Today's match was Fulham's final home game of the season at Craven Cottage. Fulham were returning many players that were rested in the last match. However, Bobby Zamora did not play today. They played a good first half of football. In the second half, Stoke definitely had some chances to score, and they did capitalize late in the match. Unfortunately, Fulham lost this match 1 - 0 to a late goal by Matthew Etherington in the 83rd minute.
The first half started off a little sluggish. Neither team were really able to take control of the match in the opening 10 minutes. Fulham actually had the better of the start of the two clubs. The closest shot Fulham had was a cross that went to the goalkeeper.
In the 18th minute off of a corner kick Damien Duff had a great chance at a goal and his shot went wide. This was followed up a minute later by a Zoltan Gera shot that just went over the net. He was inside the box. Fulham started to put some increased pressure on Stoke.
In the 39th minute, Zoltan Gera takes a nice shot on net. It was set up by Clint Dempsey. Fulham had a few chances in the first half, but just could not score. They definitely had more possession than Stoke City. The half ended 0 -0.
The second half saw Stoke have more possession and have a few chances. In the 56th minute, a nice run by Matthew Etherington would lead to a cross that just went wide of the net. Etherington would be key later in the match.
The best chance for Fulham came in the 68th minute. Zoltan Gera sent a great pass into the box for a running Clint Dempsey. Clint took the pass and shot it right at the goal. The goalkeeper made a great save to keep the game scoreless at that time.
Dempsey would be be very active in the second half. In the 77th minute he took a good shot that goes high over the net.. In the 82nd minute, Dempsey would take another shot as well. He just couldn't breakthrough with a goal.
In the 83rd minute, the game would change. Ricardo Fuller sent a nice pass that ricocheted to Matthew Etherington. He was in a very dangerous area on the left side of the box. He would strike the ball past Schwarzer. Stoke City were now ahead 1 - 0.
Fulham wouldn't really mount another chance to score the rest of the match. Fulham end up losing their last match at home 1 - 0.
This is a disappointing result for the Cottagers. They dropped to 12th in the league and Stoke City jumped to 10th. Fulham's last match will be Sunday at Arsenal. Let's hope for a better result in their last match of league season.