Monday, August 18, 2008

Fulham Fall to Hull City

Look, going into Saturday's match against first time in the top flight Hull City, I had hope for Fulham to nick all three points and continue a much improved road form from last season. Realistically, I was hoping for a draw since the atmosphere at KC Stadium was going to be decidedly upbeat and emotional. What I didn't want was a loss, but that is exactly what happened as the Cottagers pulled their all too familiar late game antics to toss away two points.

Seol Ki-Hyeon scored a good header in the 8th minute to put Fulham on top. But Hull's Geovanni curled a beautiful (and there really is no other word for it) free kick just past Schwarzer in the 22nd minute.

Hull was certainly bouyed by the home crowd, who has lots to cheer about as Hull appeared at times to truly dominate the match. As the game died out though, it looked like the teams were each going to get a point, until Paul Konchesky lost his mind for a few seconds. Honestly, I don't know why the normally steady Konchesky didn't simply clear the ball out of touch and let Fulham regroup, but he didn't and Hull's Craig Fagan stripped Konchesky just to Schwarzer's left. Schwarzer quickly closed the angle down, but Fagan was able to slip the ball past the big Australian.

I am disappointed in the result, sure. But I am more disappointed in the play. Fulham still seem to be an 80 minute team, but the games last 90 minutes and it is that final 10 minutes that Manager Roy Hodgson really needs to work on. Fulham can get up on the score sheet early, which puts opponents into a position of having to chase the game, but Fulham still don't seem to know how to either protect a lead or gain one back when their opponents draw even.

I know, first game of the season and all, but really, this is a pattern that has to stop or come May we will be in a relegation battle again.

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