Ian Hallam : Fan View Fulham v Cardiff

By Ian Hallam

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Don’t you just love away days when it’s only a short train drive away. Well I’m been living in central London for the last few months so yesterdays game was a definite for me. It was great to meet up with Jules again plus a few others on here. Jules I won’t tell your missus how you tried to get that hen party from Ireland to follow us to Craven. Your secret is safe with me.
Got to say the pub we ended up at the Crabtree was perfect. Overlooking the river, although there was no water in it, was very peaceful. So peaceful I even had a civilised conversation with a red. Actually guys I don’t get beat up about it as much as some think but it made a pleasant change to your keyboard warrior who none of us will ever see. Good job it did not get heated as my new friend would have been heavily outnumbered.

Anyway on to the game that was a 10 minute walk and perhaps one of the best walks going to a football ground. Inside the ground and I lost my companions. So I made my way up to the back and the away support was in good voice. Keep this up and I’m going to suggest the away fans should have their own section at CCS. It would soon sort out what is becoming a library.

The game kicked off and to me it was all Fulham. In fact I wondered if they had more than 11 players on the pitch. We could not get the ball out of our half because every inch of it seem to have a couple of Fulham players in it. Then the first open bit of ground resulted in just one Fulham guy with the ball but no Cardiff about. It was the first attack and our mid defence was none existent. It just opened up and the attacked end up as a 20 yard shot that Marshall had covered if needed as the ball went wide. I hope that would be one of those let offs you get away with and our team would buck up.
No chance as we struggled to get out of our half. Our possession resulted in us passing the ball along the back line. However each pass seem to be chased by about 4 Fulham players. Before you knew it the hosts soon has possession and look right up for it. The second attack saw Ex Cardiff favourite Ross MacCormack collect a pass from midfield and on the 18 yard line failed to curl shit shot around Marshall.
Play continues with much the same Cardiff passing it along the back and losing possession when trying to enter the midfield. Eventually Cardiff did find a relief to it all by going down the left side with good work from Fabian and Daehli. This produced Cardiff first attack of the game that was a rarer weak effort from Fabian just outside the area.
However Fulham were on the ascendency and took control of the game. They were winning everything in midfield and started to look dangerous going forward. Panicking defending from the Cardiff defence gave the home side some dangerously position free kicks. The away support showed their displeasure against the referee but personally I thought the guy gave the right calls. Fortunately the resulting products of all these kicks belong to a rugby match as the ball sailed into the away supports end.

Unfortunately Cardiff could not get out of their own half and decided to give away a few corners. Why not I thought, better that because the funny looking haircut home striker will get one of those kicks right. I was wrong because from a corner at the far side from the away supporters was cleared by our defence. Unfortunately the clearance went straight to one of their midfielders who just gave it back to the corner taker, MacCormack for those interested, who by now had enough practice to get the perfect cross in. This perfect cross was well perfect and just needed a head to send it goal bound. We are one down to the bottom club and we deserved to be. Ole Ole sort it out came the cry. Oh dear I thought but no complaints with the score.
Cardiff looks unstable and were giving a lot away. Another corner resulted in the cross hitting the near post. It was not a comfortable time.

Thankfully the remainder of the half produced no more goals. If one was coming it was from the home side. They were restricted to long shots that once again belong at a rugby match. Cardiff only escape from their half was down both the wings. However all end products just found a Fulham foot. Half time came much to the relief of us all but I don’t think any of us were looking forward to the second part.

Fulham must have been ordered to go for the kill from the restart. Marshall was forced to make his first save of the game from a 20 yard drive that he managed to palm away. The ball fell to a Fulham player who picked out one of his own inside the area who although back towards the goal managed to swivel and shoot wide of the goal. How long would it be before the next goal went it we all thought.
Well not long but it came as a big surprise. Whitts who had been absent all came sent a purposely flight pass from midfield to Ken Jones just outside the area. Jones headed the ball back to Daehli and in the process knocked his marker to the ground. Daehli saw Jones in space and set him up. Jones with only the keeper to beat put the ball thorough the legs of the stopper for the equaliser.
From the kick off it was now Cardiff on the up. Fulham heads went down but Cardiff still struggled specially in midfield. Cardiff only open avenue was down the right where Daehli was heavily involved. In fact the next chance fell to him as he made a move and was picked out by Jones. With only the keeper to beat Deahli delayed his shot and was basically taken out by at least 4 defenders for a corner.
That really was Cardiff last chance. The game started to swing back towards the home side with MacCormack nearly winning this new club a penalty. From where we were it looks dodgy but TV showed it would have been a bit harsh. Cardiff tried to look more dangerous in front of goal but only had a long shot from substitute Ralls easily saved.
As the game went into the last 10 minutes it looked like the home side were the team that were going to win it. Sky Sport commentators don’t know what they are talking about. They certainly had the best chance of the game when a free header from 6 yards ended up nearer the corner flag than the goal. A Cornelious moment.
As the game went into injury time Cardiff won a concession of corners but produced nothing from them with the last corner being a Cornelious moment.

The game came to an end and to me it was 2 points dropped. However reality hit in when you think of the squad Fulham have. Ok they are playing some of their youngsters but they still have a bit of quality that was always going to start playing. What is so annoying is why do they decide to start against us.