Where has the form gone? Only last week we had completely dismantled Sheffield Wednesday at home, winning 4-0. Things were looking up, and a playoff push in the second half of the season didn't look too unlikely. But just a week and two matches later the picture looks much more bleak. Two successive 2-0 defeats to south coast clubs leaves us in 17th and with a 12 point gap to the playoff places.
Fulham started the match reasonably well in a mostly full Craven Cottage, and Rodallega almost got on the end of a Stafylidis volley that was flashed across goal. Ross McCormack also had a shot deflected narrowly wide in the opening half. However, former Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale had little to do, and Marcus Betinelli was called to action to deny the dangerous Adrian Colunga.
Brighton almost took the lead nine minutes into the second half when Elliot Bennet was denied twice by Betinelli and Colunga had his follow up rattle the outside of the post. Then with an hour gone disaster struck. The abysmal Ross McCormack lost the ball much too easily in the center of the park and Brighton broke with pace. Elliot Bennet was slipped through, but he looked offside, and was pulled down by Stafylidis. Although he had saved a penalty in the last match, Betinelli could only watch as Colunga calmly slotted home to make it 1-0 to the Seagulls.
Fulham pushed forward looking for an equalizer, and Stockdale showed his class by denying a wonderful Sean Kavanagh effort from outside the box and minutes later a low drive from Hugo Rodallega. But just like the Bournemouth match, the opposition struck late on to make it 2-0, with substitute Solly March finishing with composure in the 87th minute.
It was a severely disappointing result for the Whites against a side who found themselves in the relegation zone and who we had beaten in the away fixture. McCormack, Rodallega, Hyndman, and the normally reliable Scotty Parker were all very poor in a match where little went right for Fulham. It is clear that money most be spent in January, and hopefully the appointment of a new Director of Football will help. A lone positive note is that only 3 points separate the Whites in 17th from Nottingham Forest in 10th. Here's to a better 2015 than 2014! COYW!