There’s only one F in Fulham
The Fulham Fanzine 2019-20 Championship Season
November 2019 was our last meeting
In the last eight games We've lost five, drawn none and won three
billp TOOFIF Updated Monday, 2 March 2020
FFC 1 v Swansea City 0 FEB 26 2020
A spirited and stubborn game against awkward opponents but we won.
billp TOOFIF Monday, 2 March 2020
Fulham and Swansea first met on the 31st of August 1925, in what was the second tier of the Football League, this was a home fixture for us and true to the Fulhamish Spirit, we lost one nil! A bit like our last meeting of January 28th 2014 at their place except the losing margin was 2-0 on that occasion.
Since that 1925 game, we have met in a total of 66 games, we've lost 24, drawn 10 and won 32. Our last meeeting was earlier this season in November at the Liberty, we came away with three points having won 2-1.
Preview from the pre-match Home Page
A "Must Win" everybody said, and there's not a lot I can add to that except that it certainly was vital to win the two home games against the Swans and then Preston. Fortunately Fulham did just that.
Fulham started with Stefan Johansen rested being supplanted by Bobby Decordova-Reid. It’s no mistake to say that Fulham were by far the better side in the first half but as usual were finding it difficult to convert the superiority into goals.
Swansea had clearly come with the mindset of not losing and barely put us any real pressure and by the end having lost to a crazily late Mitrović they disintegrated into an out of control pack of spoiled children.
Fulham were on the offensive from the off and our whole remit seemed to be “Get up and Get ‘em”. We had our first crack at the Swansea goal within the first minute from AK18, Anthony Knockaert whose low drive was saved by the diving goalie at his left hand post, he spilled the ball but we had no advance guard in the box to clean up.
This attempt was followed by a corner that came courtesy of Tom Cairney and Joe Bryan, this was taken by Ivan Cavaleiro, his looping effort dropped onto the far post like a mortar bomb cascading off the bar, to be hastily cleared by the outstretched arm of the Swansea keeper.
Throughout the game, some of the away side’s players resembled skittles, so easily did they take to taking to the ground, by far the worst culprit being Ayew. He went down in the area after a last ditch tackle by Road after barging Tim Ream out of the way to attempt to round our keeper. Naturally in clearing the danger Ayew trailed his leg back in a disgusting attempt to fool the ref who was so close to the action he could have picked the miscreant’s pocket. Naturally, Ayew was touched by Marek so he landed like a sack of spuds crying for his dummy.
Every slight contact he was over like a cliff diver and then his actions in attempting to gain a free kick by petulantly bashing the ground with his fists, laying stock still face-down for minutes as if he were hurt and then stomping around like a five year old who'd been told he couldn't have an ice cream.
In short he was pathetic. How he wasn't red-carded each time he chased the ref and hollered and gesticulated is beyond me bu no, the clueless morons in the Swansea management team uttered not a single word of apology for this moronic behaviour mere trotted out the usual clichéd diatribe about the penalties they should have had and so on.
As the half progressed, Mitro had some decent pokes at the top corners which sailed just over having worried Woodman in the Swansea goal. These first half attempts came from neat build up play. The first with Mitro breaking past the back line, skinning their clumsy number four and frankly the shot ought to have been more accurately stuck to give us the lead, it was a glorious opportunity.
Shortly later the Swansea players all waved their arms about and screamed for a penalty when a diving Joe Bryan blocked an incoming cross in the box after some useful attacking play by the Shepherds. He had dived in feet first to the ball and turning as he landed, was moving his arm out of the way as he twisted to the ground. To suggest a deliberate handball was a ridiculous claim, sadly typical of all professionals footballers these days, the “Win at all costs” mentality has completely de-sensitised them from a primitive ideal such as sportsmanship.
Then in another Swansea press advanced with ball into our area , Ayew receiving the ball on our right wing danger broke into the danger zone and shot at goal which Road dealt with easily to concede a corner which was dealt with harmlessly. Bobby D-R then carelessly gave the ball away to put us under pressure 25 yards from our goal, Gallagher receiving the ball 10 yards from the goal-line, a spate of close passing marshalled by Hector and Cavaleiro resulted in a ghosting Ayew being fed the ball.
Instead of thinking about scoring Ayew promptly did his usual hysterical dive-board routine, the ball had clearly been played by Denis Odoi’s tackle, what followed was a ridiculous bout of histrionics, worthy of the hammiest performance in any amateur dramatic society, shameful!
