Before the match began Fulham were going to be without several key players. Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, and Damien Duff were all not playing. Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes were also only available as substitutes. They were not used in this match as well. With Wolfsburg on Thursday, it seems to me Roy Hogdson wanted to rest many of his players. How would the changes effect the match today at Hull?
At times especially in the first half I thought Fulham played well and created some chances. They were though playing a desperate team fighting relegation. Fulham could not control Jozy Altidore and Craig Fagan. In the end, Roy Hogdson's club would lose today 2 - 0 at Hull.
The first half began with some good play from Fulham. In the 4th minute, Zoltan Gera had his first good quality strike that was nicely saved by Boaz Myhill. Zoltan Gera would have more chances to come later in the half.
The game changed quickly in Hull's favor in the 15th minute. Chris Smalling brings down Jozy Altidore in the box and Hull are given a penalty. Jimmy Bullard takes the penalty and scores. Hull were leading 1 - 0. After the goal there was some more pressure from Hull. In the first half Jozy Altidore and Craig Fagan were giving Fulham's defense trouble.
Fulham did have their chances in the first half. In the 26th minute, Zoltan Gera had a strike 6 yards from goal that was saved by George Boateng playing defense. This shot was a result of open play from a corner kick. Honestly this shot was very close to going in for Fulham. This was followed by Zoltan Gera again in the 36th minute. He had a close shot again was saved by Steven Mouyokolo. Fulham were knocking on the door, but just could not score in the first half.
Jozy Altidore as I stated earlier was creating chances for Hull. Fulham also had their chances as well with Zoltan Gera leading the way. It was a good back and forth in the first half . The half ended with Hull leading 1 - 0.
The second half began badly for Fulham. In the 48th minute, a cross from Dean Marney leads to a header from Craig Fagan. He is able to head the ball over Schwarzer and into the top corner. Hull were now up 2 - 0 early in the second half. They were now in control of the match.
Fulham, in the second half were definitely pressing forward , but they were unsuccessful many times in finishing their plays. You have to give credit to Hull's defense who played well. Fulham did not get many chances at all on the goalkeeper. The best chance for Hull came in the 58th minute with a shot by Jozy Altidore. His shot was nicely saved by Mark Schwarzer.
Fulham did make some substitutes that were more offensive minded. Jonathan Greening and Stefano Okaka both came on in the second half. There was a decent chance in the 60th minute. Nicky Shorey sent in a great pass to Stefano Okaka. Unfortunately, his shot was easily saved. There were several times in the second half that Fulham were putting pressure on Hull. It seemed every time they attempted a shot there was a Hull player right there. The game ended with Hull defeating Fulham 2 - 0.
In the end, Hull deserved the 2 - 0 victory. Fulham had their chances, but just could not convert. It was a combination of the Hull defense, and the players up front for Hull City. Jozy Altidore played very well, and gave Fulham's defense fits all day. Clint Dempsey and Zoltan Gera just could not convert today .
To me this game was a lost opportunity. I understand it is a long season. I know the team is probably tired. Fulham are though not in a relegation battle. My only question is "why did Roy need to rest so many players? I can understand Bobby Zamora not playing. He had an illness in the last match. He rested many more players than just Zamora. I hope resting players pays off on Thursday Night. It certainly didn't help today against Hull.