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Reserves draw 3-3 away at Ipswich

last updated Thursday 06th September 2001, 10:06 AM

Ipswich Town Res 3 Fulham Res 3
FA Premier Reserve League (Southern Section)

Fulham’s reserve team were involved in an absolute cracker at Portman Road on Wednesday night where they fought out a thoroughly entertaining 3-3 draw - and unearthed a real gem in the process.

On a night when England were in action, this match was reminiscent of another match involving our national side back in the 70's, England v Germany, as the scoreline swayed in a similar fashion...

The action started early and it was Fulham who went close first in the 7th minute after a corner was met by the head of central defender Tom Hutchinson who’s effort went agonisingly wide of the post.

On 11 minutes Marcus Hahnemann, in great form, pulled off a splendid save after a shot from the home side threatened to give them the lead.

The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes after a Paul Trollope pass was intercepted allowing Town to take the lead after a chip over the head of Hahnemann.

On 23 minutes with Fulham on the attack looking to level the score, the Ipswich defence cleared with a long ball that looked to have caught their forwards in an offside position. The referee waved play on and they went on to make it 2-0.

On 35 minutes a great passing move from Fulham on the left involving Trollope, McAnespie and Lewis nearly gave Fulham a lifeline when Calum Willocks fine effort whizzed just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later Fulham went even closer. A free kick on the Fulham right hand side was met again by the reliable head of Hutchinson who brought another fine save from Branagan as he dived low to his right to claw away the effort.

Marcus Hahnemann was then called into action again pulling off a point blank save that drew ripples of applause from the 200 fans in attendance.

On 40 minutes, and after some good Fulham possession, the ball was picked up by American International Eddie Lewis who cut inside and fired off a cracking shot from 22 yards to make it 2-1.

Three minutes later Fulham won a free kick on the right. Kevin Betsy’s perfect delivery was met by Luke Cornwall who’s close range header brought the scoreline level.

The few Fulham fans in attendance would have been pleased to go into the half time break with honours even, but the team had other ideas.

Two minutes into injury time an Andrejs Stolcers free kick on the right was met by Betsy who’s goal bound header was saved by Branagan only for Willock to poke home the clearance from close range.

Half time: Ipswich Town 2 Fulham 3.

It seemed the goal feast would continue in the second half when on 48 minutes a mix-up between Mark Hudson and Hahnemann allowed The Blues to bring the scores level with a 12 yard shot.

It wasn’t to be - but despite the fact that no further goals were registered Fulham went on to play some of the best football of the night that sadly wasn’t reflected in the final scoreline.

Willcock, Lewis and Betsy all went close during an entertaining second period and there’s no doubt that Branagan in the Ipswich goal was responsible for keeping his team in the game.

But perhaps the highlight of the match for Fulham, at least as far as Steve Kean will be concerned, was the introduction of 16 year-old local lad and 1st year scholar Michael Timlin who came for Stolcers shortly after the hour mark.

Timlin set the game alight with his trickery and pace but his night was spoiled when he was dismissed in the 90th minute for a second bookable offence.

Nonetheless Timlin’s brief appearance resulted in glowing praise from Reserve Team Manager Steve Kean who said after the match:

“I thought young Michael was outstanding when he came on. He’s a very exciting prospect and I know who he reminds people of.

“There’s a Joe Cole somewhere in there, ask anyone who watches the lad and they’ll tell you he plays just like Joe. The way he moves and glides past people.

“The sending off was a bit unfortunate. I went to see the referee after the game. But these things happen. It was just enthusiasm from a 16 year old making his debut, nothing more. Even the Ipswich players were pleading for him not to be sent off.

“You have to be a little disappointed to score three goal away from home and come away without a victory. We never really got our passing going this evening and at half time I told the lads they hadn’t even started the game. They agreed.

“When Michael came on I thought we had our best spell of the game. At times we played them off the park.”

Fulham:
Hahnemann, Neilson, McAnespie, Hudson, Hutchinson, Stolcers (Timlin,64), Betsy, Trollope, Lewis, Willock, Cornwall.

Subs not used: Adam Green, David Shevel.

Attendance: Approx 400.

Pitch: Perfect Weather: First Half - fine / Second Half - rain

COME ON YOU WHITES

Source Fulham fc by Paul Thorpe and Steve Keary

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