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Fulham 0 Leicester 0 - Match Report

last updated Saturday 27th April 2002, 7:11 PM
  Fulham striker Steve Marlet  
  Fulham striker Steve Marlet, troubled Leicester's defence throughout and was the driving force behind of all Fulham's chances
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Fulham (0) 0-0 (0) Leicester
Fulham's final game at Craven Cottage for two years ended a stalemate with bookings dominating the scoreless draw.

Barry Hayles brought the first save of the match from Ian Walker in the opening moments, and almost immediately, Paul Dickov drew a fine save from Edwin van der Sar's right foot from an acute angle.

Leicester dominated play from midfield, with Muzzy Izzet and Robbie Savage to the fore, while Fulham content to play on the break.

Sylvain Legwinski became the first of eight players to find himself in referee David Pugh's book after a reckless tackle on Callum Davidson, who had to be replaced by Stefan Oakes as a result of the challenge.

But Legwinski almost went from villain to hero when he rose to head a Steed Malbranque free-kick goalwards, only to watch his effort fly inches past the post with Walker at full stretch.

That inspired Fulham to find their game. Malbranque had a fierce drive blocked by Frank Sinclair and minutes later Barry Hayles failed to connect cleanly after getting the better of Matt Elliott.

Steve Marlet began to dominate down Fulham's right and he set up Sean Davis with an inch-perfect cross, but the midfielder could only head his effort over the bar.

The second-half began much as the first had finished with Fulham playing the more attacking football.

Although the first clear opportunity fell to the visitors when Izzet teed up the onrushing Lee Marshall. With a clear path to goal Marshall snatched at the chance, hitting the ball high over the crossbar from twelve yards.

Minutes later, Frank Sinclair came close to satisfying his penchant for own goals when he intercepted a through ball from Legwinski to Marlet. The Leicester defender and his goalkeeper could only laugh as the ball, which bobbled up and hit his shin as he swung to clear, bounced inches wide of the left upright.

Match Stats Fulham Leicester
Goal attempts 9 4
On Target 2 2
Hit woodwork 0 0
Fouls 12 15
Offsides 3 2
Corners 7 3
Yellows 3 4
Reds 0 0
source: www.sports.com

Substitute Louis Saha should have opened the scoring moments after coming on to replace Legwinski. Malbranque put him through and he breezed past marker Gary Rowett to dummy keeper Walker, but he took too long over his shot and the chance passed.

In the final minutes of the game Walker made a strong save from a Marlet header but by now the game had lost it's direction and turned into a fiery affair, with Savage and Hayles picking up needless bookings.

By the end the fans were sneaking out of the Cottage in disappointment at what had been anything but a fitting end to the 105-year history of the stadium.

Man-of-the-match: Steve Marlet, troubled Leicester's defence throughout and was the driving force behind of all Fulham's chances

Van der Sar, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Goma, Malbranque, Legwinski (Collins 63), Goldbaek (Saha 63), Davis, Hayles, Marlet.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Knight, Stolcers.
Booked: Legwinski, Goma, Saha, Hayles.

Walker, Rowett, Sinclair, Elliott, Rogers, Savage, Izzet, Marshall, Davidson (Oakes 20), Dickov (Stevenson 77), Piper.
Subs Not Used: Royce, Ashton, Williamson.
Booked: Rowett, Izzet, Dickov, Savage.

Att: 21,106
Ref: D Pugh (Bebington).
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