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Fulham 2v2 Rovers

2 - 2
Blackburn Rovers

Craven Cottage

25th November 2007. 16:00

Attendance: 22,826


On a relatively mild Sunday afternoon with the weekend slowly grinding to a halt, Rovers engaged in battle with Lawrie Sanchez`s Fulham.

Would it be fair to say a draw was a good representation of the match. Don`t be silly. For the second successive season we have gone top Craven Cottage and left with less than we deserved.

Ten minutes hadn`t been registered when Rovers were dealt a hefty blow. Already without the rested Roque Santa Cruz, Rovers were forced into an early change when Benni McCarthy limped off with a gash to the knee.

This disrupted Rovers early on and Fulham should have taken advantage. Diomansy Kamara raced clear of the static away defence but was out-witted by Brad Friedel who blocked a tame shot on the edge of the area.

This stirred Rovers a little and although a natural rhythm was immediately forthcoming, it was evident Rovers` physical and technical skills were allowing them o control the pace.

However, the affair remained rather tepid with the away fans only leaping from their seats when Stephen Warnock whipped in a beauty of a cross that was begging to be despatched. Alas, Bentley`s lack of experience in the forward role and Jason Roberts`, who had replaced the injured McCarthy, lack of full fitness meant the cross sailed harmlessly away from goal.

However, as half time approached Rovers rallied and laid siege to the Fulham goal. Some nicely worked moves saw Bentley fluff a cross, Morten Gamst Pedersen denied by a last ditch cross and Roberts thwarted. All that was lacking was the final ball or touches.

Rovers tried to start the second half as they had finished the first but were stunned when Mike Dean seemingly stretched out his arm and the Fulham faithful misinterpreted this as the award of a penalty. In the ensuing furore Dean decided that Ryan Nelsen had felled Kamara and he didn`t want to offend so duly confirmed a penalty.

It was coolly finished by one of the Premiership`s forgotten men, Danny Murphy, with some aplomb.

Rovers were not to be out done though and the retort was swifter than the punishments dished out by the British justice system. Attacks rained in on Anti Niemi`s goal and it wasn`t long before the equaliser.

After a glaring miss from Gamst (words desert me like his ability has left him) Brett Emerton ended a two year goal drought to lash Rovers level.

Once again the build up came from the left and once again the centre was from Warnock. It was cleverly flicked on by Roberts, although he was in an offside position, to Emerton who chested the high ball down cut inside and beat Niemi at his near post.

All square and you`re money would be on Rovers to win. However, the script had been hidden from Northern Ireland, I mean Fulham and they regained the lead through Kamra, who had been a problem for Rovers` defence all afternoon.

A cleverly worked move saw Clint Dempsey ghost in down the right, after Warnock had failed to track him. He squared to an unmarked Kamara who tapped into the empty net.

Rovers had it all to do again and after a few more squandered chances, the worst coming from Bentley, closely followed by another Roberts miss, They pegged back Fulham in the last ten minutes.

Great strength, hold-up play and drive from Roberts saw the Grenadian striker calmly roll a ball across goal for an unmarked Warnock to cap an excellent display with a goal.

Rovers had chances to win the match but couldn`t find the elusive third. Many will be wondering what could have been if R&B were on song!

Star Player

Stephen Warnock

Another brilliant performance in attack and defence. Needs to eradicate those moments when he switches off as it cost us here.

Player Ratings

Friedel 8

Made some good, smart blocks.

Warnock 9

Would have got a 10 but for the mistake.

Ooijer 7

Solid as usual.

Nelsen 7

Conceded the penalty and looked a little rattled at times. Still made some wonderful crunching tackles.

Samba 6

Not his best day at the office.

Emerton 8

Deserved his goal and has deserved one for some time. Let's hope he adds a few more now.

Gamst 2

What has gone wrong, everything he touched was bad.

Tugay 7

A little lazy at times but still managed to make some fine passes.

Mokoena 6

The binman wasn't great.

Bentley 7

Worked hard and tried to force the issue; trying too hard at times.

McCarthy 5

No time to impact.

Roberts 8

One of his best Rovers displays, unlucky not to score but set up both goals.

Reid 6

Great to see him back.

Date:Monday November 26 2007
Time: 2:06PM


A good performance, not the result it deserved. JR was terrific too yesterday. Great to see Reid back as well.
26/11/2007 14:07:00
Great article roversman - I thought it was a good game - and we're still getting the points away from home which is excellent. I thought that mokoena had a good game by his standards and I thought you're rating of Gamst was a bit harsh! He hasn't played his best we all know that, and I think if he got a goal yesterday he would have been flying. I think he's lost a bit of confidence. I also thought that Bentley could have done better and I was disappointed when he tried to win a penalty, he's better than that. However, Roberts, Warnock, Emerton were excellent!
26/11/2007 14:25:00
Well said FriedelNo.1! I know a lot of fans were expecting a win yesterday, and it is disappointing that we did'nt manage to come away with all three points, but under the circumstances, with Roque rested and Benni going off after three minutes it was difficult to see where the goals were going to come from. But they did come and from two unlikely sources it has to be said. Warnock was outstanding, his best performances since he arrived in my opinion. Jason Roberts! I've always said he is'nt good enough to play for Rovers but he was very good yesterday, considering he's just back from injury and had to play virtually a full game. A draw was a fair result in the end.
26/11/2007 18:19:00
thought the second half performance was alot better when we increased the pace of the game. roberts and warnock were great but i felt we were lacking abit in midfield. mokoena and tugay were disapointing. felt bentley could have passed the ball a bit more instead of running towards a rovers player then giving them the ball. looks like he could do with a goal as does pedersen who couldn't keep the ball to save his life and his free kicks seem to be suffering, should have scored an easy header. i'm enjoying the freedom blackburn are playing with, the forward runs even the defenders are making showing a positive attitude to win games. i'm sure there will be a few changes for the villa game with savage back in the midfield and we'll take the 3 points. and finaly a shout to brett whos playing great at the moment.
26/11/2007 19:06:00
I didnt see the match but was Gamst really that bad?? I cant remember the last time I did see him play to the standards he set a couple of seasons ago, maybe we should sell him now while we can still make some money on his reputation?!?!?
27/11/2007 08:01:00
A good article, and can't complain about the ratings. Good to see someone voted of Ooijer for MOTM (in my absence), it's not just me that likes him! I don't think we would get the money for MGP that he once demanded. However, Tottenham would pay that for him!
Decimus Poole
27/11/2007 09:22:00
In addition, I just noticed the R&B song refeence at the end of the article. Very clever...
Decimus Poole
27/11/2007 09:24:00
Gamst needs something at the moment. The rating is more of a metaphor for him and his lost ability at the moment; don't just think of it as a pure reflection of this game alone. I really hope something can be done and like alpeck touches on, he really needs that goal. Although in saying that he did score recently at Pompy. I'm one of JR's biggest critics but he was terrific for us on Sunday.
27/11/2007 09:28:00
Cheesey isn't i mate!
27/11/2007 09:32:00
As ever dude quality report.
The second half was much better than the first wasn't it. I thought a lot of players played well but Stevie W, Emerton and JR were superb, I also thought that Ooijer was very good, he was getting up and down the pitch VERY well and is extremly comfortable on the ball isn't he.
Hughes Da Man
27/11/2007 09:39:00
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