This was a strange game to watch. The first have was very sluggish. Fulham, however did score a late goal in the first half by Clint Dempsey to go up 1 - 0. The second half saw Fulham take two goal leads twice. The goals that were scored for Fulham were an own goal by Carlton Cole, and a goal by Stefano Okaka. West Ham kept coming back. They twice cut the lead to one goal in the second half. These goals by West Ham were not enough to overcome the deficit of the match. Fulham went on to win this game at Craven Cottage 3 - 2.
The first half was tough to watch at times. Their weren't a tremendous amount of scoring chances. The weather also was a factor. It was very windy at Craven Cottage.
Fulham came out fairly strong with some decent possession. In the 8th minute, Bjorn Helge Riise sent in a great cross to the box. Simon Davies just barely missed the pass. The play overall was a little slow and sloppy. In the 22nd minute a similar chance happened for Fulham. Clint Dempsey sent in a great pass to Nevland. He just couldn't get to the ball inside the box. The Goalkeeper got to the ball first.
The best chance for West Ham came in the 23rd minute. Mark Noble took a great shot at net. Mark Schwarzer made a great save on the shot. At times in the first half West Ham did have possession, but just couldn't create many scoring chances.
Clint Dempsey would give Fulham there first real chance of the game. In the 26th minute his shot just hits the top of the cross bar. Dempsey was just outside of the box.
West Ham would have one more decent scoring chance. In 41st minute, a long shot by De Costa is nicely saved by Mark Schwarzer.
It looked like the half would end 0 - 0. That would change in the final minute. Simon Davies sent a great pass to Clint Dempsey and he stuck a shot past the goalkeeper. Surprisingly, Fulham were now up 1 - 0 at the half.
The second half began with some nice pressure from Fulham. Their hard work would pay off in the 58th minute. Fulham had a corner kick and the ball ricocheted to Chris Baird. His shot bounced off Carlton Cole and past the goalkeeper. Fulham were now up 2 - 0.
That two goal lead would not last long. In the 61st minute, Mark Noble's free kick is headed past Mark Schwarzer by Carlton Cole. The score was now 2 - 1.
Fulham would get their two goal advantage back in the 79th minute. Erik Nevland gets the ball away from Jonathan Spector. He passes it right to Stefano Okaka who slams the ball past the goalkeeper. The score was now 3 - 1 in favor of Fulham.
West Ham would get a goal back in injury time. A shot by Franco gets past Mark Schwarzer. It was too little too late as Fulham won the game shortly afterwards 3 - 2.
After the first half I never thought their would be five goals scored by the two teams. This wasn't the greatest game to watch, but Fulham deserved the victory. Erik Nevland, Bjorn Helge Riise, and Clint Dempsey stood out to me as playing very well today. I have been critical of Jonathan Greening in the past. He also did do his job today.
Fulham will now play Stoke on Wednesday at Craven Cottage. I have a feeling we will see a similar lineup for Fulham as today. I would be fine with that as the players got the job done today at Craven Cottage.