass and pulling the trigger on a shot that struck the left post and cannoned in.

Only the fingertips of Schwarzer prevented Birmingham from retaking the lead as the Fulham keeper tipped a blistering shot from James McFadden onto the underside of the crossbar with the ball then bouncing down and out.

The game was growing increasingly ragged with Zamora breaking free but taking the wrong option - before completing a dramatic finale.

Gera was felled by an outrageous bodycheck from Carr and Zamora thumped home the free-kick in the 90th minute to clinch victory.

Read more:

White Noise,19528,11681_5966305,00.html

Shorey eyes England recall

Defender also shocked by Fulham switch

Last updated: 21st February 2010   

Nicky Shorey has set his sights on a shock return to the England squad for the World Cup.

The full-back is currently on loan at Fulham after failing to hold down a regular place in the Aston Villa side under Martin O'Neill.

The former Reading ace joined Fulham on transfer deadline day after a successful loan spell at Nottingham Forest and he admits he was surprised to make the move to West London.

"There's nothing worse than not playing. I really loved my time at Forest and was looking forward to going back when this move came out of nowhere," said Shorey.

Shorey, who won two caps for England three years ago, has impressed at Craven Cottage and he admits he would jump at the chance of being in the England squad for this summer's World Cup finals.

"I've played for England before and I enjoyed it but I'll leave that for other people to talk about. I've two caps and it's great to play for your country," added Shorey.

White Noise

Hodgson's secret: hard work

by Dan on February 21, 2010

There's no glitz and glamour on the training pitches at Motspur Park. We've heard it before, but Simon Davies rather reinforces the point in an interesting article in the Independent on Sunday – Roy Hodgson's secret is good old-fashioned graft.

Every day in training is geared towards team shape on the match-day coming up. I've been working with the manager three years now and every day is team shape, and it shows. We have a little laugh about it now and again, but when he came in we were fighting relegation and now we're in the Europa League, so you take it.

I don't want to give any secrets away, but he gets the 11 that he wants on a match-day and he drills everything in that he wants. It's certain drills defensive, certain drills attacking, and we work very hard at it. There are no diagrams. It's all on the pitch with the ball, nothing unopposed.

We do a lot of work after every game on analysis, sorting the bad things out, sorting the good things out. It's nice to know what you work hard on works so well. We're two-and-a-half years down the line now, so we're all converted; it's just working on little things now and hoping we can still get better.

Davies points to the goalscoring form of Bobby Zamora as a real bonus too.

Last year, playing with him you could see what he brought to the team but maybe only playing could you appreciate that. This year, he's absolutely on fire.

Jonathan Wilson also digs out a wonderful quote from Swedish academic Tomas Peterson on Hodgson's influence at Halmstad.

[Hodgson] threaded together a number of principles, which could be used in a series of combinations and compositions, and moulded them into an organic totality – an indivisible project about how to play football. Every moment of the match was theorised, and placed as an object lesson for training-teaching, and was looked at in a totality.

White Noise


Fulham 2 Birmingham 1


Well, Fabio Capello was at Craven Cottage to get a first-hand look at the Fulham striker.

And he didn't disappoint, smashing home an injury-time free-kick to complete a fine turnaround by Roy Hodgson's men.

Birmingham led early on through Chris Baird's own goal after only three minutes. Damien Duff equalised to allow Zamora to take centre stage again after his spectacular winner in midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Right-back Baird's error was inexcusable as he headed a harmless Lee Bowyer cross past Mark Schwarzer to gift the Midlanders the perfect start.

Duff has been an excellent acquisition for Fulham and he bagged his ninth goal of the season when linking up with Zoltan Gera before flashing home a firm drive past Joe Hart.

Birmingham played mainly on the counter-attack as the home side were on top but unable to find a way past Hart.

Scott Dann was lucky not to concede a penalty when handling after 57 minutes but Duff fired in off a post to haul the Cottagers level.

Birmingham responded well and almost regained the lead when James McFadden's piledriver was tipped onto the underside of the bar by Schwarzer.

