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Fulham 2-1 Blackburn Cham 06 1516 - Daily Mail

last updated Monday 14th September 2015, 5:01 PM


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Jack Gaughan at Daily Mail


Fulham (2) 2-1 (0) Blackburn


The arguments will carry on long into the night, and quite right too. Luckless Blackburn Rovers were robbed by the officials thanks to the absence of goal-line technology, seemingly not deployed at this level purely for monetary purposes.

Six minutes from time and 2-1 down, Grant Hanley's shoulder looked to have produced a deserved equaliser at Craven Cottage. Over the line it flew, only for Jamie O'Hara to hook clear.

The referee could not see how far the ball had travelled and his assistant, Andrew Aylott, failed to flag. Those watches cannot come soon enough in the Championship.

'There's a massive prize at the end of the season, a huge amount of money to get into the Premier League where there is technology. Hopefully this is an opportunity for the powers that be to make the game better,' a surprisingly relaxed Gary Bowyer said.

'Why should you only have it in just one league? Cricket don't just have it in one game, tennis not just at Wimbledon. They are open-minded.'

How Bowyer needed that to go his way. Those around the club have bemoaned poor decisions all season, and this was indicative of their winless plight.

O'Hara should not have been on the pitch after sinking his studs deep into Ben Marshall's leg just minutes previously.

'I'm not going to apologise for us getting a bit of luck,' Fulham boss Kit Symons said. 'I've always been an advocate of technology. I'd push for it.'

There is definite fight in this Rovers team, they are certainly playing for their manager, but really - when all is said and done after obvious injustice - some blame lies with a shaky back four and limp midfield during a first half to forget.

With soft foundations, the visitors could not live with Fulham, behind inside four minutes as the lightning Moussa Dembele embarrassingly beat a stumbling Hanley in a footrace, intelligently waiting for reinforcements before sliding to Ross McCormack to prod home.

Rovers were picked apart so often, at a loss how to deal with the hosts' width. The second goal, on half an hour, came as James Husband rocketed up from left back to find Ryan Tunnicliffe at the back post, Jason Steele excellently saving his effort and Tom Cairney's follow-up; Steele's defence were asleep though, and Dembele smashed past him.

The goalkeeper was the only man back there with any semblance of a clue. No wonder they've gone behind in every single game bar one thus far.

Dembele, a 19-year-old academy product, was making only his sixth Championship start but has all the tools to become a perfect foil for McCormack. 'A physical specimen,' said Symons.

That he notched a first senior league goal was indicative of Fulham's first half - everything that could go right did go right, although Dembele might have added another when McCormack's centre begged to be met.

'It was a lot of good football - it's coming,' Symons added. 'We've got some good players, but we weren't getting the results I felt we deserved. People were a little bit critical.

'I want to get to the stage where we turn up at the Cottage expecting to win.'

Bowyer hauled off the hapless Nathan Delfouneso at the break and they were a team reinvigorated, forcing Andy Lonergan into a string marvellous saves, thwarting Marshall and Craig Conway. The second was particularly impressive, stretching one-handed to claw clear on the line.

From there Blackburn enjoyed almost complete dominance at a ground that can turn restless very quickly. The nervousness that so defines Craven Cottage crept in; supporters here had seen just one league win since February.

And then came away hope when Husband leaned into Jordan Rhodes, with the 25-year-old dispatching the penalty with ease, although he had spurned a glut of chances prior to that. You sensed this was not to be their day when he diverted onto the post faced with an open goal - albeit under pressure.

Rovers were camped in the home third, Rhodes heading straight at Lonergan. They are missing Rudy Gestede, who upped for Aston Villa in July.

'We can't feel sorry for ourselves,' Bowyer added. 'It feels like nothing is going for us.'

Tom Cairney wasted an opportunity to wrap up the points against his former employers, who sold him for almost £3million in the summer, but Fulham managed to cling on after O'Hara was lucky not to see red, Conway blazed over the top and substitute Fode Koita struck a post.

Asked about O'Hara's lunge, Bowyer grinned and replied: 'What for?' The last thing he needs is an FA fine on top of everything else.























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