Going into the match I was fearful that the injuries for Fulham would finally catch up with them. Fulham were missing 4 regular starters in the midfield. I think the lack of play in the midfield, and in the back really hurt the Cottagers. West Brom came from behind early in the first half to score two goals. The second half was dominated by West Brom even though no goals were scored. Fulham lose on the road to West Brom 2-1.
The first half certainly had a good amount of action. Fulham started out strong and early on created an opportunity. In the sixth minute, Clint Dempey had a nice shot on goal from distance.
Fulham would get on the board first in the match-up shortly afterwards. In the 9th minute, Zoltan Gera from a good distance away takes a great shot that bounces off Scott Carson and into the net. Fulham were suddenly up 1-0.
Only a few minutes later Fulham had a great chance to go up two goals. Diomansy Kamara had a great shot on net that just clips the post. This was a lost opportunity for the Cottagers.
West Brom would equalize in the 17th minute. Youssouf Mulumbu would get a great pass that would have him one on one with Mark Schwarzer. He would slam the ball past Mark Schwarzer. The game was then tied 1-1.
West Brom would then control the majority of the half. Their play would lead to another controversial goal against Fulham. Jerome Thomas would send a nice pass to Marc Antoine Fortune who would shoot it past Schwarzer to give West Brom the lead. The controversy was that leading up to the goal it appeared that a West Brom player could have been offsides.
After a strong beginning from Fulham in the first half, West Brom would come from behind to take the lead. The half would end with West Brom up 2-1.
The second half honestly was completely controlled by West Brom. They had a few chances to go up by two goals. In the 66th minute, Roman Bednar sent a pass to Paul Scharner who has a nice shot on net. Schwarzer happened to make a nice save to keep the game 2-1.
In the 76th minute, West Brom's James Morrison made a great run which led to a nice shot on net. Schwarzer again made a great save to keep Fulham in the match.
Fulham really could not generate any substantial scoring opportunities in the second half. The best news for the Cottagers was the return of Andy Johnson. He came in with around 30 minutes to go in the game.
Unfortunately, today was not the Cottagers day on the road. The game would end after 3 minutes of stoppage time with West Brom taking the victory 2-1.
I do think the injuries played a factor in the loss today. Without Danny Murphy in central midfield, the Cottagers would struggle to get the ball up front and create scoring chances. Chris Baird did a decent job, but he is not the passer of Murphy. This injury had an indirect effect on the defense. With Baird filling in the midfield, that forced Mark Hughes to put Stephen Kelly in at right back. He definitely had a hard time against West Brom.
This game was probably Fulham's worst performance of the season. West Brom definitely deserved all three points. Fulham still have not won on the road since the first game of last season against Portsmouth. Let's hope Fulham can rebound next Saturday at home against Wigan.