It was a let-off for the West Londoners and they took full advantage when Stephen Carr fouled Gera and Zamora decided to show Capello just what he's all about.

The much-maligned marksman made it 15 for the season with an unstoppable free-kick that could earn him a call-up for the friendly with Egypt next month.

White Noise

Fulham 2 Birmingham 1

FUL OF PROMISE ... England hopeful Bobby Zamora nets Fulham's winner

Published: Today

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BOBBY ZAMORA's last-gasp free-kick sealed Fulham's spirited recovery as they came from behind to beat Birmingham at Craven Cottage.
Zamora's goal in the first minute of added time put the Cottagers ahead for the first time in the match.

It followed a drive on the hour by Damien Duff that had brought the hosts level, after an early howler handed Birmingham the lead.

Duff's equaliser cancelled out Chris Baird's spectacular third-minute own goal.

Baird was under little pressure but the Northern Ireland international met Lee Bowyer's cross with an unstoppable header that flew past Mark Schwarzer.

After that Birmingham chose to play on the counter, as Fulham searched for an equaliser.

Baird tried making amends by setting up a good chance for Simon Davies, only for keeper Joe Hart to come to the Blues' rescue.

Fulham kept up the pressure, as first Zoltan Gera almost connected with a hanging cross from Duff and then Danny Murphy's run was stopped in the box by Scott Dann.

As Birmingham broke, Sebastian Larsson had a shot blocked by Dickson Etuhu, but in truth the action was taking place at the other end with Zamora hurling himself at two crosses.

Fulham went into the break well in control but behind.

They continued to dominate at the start of the second half, with Zamora firing a shot from long range that failed to trouble Hart.

Brum striker Cameron Jerome then scuffed a half-chance straight to Schwarzer and in the 57th minute the visitors were lucky to survive a penalty appeal after Dann clearly handled the ball.

But the equaliser eventually came around the hour mark, as Duff drove home moments after being hacked down by two clumsy challenges.

The Irish star weaved his way infield and linked with Zoltan Gera before taking the return pass and firing a shot that struck the left post and cannoned in.

Birmingham came close to retaking the lead but Fulham keeper Schwarzer managed to tip a blistering shot from James McFadden onto the underside of the crossbar, with the ball then bouncing down and out.

Late on Zamora capitalised on a foul conceded by Stephen Carr to fire into the top left corner of the goal and give rise to chants of 'Bobby for England' in front of the watching Fabio Capello.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Davies (Riise 83), Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora. Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Okaka, Smalling, Greening, Elm. Booked: Duff

Goals: Duff (59), Zamora (90)

Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Ridgewell, Fahey, Bowyer, Ferguson (Michel 90), Larsson (Gardner 68), McFadden, Jerome (Phillips 77). Subs not used: Taylor, Benitez, Parnaby, Vignal. Booked: McFadden

Goals: Baird (og) 3

Attendance: 21,758

Referee: Phil Dowd

White Noise

Fabio Capello misses Bobby Zamora's late party piece to win match for Fulham

Fulham 2 Birmingham 1

Nick Szczepanik, Craven Cottage

Fabio Capello left too early. The England manager went to Craven Cottage yesterday to see Bobby Zamora, of Fulham, and Joe Hart, of Birmingham City, but had departed by the time Zamora curled an 18-yard free kick past Hart to win the match.

The buzz as Zamora stepped up in the final minute, showed how far he has advanced in the regard of the home fans since he was barracked by some for a perceived inability to hit the net. This was his fifteenth goal of the campaign in all competitions, although only his eighth in the Barclays Premier League.

"Last year he wasn't lucky in front of goal but this year he's added the goals to his good play," Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, said. "Forwards are judged on what they do in the penalty area, but we as coaches have to go beyond that. I think Fabio Capello would have been impressed, good judge of a player that he is."

Even though he missed the goal? "We have wall-to-wall coverage of Premier League matches these days, so if you miss a goal that was scored at the weekend, you live on another planet," Hodgson said.

Before that, it looked as if two Irishmen would make the headlines. Chris Baird, of Northern Ireland, guaranteed his inclusion in every compilation of this season's bloopers when he headed Lee Bowyer's cross firmly into his own net after three minutes.

