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Match Report - Fulham 1 Southampton 0

last updated Saturday 25th September 2004, 8:19 PM

Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski got his Barclays Premiership goal account up and running as Southampton were beaten at Craven Cottage.

Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski
Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski got his third goal for his new club

The Canadian striker, a summer signing from Everton, grabbed two goals in the midweek Carling Cup win at Boston and nipped ahead of Claus Lundekvam after 24 minutes to nod past Antti Niemi from close range.

Southampton now have only one league win in seven league games, and none since Steve Wigley took over as head coach.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between, although Kevin Phillips did force a good save from Edwin van der Sar during the first half, but then somehow he dragged a late effort wide after a blunder by Ian Pearce.

A minute's silence in respect of Brian Clough, who passed away earlier this week, was held before kick-off.

The home fans soon had something to make some noise about some six minutes later.

Mark Pembridge was sent tumbling following a challenge from former Fulham favourite Fabrice Fernandes just inside the box. Referee Graham Poll was, though, unimpressed.

After 12 minutes, Anders Svensson charged to the edge of the Fulham penalty area before lifting the ball out to Fernandes. His cross from the right dropped to James Beattie in space six yards out, but the former England striker saw his glanced header float just wide.

It was Svensson again who set up another great chance for the visitors five minutes later.

This time his slide-rule pass from the edge of the area picked out Phillips. He took once touch before blasting an angled drive at van der Sar, who pulled off a fine reaction save to deflect the ball behind.

After 22 minutes, Pembridge did well to chase the ball down and tap it out to Radzinski. His teasing centre eluded the backtracking Southampton defence and fell to Brian McBride, with his back to goal seven yards out.

The big American controlled the ball well, but could not get enough power to his shot-on-the-turn and Niemi was able to save comfortably.

The Finland keeper was given little chance a few moments later, though.

The ball was fed to Luis Boa Morte on the edge of the Southampton penalty box. He checked inside and then lofted a delightful pass into the danger zone where Radzinski nipped ahead of Lundekvam to head Fulham into the lead from six yards.

Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar
Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar pulled off a number of stunning saves to keep his club in the points

Southampton stepped up the pace after going behind. Phillips tried his luck from 20 yards, but the drive was too straight to trouble van der Sar.

On 36 minutes, Graeme Le Saux sent a deep cross towards the back post, where Beattie got up well, but could not keep his header down.

Neither side made any changes at the break, and it was Fulham who were first to show following the restart.

Again it was Radzinski who got clear, this time down the right. The diminutive Canadian got to the byline before cutting a ball back across the six-yard box.

Although McBride was closing in, Niemi never took his eye off the ball and was quick to pounce, gathering safely at the American's feet.

Southampton immediately went on the offensive. Fernandes tricked his way around young defender Adam Green to get to the Fulham goalline on the right, where he laid the ball back perfectly for Rory Delap. However, the midfielder blazed his shot over the bar from 12 yards.

As the hour passed, Wigley replaced Svensson, who had looked his side's most creative player, with Neil McCann - a decision which was greeted by chants of "you don't know what you are doing" by the visiting supporters.

Match Stats Fulham Soton
Poss.% 45% 55%
Goals 1 0
Goal attempts 11 15
On Target 6 5
Off-sides 4 2
Corners 5 4
Fouls 11 19
Yellows 0 1
Reds 0 0
source: sportinglife

After 63 minutes, Steed Malbranque expertly flicked the ball up and over David Prutton, only to see his instinctive half-volley then spin just wide.

With 19 minutes to go, Radzinski was given a rest and replaced by Collins John.

Then a long punt forward found Beattie in space on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The striker allowed the ball to bounce over his shoulder before unleashing a fierce angled drive, and van der Sar needed all of his 6ft 5ins frame behind the ball to make a great block.

An horrendous blunder by Pearce should have gifted Southampton an 82nd-minute equaliser. Facing his own goal on the edge of the box, the defender made a complete hash of his attempted clearance, presenting the ball to Phillips. However, the one-time England striker dragged his effort across goal and wide.

Van der Sar then produced another great reaction block on his goalline to deny Delap, and the visitors sensed it was not to be their afternoon.

Fulham Van der Sar, Volz, Knight, Pearce, Green, Malbranque (McKinlay 85), Pembridge, Legwinski, Boa Morte, McBride, Radzinski (John 72).

Subs Not Used: Crossley, Rehman, Goma.

Goals: Radzinski 24.

Southampton Niemi, Nilsson, Lundekvam, Jakobsson, Le Saux, Fernandes, Delap, Prutton, Anders Svensson (McCann 61), Phillips, Beattie.

Subs Not Used: Blayney, Kenton, Higginbotham, Crouch.

Booked: McCann.

Att: 19,237

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

Source Sporting Life
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