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MATCH REPORT

Posted on 31 January 2006  - 12:00

Fulham snatched victory in the final minute as the team were cruelly denied at least a point after bossing much of the second half at Craven Cottage.

Fulham snatched victory in the final minute as the team were cruelly denied at least a point after bossing much of the second half at Craven Cottage.

Carlos Bocanegra got ahead of Stephen Kelly to head past Paul Robinson as the game entered stoppage time. We were down to ten men for the last 20 minutes after Michael Dawson was sent off for two bookable offences following a block challenge on Brian McBride where there didn't appear to be huge contact.

Martin Jol was forced into four changes as we set about trying to beat Fulham away for the first time since March 2002. Out of contention were Edgar Davids and Teemu Tainio due to injury, while Lee Young-Pyo is in Korea following the sad passing of his father.

Grzegorz Rasiak stepped in for Jermain Defoe - who reverted to the bench - and Paul Stalteri returned from suspension to take up his position at right back with Stephen Kelly switching to the left. Andy Reid made his first start in seven days after recovering from a knee injury.

Michael Brown was introduced to his new public ahead of kick-off and he waved a fond farewell to the travelling Spurs support.

It was our team who made the early running and, from a free-kick, a Dawson header fell in front of Ledley King who then shot tamely at former Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi. Reid came very close on five minutes when Robbie Keane strode towards the home penalty area and played the ball in front of the little leftie who unleashed a dipping drive that flew just over the bar.

Fulham came into the game and a Luis Boa Morte free-kick - helped on by Bocanegra - offered McBride a heading chance that tested the reflexes of Robinson. Bocanegra himself headed wide the next opening before Fulham were forced into the first change of the evening with Tomasz Radzinski coming on for Slyvain Legwinski.

Martin had to shuffle his pack on 23 minutes after Reid sustaining another knee injury, a blow which led to a Spurs debut for Tom Huddlestone in central midfield, with Jermaine Jenas going to the right flank and Lennon moving to the left.

Moments later Robinson was worked again when McBride volleyed goalwards and the England No.1 pulled off a typically strong stop.

Huddlestone looked assured and influential in the middle and the home side was nearly caught on the break a couple of times, but it remained goalless at the break.

Dawson picked up his first booking on 49 minutes for a foul on McBride and the momentum of the game picked up considerably from that point, with the boys very much seizing the initiative.

A Carrick corner just after the hour was met by Ledley King on the volley at the back post. The effort was blocked and from the resulting corner a Rasiak header cleared the bar.

There was a very strong penalty shout on 64 minutes when Jenas brilliantly turned in the area and looked to be fouled by Boa Morte. Referee Mr Webb pointed, but to the corner flag and not the spot.

Jermain Defoe came on for Rasiak with 20 minutes remaining, but the next incident was the dismissal of Dawson, which led to Anthony Gardner coming on for Aaron Lennon in order to retain four at the back.

Defoe stung the fingers of Niemi on 80 minutes and the goalkeeper very nearly spilt the shot before Kelly bundled through and tested him again at the near post.

It was a Huddlestone foul on Boa Morte that saw the referee award the late free-kick, which was taken by Simon Elliott and met by the American to inflict a defeat that was certainly not deserved.