In contrast, Damien Duff, the Ireland winger, drew Fulham level with a goal-of-the month contender, a left-foot strike that went in off the inside of Hart's right-hand post after an exchange of passes with Zoltan Gera.

Ten minutes later Birmingham hit the woodwork when James McFadden's 25-yard shot was fingertipped on to the underside of the crossbar by Mark Schwarzer, but Fulham raised the tempo despite Thursday's strenuous workout against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League.

Nevertheless, Birmingham seemed to have done enough until Stephen Carr fouled Gera and Zamora swerved his shot around the wall and high past Hart's right hand to condemn Birmingham to a fifth defeat in as many visits to London this season.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): M Schwarzer 7 — C Baird 6, A Hughes 6, B Hangeland 5, N Shorey 6 — D Duff 8, D Murphy 6 (sub: C Smalling, 90min), D Etuhu 6, S Davies 5 (sub: B H Riise, 83) — Z Gera 7 — R Zamora 7. Substitutes not used: P Zuberbühler, S Kelly, S Okaka, J Greening, D Elm. Booked: Duff. Next: Sunderland (a).

Birmingham City (4-4-2): J Hart 6 — S Carr 6, S Dann 6, R Johnson 6, L Ridgewell 6 — S Larsson 5 (sub: C Gardner, 68 5), L Bowyer 6, B Ferguson 7 (sub: Michel, 90), K Fahey 5 — J McFadden 7, C Jerome 5 (sub: K Phillips, 77). Substitutes not used: M Taylor, C Benítez, S Parnaby, G Vignal. Booked: McFadden. Next: Wigan Athletic (h).

Referee: P Dowd. Attendance: 21,758.

White Noise

Fulham   2 - 1   Birmingham

By Ian Hughes 

Bobby Zamora curled in a late free-kick to earn Fulham a come-from-behind win.

Birmingham were gifted the opening goal when Chris Baird headed into his own net from Lee Bowyer's right-wing cross.

Baird then blocked superbly from Keith Fahey before Damien Duff played a one-two with Zoltan Gera and smashed a 20-yard shot in off the post to equalise.

Mark Schwarzer superbly tipped James McFadden's 25-yard shot on to the bar but Fulham snatched victory when Zamora put his free-kick into the top corner.

It was a result that had looked unlikely after the opening half, where Fulham struggled to shake of the effects of having played in the Europa League on Thursday.

And Birmingham, having been given an early advantage after Baird's error, appeared able to comfortably keep their opponents at arm's length.

A win for Birmingham would have taken them to the landmark total of 40 points and would have virtually guaranteed their Premier League status for next season.

And throughout the first half it seemed that outcome was inevitable as a Fulham appeared jaded and short of ideas.

Instead, Birmingham will leave London wondering how they managed to take nothing from the capital again - as they had done in their previous four visits.

They will look back at the tremendous save from Schwarzer that kept McFadden's shot out, but credit must be given to Fulham for raising their game and overcoming a truly dreadful start.

Baird, too, will be mightily relieved after his error of misjudgement that saw him thump a header into the top corner of his own goal after only three minutes.

Fulham are a good team but we should have hung on for at least a draw

The former Southampton defender went some way to atone for his mistake when he brilliantly blocked Fahey's shot as the visitors pressed to double their advantage.

Birmingham went on to largely control the opening half as Fulham looked well below par.

The hosts did threaten twice, but Joe Hart was easily equal to a volley and, later, a header from Simon Davies.

Fulham improved after the break and as a result they began to push Birmingham back.

And as the visitors defended from deep, they invited Duff on to their cost when the winger cut in from the right, exchanged passes with Gera and cracked home a belting shot.

That sparked a spell of pressure for Fulham, although they were unable to create clear chances.

And they nearly succumbed to a rare counter-attack from Birmingham when McFadden came inches away from making it 2-1.

As the final whistle approached it seemed the two sides - who started the match adjacent to each other in the mid-section of the table - would not be separated.

