Only thirty-nine days after our season ended Fulham were back in action last night.
Having qualified for the Europa League, via the Fair Play League, we started our qualification campaign against the minnows form the Faroe Islands, NSI Runavik.
Martin Jol, in his first competitive game since taking over from Mark Hughes, selected a strong starting eleven, the only absentees being those still away on international duty – Carlos Salcido and Clint Dempsey, plus the injured Moussa Dembele.
With reduced admission prices, 14,910 were enticed through the Craven Cottage turnstiles to see Fulham register a 3-0 win against opposition they knew very little about.
The first of the three goals came in the 33rd minute when Damien Duff collected a ball from Simon Davies, before hitting home a low shot from the edge of the area.
Unfortunately, Fulham couldn`t edge a second before the break but the fifteen minute intervention allowed Martin Jol to up the ante and Fulham came out stronger in the second half and looked more purposeful.
The lead was doubled just past the hour mark when Simon Davies was adjudged to have been tripped in the box and Danny Murphy coolly slotted home from the penalty spot.
The third came with twenty minutes to go when Andrew Johnson, the subject of much transfer speculation this summer, produced a neat shot on the turn, from twelve yards, to put Fulham firmly in the driving seat for the second leg, a fixture whereby Martin Jol may well field a few youngsters.
Football is back and doesn`t it feel great!
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