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The Arizonan

Fulham 5-0 Brentford - Goals and report

last updated Thursday 15th July 2010, 9:00 AM

All the goals from last night's game against Brentford



Fulham returned to action for the first time since the Europa League Final as they shook off the cobwebs with their first pre-season friendly at Brentford's Griffin Park.

And the Whites showed no signs of a summer hangover as they dominated a one-sided game with cool authority.

Backed by a very vocal turnout of travelling fans, the team created their first chance inside the first two minutes, Chris Baird curling a precise ball into the box. David Elm lost his marker and dived in to connect with his head, but his effort lacked accuracy and failed to trouble Richard Lee as it rolled wide of his right post.

Knocking the ball around with crispness and urgency, Ray Lewington's side carved out a second chance on seven minutes as Riise threaded a pass through to Eddie Johnson who outmuscled his marker, but saw his shot blocked as he bore down on goal.

But the lively American was involved again when Fulham opened their pre-season account just before the quarter hour. Surging down the left, he stretched the defence wide before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area where Chris Baird was lurking. The Irishman found himself with the time to take a touch, before aiming a low shot into the bottom corner past the unsighted Lee.

Within seven minutes though the Bees had the chance to level. Sam Saunders drove into the box and ran across Stephen Kelly, who inadvertently tripped the winger. A penalty was awarded which Charlie Macdonald stepped up to take, but he saw his low, powerful effort expertly stopped by David Stockdale in the Fulham net.

Shortly afterwards the hosts were made to rue their missed opportunity as Fulham doubled their advantage. This time it was Bjorn Helge Riise who was the orchestrator on the left, and David Elm was the grateful recipient as he side-footed first time, low to the keeper's right.

And before the half hour it was three. Riise was again involved as he combined with Elm who released Damien Duff into the area. The winger ran through one-on-one and neatly dinked the ball over the out-rushing goalkeeper to put clear daylight between us and our West London rivals.

Within minutes Johnson then had a chance to make it four as he raced on to a long cross field ball, but his confident first time strike was blocked by the legs of Lee as Fulham showed no signs of dropping off the pressure as the half drew to a close.

Having made 10 changes at half-time Brentford started the second period in positive fashion, and Stockdale had to get down low early on to get behind a low drive from Carl Cort.

But Fulham soon reasserted their authority when our own substitute, Zoltan Gera, picked up where he left off with last year's Europa League heroics as he threaded a pass through to Johnson. The striker knocked the ball wide of Lee with a purposeful first touch and then raced around to his left before side-footing into an empty net. 4-0.

Now clearly enjoying themselves, Riise outskilled his markers down the left before cutting inside, but determined to cap his run with a goal, he fired into the side netting when a cross may have been the better option.

Also exploiting space down the left was half-time introduction Alex Smith, and the promising Academy graduate did well just before the hour, flicking the ball over the right-back's head before supplying a neat dipping cross that only just evaded Simon Davies in the box.

But Davies made no mistake in getting on the end of his next opportunity. Gera made great progress down the right before supplying a searching low cross into the box. Johnson dummied at the near post, allowing it to run to Davies on the penalty spot, who confidently swept the ball into the net.

As the game drew to a close, Ray Lewington took the opportunity to blood several other promising prospects, as Courtney Harris, Matt Saunders, Neil Etheridge, Marcello Trotta, Cristian Marquez and Keanu Marsh-Brown entered the action, each equipping themselves well and keeping up the pressure on our hosts.

However, there were to be no more goals, as the Fulham faithful celebrated in festival fashion behind the Brentford goal, content that last season's momentum appears to have been carried through into the new campaign.

Fulham: Stockdale (Etheridge 77); Stoor (Marquez 86), Hangeland (Hughes 45), Kelly, Konchesky (Smith 45); Duff (Davies 45), Greening (Harris 77), Baird (Marsh-Brown 63), Riise (Saunders 63); E. Johnson (Trotta 79), Elm (Gera 45).



















































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