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Match report Fulham 0 Man City 0

last updated Saturday 14th August 1999, 5:00 PM
Fulham 0 - 0 Manchester City


Att: 16,754

In poor games of football the highlights are often bizarre. This match was no exception. Before the game had even started Fulham introduced their new match mascot, 'Sir Craven of the Cottage', to a bumper crowd, only for him to be knighted by Mr Al Fayed on the pitch.

But in the end everyone left Craven Cottage talking Andy Morrison who earned a second yellow card for licking Stan Collymore's face, and the ref who seemed to forget about the previous yellow card only remembered after chants from the home crowd. Collymore deserves praise for maintaining his cool after being licked in the face and then shoved in the face by Morrision.

For the second time in a week, Fulham failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity to record their first league win of the season.

Much of the passion and urgency witnessed in the corresponding fixture last season appeared to be missing, as Man City comfortably achieved their game plan. A goal less draw left an air of disappointment around Craven Cottage, but also puts into perspective the challenges that lie ahead.

A disappointing first half, punctuated by the persistent fouling of the City defence caused about as much excitement as the unveiling of the new mascot - Sir Craven of the Cottage.

Only 2 efforts of note for Fulham in the first half,Sean Davis, adding to his growing reputation, went close with a far post header following good work from Horsfield on the left,and a tame left footed effort from Collymore was easily saved by Weaver.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with little variation to Fulham's attacks, the long ball from defence for to Collymore flick on, or Horsfield to battle for seemed to play right into Man City's hands. The forward runs of Finnan were curtailed by the presence of Kennedy on the left wing for City, and Fulham suffered from a serious lack of width.

Sean Davis, surely an England U21 prospect on this form, was once again in the thick of the action in the second half, his right footed strike forced a good diving save from Weaver, and a glorious first time lay off released Hughes in the box, but his effort was smothered.

WIth 20 minutes remaining, the pie eating Morrison deservedly got his second yellow card following an unsavoury clash with Collymore, although the referee who had a poor game throughout seemed reluctant to brandish a red card.

Man City immediately swapped an attacker with another defender, whilst Paul Bracewell sent on Pesch for his first league action of the season.

Despite the man advantage, Fulham lost their shape, and could easily have been caught out as Goater missed a gilt edged chance to take all 3 points.

The final whistle brought a frustrating afternoon to an end, and although clearly we will have to play better to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, the level of criticism already evident is almost unbelievable.

Lets be patient, and look to the positive. We're still unbeaten, and have yet to see the best of Clark, Collymore and Hughes. Promotion is still a realistic option.

A question is still left to be answered :
Was 'Morrison's lick' his way of coming out ?


ALL FORWARDS BEWARE THE LICKER IS BEHIND YOU


Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Coleman, Morgan, Clark, Horsfield, Collymore, Hughes (Peschisolido), Davis
Subs not used: Hahnemann, Hayward, Trollope, Symons.

Manchester City: Weaver, Crooks, Wiekens, Morrison, Pollock, Bishop, Dickov, Goater, Whitley, Tiatto, Kennedy (Vaughan)
Subs not used: Allsopp, Wright, Taylor, Cooke.
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