Zamora was the difference - McLeish
But Zamora, under the gaze of England manager Fabio Capello in the stands, expertly curled home a 20-yard free-kick to earn his side victory.

The goal - Zamora's 15th goal in 32 starts - will give Capello food for thought ahead of the World Cup, while it also saw Fulham leapfrog Birmingham in the table.


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson:
"We got off to the worst possible start with the own goal aftrr three minutes. But to come in at half-time 1-0 down after the way we had played was harsh on the players.

I knew it was going to be tough in the second half, as we'd had a tough week and I was worried that we would not be able to keep it going.

"We were fortunate with the wonder strike from James McFadden that hit the underside of the crossbar but otherwise I thought we were really good value for our victory.

"We had more shots, more opportunities and more of the play - we had to dig deep and score two great goals to win it, but we got there in the end."

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:
"We lost because of two pieces of inspiration from Fulham, the finishes were brilliant. That is the difference in quality that we have to aspire to.

"I didn't feel there was any real rhythm from either team and I felt it was a nothing game until Damien Duff took a hand in proceedings.

"And Bobby Zamora was the big difference. Today, my players had a hard game against one of the best strikers in the league.

"If they are going to step up to the next level, they have to overcome players like him."

Live text and stats

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham 2-1 Birmingham R
(HT 0-1)
Duff 59
Zamora 90+1
  Baird (og) 3

Hide team line-ups and match stats
01 Schwarzer
05 Hangeland
06 Baird
07 Shorey
18 Hughes
11 Gera
13 Murphy (Smalling 90+3)
16 Duffyellow card
20 Etuhu
29 Davies (Riise 83)
25 Zamora
19 Zuberbuhler, 02 Kelly, 26 Smalling, 17 Riise, 27 Greening, 09 Okaka Chuka, 35 Elm Birmingham
25 Hart
02 Carr
06 Ridgewell
14 Johnson
15 Dann
04 Bowyer
07 Larsson (Gardner 68)
12 Ferguson (Marcos Madera 90+1)
18 Fahey
10 Jerome (Phillips 77)
16 McFaddenyellow card
01 Taylor, 21 Parnaby, 27 Gregory Vignal, 17 Marcos Madera, 33 Gardner, 09 Phillips, 11 Benitez Ref: Dowd
Att: 21,758
Fulham 52% Birmingham 48% Attempts on target
Fulham 6 Birmingham 7 Attempts off target
Fulham 5 Birmingham 3 Corners
Fulham 3 Birmingham 1 Fouls
Fulham 9 Birmingham 16

White Noise

Fulham v Bolton / Spurs

FA Cup

Saturday 6 March

Kick-Off 17:20

Fulham's FA Cup Quarter-Final clash against either Bolton Wanderers or Tottenham Hotspur at the Cottage will be played on Saturday 6th March. The game will kick-off at 5.20pm and will be shown live on ITV1 . Tickets are now on General Sale. 

On-sale dates     
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Fulham Club Members on sale (4 tickets)
General Sale on sale (4 tickets)
Season Ticket Holders who are on the Home Cup Tie Scheme will automatically have their ticket loaded onto their Season Ticket Access Card.

Can Season Ticket Holders on the Cup Scheme please inform the Ticket Office on 0870 442 1234 opt 3  if their credit card has recently changed so details can be updated.

Buy tickets now|

Advance booking prices
Adults  £25
Concessions (over 65 and under 21s)  £15
Juniors (under 16) £10

Matchday price
Adults £30
Concs (over 65 and under 21s)  £20
Juniors (under 16) £15   
How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online*
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
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White Noise

Duff Looking Up

Monday 22nd February 2010

Fulham FC News

Damien Duff scored his sixth league goal of the season on Sunday as the Whites fought back for a vital three points, but the Republic of Ireland international was quick to share the plaudits.

Roy Hodgson hailed Duff's 59th minute equaliser against Birmingham City as a 'wonder strike' while team-mates praised the 30-year-old's contribution since his arrival from Newcastle United in August.

Seemingly enjoying a new lease of life at Craven Cottage, Duff has impressed with his ability to retain possession, whilst his directness down the flank has given Fulham an added dimension this season.

