Match Reports

Fulham held by Derby

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2,000 Fulham fan braved the weather and travelled to Pride Park only to see us walk away with the single point and leave us still waiting for an away win and more crucially leave our premiership status in a precarious position.

The Whites made a bright start to the game playing most of the early stages in Derby’s half. However it was Derby that would take the lead. The Rams first attack of the game lead Dean Leacock collected the ball 25 yards out in a central position. The former Fulham player`s shot looked to be going wide however it deflected off Rams striker David Villa`s knee and into the net wrong footing Keller.

Fulham pulled the game level after Simon Davies delivered a brilliant ball into the box where Kamara met it with a powerful header sending the ball in from six yards. Kamara`s third goal of the season was nothing more than Fulham deserved and for the rest of the first half Fulham pressured Derby`s goal without any results.

The home side made a bright start to the second half playing a high tempo game. However it was Fulham that received the first chance of the second half. Bullard was handed his third free-kick of the game in a dangerous position which he superbly curled past the wall only to see his effort strike the crossbar. From the resulting goal kick Derby almost took the lead again. Earnshaw, who was subbed on in the first half for the injured Miller, was left through on an open goal after Keller dealt poorly with a long ball. Earnshaw capitalised on Keller’s mistake only to see his shot fly wide of the goal after good pressure from the defence.

The game was end to end stuff with Derby looking the more likely to score. However it was Fulham that came closest with Kamara heading just wide of Carroll`s far post.
With 20 minutes left Savage should have given Derby the lead after the welsh midfielder found the ball at his feet 12 yards from goal. Instead of tucking the ball in the corner of the goal his shot went straight into Keller’s arms. Moments later Earnshaw had a one-on-one with Keller but the keeper bravely dived at the striker`s feet.

The Whites finally took the lead with 12minuites left. Kamara found himself with a one-on-one with Carroll. The Senegalese striker raced to the edge of the area and released a fierce shot which forced Carroll to produce a superb save. However it was Fulham`s turn to get a bit of luck. Carroll`s block fell to Bouazza 12 yards from goal. His shot deflected off Leacock and into the back of the net.

However our lead only lasted a minute. A cross from the right flank found Villa in the area and his header from five yards brought him and Derby their second goal of the game.

With ten minutes remaining Hodgson brought on Murphy and Johnson as the Whites continued to look for that illusive away win. However the chance never really materialised as time after time poor decision making in attack let us down. Johnson failed to make any impact and seemed to spend most of his ten minutes out of position or on the floor. The fantastic Fulham support expecting a win returned to London with the realisation that this realistically marks the end to our premiership run.

With Sunderland and Birmingham both picking up wins we are left seven points from safety with six games remaining.

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