Kebano came on for Cavaleiro on 78 minutes, followed five minutes later by Knockaert and Arter being repacked by Kamara and McDonald respectively. Neeskens, our lively Congolese 27 year old midfielder was straight into the game and in the having jinked into the area was tumbled by Roberts. Naturally the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ Ayew was over like an angry Jack Russell to demonstrate the most outrageous lack of self-controlled seen at the Cottage this season struggling with e the peacemaking Swansea Skipper in an attempt to get to the ref, dissent pure and simple and he deserved to march for this and his earlier outbursts.
Mitro lined up to take the spot-kick but not before Ayew has unsportingly kicked and scuffed the penalty spot, unnoticed in the melée. Joy, a goal was the least the team deserved so we were already counting the points tally and his did his funny little on the pot dance and addressed the ball to score. He hit the ball high and to the keeper’s right but had telegraphed it so the keeper got a hand on it, the clearance coming straight out to the advancing Kebano who struck a sweet goal-bound left footed volley which the keeper managed to parry. It was back and forth, unrelenting now and with only three minutes remaining seemed that we’d be sharing the spoils.
Then the ball ran to Swansea who surged forward, a pass to Gallagher saw his step into the area with the ball only for Joe Bryan who had trailed the midfielder stretched out a leg to poke the ball away, colliding with the number 33 as he did. Cue the usual desperate clamouring from all and sundry in the Swansea team and from their animated bench, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
We then broke upfield and with Mitro again bettering his markers Denis Odoi launched a sweet ball straight into the path of the Serbian Missile and his forehead connected perfectly to power the ball past the helpless Woodman, with seconds to spare in the four that had been added to the second half’s 90.
As for the game in general, Swansea came with the premise that they didn't want to lose and to be fair they tried their best to break us down. The blustery conditions affected both sides but despite Fulham being the better team we had to rely on the added four minute period to reap our rewards.
As the fat lady says,” it's the results that count”… we won ugly!
The area around Swansea traditionally had been a rugby area, and despite previous attempts by a football club named Swansea Villa, there were no notable football clubs until the establishment of 'Swansea Town AFC' in the summer of 1912. Following the lead of many other South Wales sides, the club joined the Second Division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the club's first chairman. A site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co., called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the club's ground.
The club's first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time. The Swans beat reigning English champions Blackburn Rovers 1–0 in the first round of the 1914–15 FA Cup, Swansea's goal coming from Ben Beynon
Following the First World War the Southern League dropped its Second Division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the First Division. After four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920 and then Division Three (South) the following season.
After five seasons in Division Three (South) and a few failed bids for promotion, the Swans reached the Second Division for the first time in 1925, beating Exeter City 2–1 at home on the final day of the season to win the division. The side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. The following season the Swans reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time, beating Exeter City, Watford, Blackpool, Stoke City, Millwall and Arsenal, before losing 3–0 to eventual cup winners Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane. Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour. During the 1931–32 season they finished 1st in the league and won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay.
Wednesday night saw Swansea City visit the Cottage for our 35th game in the league this season and in true Fulhamish fashion, it was the first of two home games in quick succession, both of which really could be pivotal in the outcome of the remainder of our season.
Put bluntly, to not take 6 points from that one and the Saturday fixture against Preston North End would really complicate matters as far as our promotion ambitions are concerned. We've already stuttered of late and the previous three games had certainly been a minor set-back but fortunately not devastating as those some of the teams immediately around us have been unusually obliging.
However, thankfully that last minute reprieve from Aleksander Mitrović means that we stabilised the gap to the first and second placed teams. Nottingham Forest having supplanted Brentford in the pack around and with Preston North End lawing their way into contention makes our game against North End on Saturday a lot more tasty considering there’s one point difference between us in the table as it stands.
All in all, this next game is surely destined to see the Cottage full of very nervy home fans, I can't wait!
from FFC online
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Date: Wednesday 26 February 2020
Venue:Craven Cottage, Fulhama
Referee: Tim Robinson
Line-up: Rodák; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Arter (McDonald 90'), Cairney; Knockaert (Kamara 83'), De Cordova-Reid, Cavaleiro (Kebano 78'); Mitrovic
Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Christie, Steven Sessegnon, Johansen
Manager: Scott Parker
ine-up: Freddy Woodman; Naughton (Roberts 82'), Cabango, Rodon, Bidwell; Fulton, Grimes; Kalulu (Garrick 64'), Gallagher, Ayew; Brewster
Unused substitutes: Mulder, Wilmot, Dyer, Dhanda, Cullen
Manager: Steve Cooper
Swansea sorted, just,
Now can we repeat it against Preston North End?