His second goal of February and his eighth in all competitions for the Whites also underlined his importance in front of goal, with his brilliant drive doing much for our cause against Birmingham.

He told "The goal was alright but it was more important that the Team managed to get back into the game more than myself adding to my goals tally. Whoever scored it was an important goal.

"Of course, it is always nice to score and as we know Bobby [Zamora] went on to score the winner which made it a good day for us. They [Birmingham] are a good side and when they go in front like they did against us they usually don't let that lead slip – so that made the victory very satisfying."

The three points were even more rewarding considering last week's UEFA Europa League exertions with the game against Shakhtar Donetsk testing the squad's strength and character.

"I think the team spirit and desire is there for all to see," said Duff. "That was the case last Thursday and again on Sunday. The two games were very different; Shakhtar, as everyone will agree, were a fantastic footballing side – one of the best perhaps - and moved the ball around very nicely, whilst the match with Birmingham was more of a physical battle.

"Despite the efforts in midweek I thought we looked energetic enough, it has been a tough week for us because not long before that game we also played in the FA Cup. I think we can be very pleased with how we have played."

Inside eight days, Fulham ran out in the league and in two major cup competitions with Sunday's win moving the Whites into ninth and three points off that 40-point marker – all of which makes for positive reading.

"When I signed I hadn't thought too much about what could be achieved this season," reflected Duff. "I just wanted to get back and enjoy my football again. I have to say that I am very pleased with how things are going both for me personally and for the team. Hopefully that will carry on for the rest of the season.

"We have an FA Cup Quarter-Final to look forward to, as well as the second leg with Shakhtar this week. That will be another exciting game and it will be an exciting place to go.

"But the League is our bread and butter, and it's important that we keep picking up points. We have a nice amount already, but there is a long way to go. However, we're certainly not looking downwards, we're definitely looking up."

White Noise

Fans Forum

Monday 22nd February 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce that it will be hosting a Fans Forum at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 3rd March at 7:00pm .

On the night, you will be given the opportunity to put your questions and thoughts to Fulham's Chief Executive Officer Alistair Mackintosh .

Due to limited capacity, attendance is strictly by invitation only. If you are interested in attending then please contact the Club via email:| 

We would be grateful if you could provide both your name and Season Ticket or Club Membership number.

You will be notified by email if you are fortunate enough to be randomly selected to attend.

We would also invite you to submit any questions that you wish to put to the panel in advance. A representative sample of questions will then be selected to form the basis of the Forum agenda.

Supporters who are unable to attend can still take part in the debate by submitting questions for the panel to|  Please state your name, where you are from, and any question or comment that you wish to be considered.

We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a lively and constructive evening of discussion and debate.

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White Noise

Through The Ranks

Monday 22nd February 2010

Fulham FC News

Matthew Reece

Age: 17

Position: Centre-forward

Academy hopeful Matthew Reece believes that there is more to a striker's game than simply scoring goals.

The 17-year-old has certainly made a habit of hitting the back of the net though, scoring freely for the Club's U16s and continuing that form this season in his first campaign with the U18s.

However there is more to Reece than just his ability in front of goal. Tall, powerfully built and with a hard-working attitude, the talented youngster is a player that has impressed onlookers of late yet points to the guidance of Academy coaches Mark Pembridge and Gary Brazil as the reason behind his progression.

"I moved up to the U18s over the summer and I think my first eight months as a first-year scholar have been good," he says. "The transition is always difficult at first because you have to think differently in almost every aspect.

"But like the other lads who came up from the U16s, Mark Pembridge had prepared us well. I'd been involved with the older group of players at times last year so I don't think it took me too long to find my feet.

"Pembs has a lot of experience and that is passed on to the younger players in a lot of ways. Gary has a lot of experience too, and what I like most is the fact that he used to be a striker.

"I've learned a lot under his guidance and he's helped me become not just a better goal scorer, but an all-round better player. It's kind of difficult not to develop here because the training is first class."

And the local youngster certainly understands the importance of training. It serves as a chance to fine-tune his game and work on elements of his play that could ultimately make a difference in the long-term.

