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Luton 1 Fulham 2 - 22.07.06

last updated Saturday 22nd July 2006, 12:33 PM

Fulham put in a good pre-season display as they beat Luton at the Kenilworth Stadium on Friday evening. The Whites fielded two teams over the course of the game. Goals from Collins John and Heidar Helguson secured the win.

Michael Timlin, playing on the left wing, came close to opening the scoring in the 4th minute with a good shot. It was Timlin's first piece of action in a game he would proceed to light up with a fine display of passing.

Fulham took the lead just after the quarter hour mark when some intricate play on the edge of the Luton penalty area between Heidar Helguson and Collins John gave the Dutch striker a shooting opportunity. John wasted little time in hitting a low drive past Beresford from 18 yards.

The goal sparked the home side into life and they soon began to fight their way back into the match. On 14 minutes Antti Niemi was called into action to parry a Luton free kick over the bar.

In spite of the pressure being exerted by the home side, Fulham came close to doubling their lead when Timlin's sublime pass put Michael Brown through on goal. Unfortunately for Fulham, Beresford sprinted out and smothered well.

The impressive Timlin again combined well with Brown just minutes later but Brown's shot deflected over the bar for a corner.

The Hatters scored a deserved equaliser on 30 minutes when a series of scrappy headers on the edge of Fulham's box eventually saw the ball fall to Warren Feeney, who shot past Niemi. In fact, Luton should have been on level terms only a matter of minutes earlier when Ahmet Brkovic slammed a shot against the Fulham crossbar.

Collins John should have done better after he was put clean through by another Timlin pass on 36 minutes. With only Beresford to beat, the Dutch forward shot straight at the keeper.

Timlin was the main source of danger for Fulham and another through-ball from the Republic of Ireland Under-21 Captain set Helguson away, but just like John, Helguson was unable to take full advantage.

Fulham started the second half brightly and retook the lead through a wonderful team goal. Michael Brown won the ball back for the Whites in midfield and promptly spread the play to Jimmy Bullard who, characteristically, broke through the midfield line and ran at Luton's back four before playing a pass wide to Liam Rosenior. Beresford parried Rosenior's shot into the middle of the penalty area where Helguson was on hand to slot into an unguarded net.

Just moments before leaving the pitch, Michael Timlin showed a good variation to his passing repertoire by delightfully chipping the ball into the path of John in the penalty area, however, he was unable to bring the pass under control and the chance was lost.

The hour mark saw Chris Coleman make a number of substitutions as he first changed his entire midfield and attack, before replacing his whole back line six minutes later.

Soon after the changes, the ball was played out to Ismael Ehui. Ehui crossed from the by-line and Radzinski, arriving late in the area, forced a good save from Beresford.

On 82 minutes Ehui played a well-weighted through ball to new signing Bjorn Runstrom who back-heeled a pass to Ehui whose shot flew just wide.

Fulham continued to push for a third goal and, on 87 minutes, Radzinski passed to Claus Jensen who made good ground before passing back to Radzinski, who had made his way into the box. Unfortunately, the Canadian international shot across the face of goal.

Niemi (Crossley 45); Rosenior, Christanval, Pearce, N Jensen; Bouba Diop, M Brown, Bullard, Timlin; Helguson, John

Fulham after second half substitutions 60 & 66 mins:
Crossley; Volz, Zakuani, Knight, Omozusi; C Jensen, Elliott, Rehman, Ehui; Radzinski, Runstrom

Luton: Beresford; Foley, Davis, Coyne, Perrett, Brkovic, Edwards, Langley, Vine, Feeney, Robinson

Source FulhamFC
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