Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kingstonian 0 Fulham XI 8 - Match Report and Photos

A Friday night trip to Kingsmeadow and the chance to see the team from the town of my birth play the team I support. This was billed as a Fulham Reserves side but featured a number of senior players either on the fringes of the squad or in search of pre-season fitness. The team lined-up GK: Neil Etheridge, RB: Moritz Volz (c), CB: TJ Moncur, CB: Chris Baird, LB: Joe Anderson, RM: Wayne Brown, CM: Robert Milsom, CM: Andranik, LM: Hameur Bouazza, ST: Clint Dempsey, ST: Erik Nevland, Subs - GK: Wesley Foderingham, CB: Chris Smalling, MF: Lewis Cumber, MF: Lewis Smith. Conspicuous by his absence (appropriately enough, as you could say that about his entire Fulham career) was Lee Cook who had been listed in the expected squad but completed a loan move back to Q.P.R. earlier in the day.

The attractions of the club bar and a bit of confusion on my part as to exactly when kick-off was meant I missed the beginning of the game and also Fulham's first goal (scored by Nevland). The action I did see saw the Whites not really getting out of second gear. Despite looking comfortable in possession we weren't creating many goal scoring opportunities and if anything it was Kingstonian that looked the most likely to score. Dean Lodge looked lively on the right wing and was the inspiration behind most of the K's attacking play. Phillipines number 1 'keeper (copyright Colin at CaB ) Neil Etheridge was forced into making a number of saves as our back four made hard work of the task at hand. Just before the break a defence splitting pass from (I think) Andranik allowed Hammeur Bouazza to race through and fire home a second goal.

The second half saw Fulham up the tempo and Wayne Brown scored very early on with "an exquisite curling strike just after the break". I managed to miss that goal as well (the evils of a comfortable bar - what can you do?) but reports suggest this was probably the goal of the game. Nevland doubled his tally, Andranik won a penalty which Clint was first in the queue to take and successfully fired home. Chris Smalling replaced T.J. Moncur in defence. I felt T.J. did as well as any of our defenders on the night. Chris Baird was poor and didn't do anything to suggest he was any better in a central position than he was at right back whilst Mortiz Volz improved as the game went on but also failed to shine. Joe Anderson who had worked hard at left back was replaced by Lewis Cumber (a move which saw Robert Milsom drop into the left back role) and Lewis Smith came on for Wayne Brown. Bouazza blasted a shot into the roof of the net to make it six, before Dempsey added his second and Lewis Smith completed the scoring.

New signing Andranik was the player that impressed me most. He always looked comfortable on the ball and pretty much dictated the flow of the game. Playing in that holding midfielder role he was able to help out the centre backs mopping up any loose balls and was usually the starting point for any forward play. Wayne Brown impressed again playing mainly on the right wing. good feet and a bundle of energy he's the one home grown player I've seen who might have enough to break into the first team. Lewis Smith also caught the eye. He had the benefit of coming on for the last 10 or 15 minutes by which time the K's had made several changes and were visibly running out of steam. Like Brown, Smith had some neat touches and took his goal very well.

A nice way to spend a Friday night then. It's always great to see your team win a game by 8 goals, even if you do only see 6 of them. There's also a short report from the Kingstonians site HERE.

Fulham free kick about to be sent harmlessly over the bar (just like the first team!)

Robert Milsom attempts to control the ball under pressure

Bouazza in the foreground looking for space, whilst Andranik directs operations

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