"Every player has parts of the game that they need to work on," admits Matthew. "For me, I need to improve my right foot when it comes to striking the ball. If I am to become a Premier League striker then I have to be good with both feet.

"You have to make the most of the goal scoring opportunities that come your way, because the higher level you play, the less frequent they become. So when they do fall your way you have to make sure you take them – and the ball might drop on your weaker foot.

"When we have shooting sessions I try and do as much as I can with my right foot, in fact I probably use that more than my stronger left foot at times. But that's the only way that I am going to improve."

The striker came to the Club relatively late, having been spotted playing Sunday League youth football in Surrey and, having not, by his own admission, hit the ground running after joining the Academy, Reece insists that he has made up for lost time.

"I do feel like I have caught up now," he says on reflection. "I made a slow start and I admit that it was difficult at first. I'm proud of the fact that I have come a long way since then and I certainly don't look out of place at this level."

Even with the U18s, competition for places is intense with Reece one of a number of talented strikers. He may not have played as much as he would have originally anticipated at the start of the season, but his reaction to the situation has been admirable.

"Competition for places is extremely high," says Matthew. "I wouldn't say that I have been a regular starter, but it's difficult because both Marcello Trotta and Richard Peniket are fantastic players.

"They have been doing well this year and when that is the case, of course it's difficult for others to make their mark. But that said, I know what I need to do and hopefully at some point I'll prove myself.

"I still think I've had a good season so far and I have contributed with some important goals. I have to remain positive, because after all this is only my first season with the U18 squad.

"It's good to have competition though, because it helps players improve. You have to work harder for that place in the starting line-up. You have to take the positives from every situation.

"If I started to worry about it too much it might start to take over and that's not good for anyone. I'm ready if needed, strikers have to be confident in their ability and if the challenge is set, I think I can take it."

Reece cites Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez of Manchester United and City respectively as two players he holds admiration for and also points to the performances of Teddy Sheringham not too long ago as those that define what being a striker is all about.

"Rooney and Tevez don't just score goals – they're team players," he says enthusiastically. "They also have an excellent attitude to the game and don't stop running for the whole 90 minutes.

"I could watch them play all day because they are two of the best around. They're always involved and lead the line fantastically. I grew up watching Tottenham, and Sheringham was the player that I always looked up to.

"He made the game look so easy and was another who didn't just put the ball in the back of the net. He brought others into play and was always an option for his team-mates too, and I think that's the way it should be."

The young front man also reserves praise for Fulham's very own Bobby Zamora – a player Reece has the privilege of watching close up week-in-week-out.

"In terms of holding the ball up he's probably the best in the league," states the youngster. "He's so strong on the ball and when it goes up top, you know that it is going to stick. He is a defender's worst nightmare.

"I watch him during games and when I can I'll see what he's doing in training as well, because that's where you're really going to learn. Bobby is a player that I definitely look up to and I think he has been unbelievable this season.

"I feel like he has opened my eyes a little in terms of what is needed in that position. I was lucky enough to train with him once doing shooting and hold-up play, which was a great experience.

"Like Zamora, I feel that I am a team player - although obviously I'm some way off his standard. The striker plays at the head of the team, it's an important position because you're the first line of defence. It's not just about goals – it's about keeping the team's shape."

Matthew Reece Up Close
- My nickname is just Matty or Reecie.

- A strength of mine is probably the power of my left foot.

- Although my weakness is the lack of power in my right foot – or heading!

- I would say I play most like someone like Carlos Tevez. Someone who works really hard up-front.

- The biggest influence on my career has been Mark Pembridge who was my coach at U16 level. I learned a lot working with him.

- My hidden talent is my dancing. I'm quite a mover on the dance floor.

- My favourite Fulham player is Bobby Zamora. I admire the way he holds the ball up and is so unselfish.

- Growing up my idol was Teddy Sheringham. I grew up as a Spurs fan and he was my favourite. He was just such a great striker.

- Five years from now I'll hopefully be established in the Fulham First Team.

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Didn't realise still had a role within the club!