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Fulham 2 Norwich 0 - match report

last updated Saturday 13th January 2001, 6:10 PM
Luis Boa Morte maintained Fulham's seemingly inevitable promotion push when securing the points against Norwich with seconds of the match remaining.

But it was not a vintage performance from the runaway First Division leaders who failed to live up to the heights of their FA Cup performance against Manchester United.

Mid-table Norwich gave the Cottagers several worrying moments and refused to crumble, as so many teams had here this season.

After all their defensive organisation, with Matt Jackson and the recalled Darren Kenton policing Louis Saha and Boa Morte to stultifying effect, it needed a fine goal out of nothing to break Norwich.

The difference between Fulham and other teams in the First Division has been the ability to conjure goals when needed, and Saha is the master magician.

The Frenchman beat two players before firing a lovely right-foot 20-yard shot into the corner past Andy Marshall. That was Saha's 22nd goal of the season and calmed Fulham nerves.

It was harsh on Norwich who were working hard to that point, but missed chances were to be costly.

Iwan Roberts should have hit the target with a headed chance, though strike partner Alex Notman was making life difficult for the home side.

Former Manchester United striker Notman came close with a swerving shot and then a header midway through the first half, but neither were serious openings as Kit Symons emphasised his usefulness as a replacement for car-crash victim Chris Coleman in the Fulham defence.

Saha was making amends for an uncharacteristic miss earlier on. The former Newcastle striker was put through by Kevin Betsy and for once his control let him down when no defenders were in sight, and Andrejs Stolcers and Boa Morte also found their creativity foiled by good defensive work from City.

Norwich's best spell was at the start of the second half when they forced four corners in quick succession, but Maik Taylor has his defence well-organised.

In an unconvincing show Boa Morte gave the scoreline a flattering complexion for the home side when outjumping Kenton to a long ball down the left before placing the ball carefully past Marshall's left-hand.

Fulham (1) 2 Norwich (0) 0

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Symons, Goldbaek, Stolcers (Phelan 57), Davis, Boa Morte, Betsy (Sahnoun 72), Saha.

Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Riedle, Neilson.

Booked: Saha, Symons.

Goals: Saha 39, Boa Morte 90.

Norwich: Andy Marshall, Sutch, Lee Marshall, Fleming, Jackson (McGovern 48), Kenton, Russell, Mulryne (de Blasiis 73), Roberts, Notman (Abbey 62), Llewellyn.

Subs Not Used: Green, Coote.

Booked: Russell.

Att: 16,052 Ref: W Jordan (Tring)
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