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+The Monday Verdict

Posted on 1 November 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

WASN'T QUITE SURE whether to expect too many goals in this one when pondering the game on the fair little trot up the Fulham Palace Road towards Craven Cottage.

The suspicion was strengthened when the stats sheet was produced revealing the last hat-trick scored in this fixture was by Cliff Jones back in February 1966 in what resulted in a 4-3 win to Spurs at the Lane.

The old Cottage is looking good though, a couple of new stands, but the place has retained its traditional character and it never seemed right playing Fulham at Loftus Road.

Michael Brown was rewarded for his goalscoring display up at Bolton with a starting place, while Robbie Keane was preferred to Fredi Kanoute in attack. For Sean Davis it was a return to his former stomping ground, along with a call from home boss Chris Coleman to the fans to crank up the volume and not make it a particularly welcome homecoming.

Sean delayed his entrance for a few seconds ahead of the warm-up, got a few boos, before winning his former public over with a nice clap and wave. The ceasefire did not last into the game, however.

The teams emerged to the sun and shadows on a glorious Saturday and, to be honest, Fulham began the brighter of the two teams and it was clear Louis Boa Morte was going to be the principal threat with a couple of early bursts through the middle.

After that the next 20 minutes or so passed without incident until Goran Bunjevcevic livened things up a bit with a hefty challenge on Steed Malbranque - and got a booking for his trouble.

Jermain Defoe then flashed one across goal after being set off on a run by Pedro Mendes, but an imminent breaking of the deadlock looked unlikely.

That particular event happened on 32 minutes when Malbranque's threaded pass perfectly picked out the run of Boa Morte who proceeded to slip the ball past Robinson with some precision.

Even though the scoreboard was working the Fulham fans could not resist asking Davis what the score was. The words laughs, last and longest sprang to mind in a hopeful sort of way.

Jacques Santini made an early change five minutes before the break, bringing on Simon Davies in place of Michael Brown - it was unclear whether the switch was injury enforced.

The second half started much the same as the first, neither side stringing much together and a spark was desperately needed - and a goal, from our point of view.

The goal, unfortunately, came from Fulham with a well worked and clinical move. Boa Morte twisted and turned down the left flank and dispatched a pinpoint cross plonk onto the head of Andy Cole who nodded past Robinson.

Fredi Kanoute was introduced on 67 minutes with Reto Ziegler making way. Then, with eight minutes remaining, Michael Carrick made his entrance in place of Davis.

The changes did not alter the course of the game as a stubborn Fulham stood firm and reaped the three points from the encounter. They could have had another as Cole tested the reflexes of an advanced Robinson. Carrick's free kick went close in stoppage time, but the points did not board the bus back to to our neck of the woods.