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Fulham reserves beat Luton 2-1

last updated Wednesday 22nd November 2000, 8:06 PM
Steve Kean’s reserves edged to victory in a closely-fought battle against Luton in this swiftly-arranged friendly reserve fixture.

With today’s original opponents, Barnet, taking part in the Herts Senior Cup – Steve Kean’s men were presented with the ideal opportunity to exact revenge for the 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Hatters at the beginning of November.

Fielding a more experienced team than the one which lost at Kenilworth Road, Fulham were under no impression that it would be easier the second time around.

For the first 10 minutes Luton dictated the pace of the game and rarely allowed Fulham to get their passing game together, or get out of their own half.

However scrappy the opening 10 minutes were for Fulham, they still defended with determination – only letting Luton’s superior possession result in two serious attempts on goal.

As the first-half progressed, Fulham regained their composure and began to find space at the back in which to build from. Without yet causing Luton any serious problems, one sensed that Kean’s men had successfully taken the sting out the Hatters’ early blitz.

Fulham’s first flowing move of the match came on 20 minutes after some delightful approach play from Betsy, Willock and Hammond resulted in Betsy firing narrowly wide of Mark Ovendale’s right-hand post.

Despite Betsy’s chance being Fulham’s only serious threat on goal thus far, a string of narrow offside decisions against the Whites only served to underline what was soon to follow.

The breakthrough came shortly after when Eddie Lewis fed the ball through to the advancing Calum Willock, who then played a square pass to Elvis Hammond who took one touch before drilling the ball home.

The lead was only to last a few minutes, however, before Luton were back on level terms. Following a corner taken from the left, Luton’s imposing defender Breitenfelder glanced his header in past the diving Hahnemann.

Fulham continued to probe Luton’s efficient offside trap for the remaining minutes, with both Willock and Hammond threatening.

The second–half saw Fulham re-enter the field in the red away strip, this was due to the little contrast offered between the white of Fulham and Luton’s light blue in the first-half.

Fulham managed to maintain their style of play in the second period, occasionally interrupting their patient build-ups with some surging counter-attacks. Although Luton’s offside trap still remained a force to be reckoned with.

However, with Nicolas Sahnoun seeing more action further up the field, the fulcrum of Fulham’s attacks had now moved closer to the Luton penalty area.

Whilst one felt that Fulham had the slight upper hand, Luton’s increasingly forceful attacks helped to maintain an uneasy feeling amongst the watching supporters.

Once again, as in the first-half, Fulham signalled their intentions when Eddie Lewis played a one-two with substitute Luke Cornwall only to see his effort hit the post.

Fulham regained the lead shortly after when the Luton defence failed to clear a troublesome Steve Hayward corner only for Hammond’s shot to cannon in off a Luton defender.

Luton squandered two golden chances to equalise before the final whistle; the first was thwarted by a fine double-save from Hahnemann.

Our ‘keeper was more fortunate with Luton’s second chance nonetheless. Having seen Luton’s approaching attacker chip the ball over him, he remained nicely positioned to catch the ball on its way back from the crossbar. The match ended soon after.

Marcus Hahnemann, Wayne Collins, Paul Trollope, Mark Hudson, Kit Symons, Nicolas Sahnoun, Steve Hayward, Kevin Betsy, Calum Willock, Elvis Hammond:

Subs Used:
Tom Hutchinson, Luke Cornwall, Zat Knight
Source Fulham FC
Since 1998
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