Hello, my name is Finlay and welcome to my live match coverage of a top of the table clash in the Championship between league leaders Fulham and AFC Bournemouth. Keep up to date with my feed in order to keep up with the live match action.
Scott Parker comes up against his former club for the first time tonight, as he faces Fulham, who he had departed shortly after relegation back in June.
Bournemouth started the campaign very impressively, going on an unbeaten run in their first 15 league games of the season. Since finally suffering their first defeat of the season to Preston North End, Bournemouth have won just one of their last five matches, and will be needing to win tonight, to return to the top of the table.
Fulham have replaced tonight’s visitors at the top of the table after securing 23 out of a possible 27 points in their last nine fixtures. Similarly to the away side, Fulham have also drew their last two fixtures and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways tonight, to move five points clear at the top of the table.Embed from Getty Images
01: The Championship top goalscorer Aleksander Mitrovic gets us underway at Craven Cottage, in what might prove to be a huge fixture in the title race come the end of the season.Embed from Getty Images
02: Early boos from the home faithful as Gary Cahill gets his first few touches on the ball, due to his affiliations with local rivals Chelsea.
04: Emiliano Marcondes powers through the Fulham midfield on the counter attack, before switching the ball to Adam Smith, as he cuts inside onto his stronger right foot, before placing a weak shot into Marek Rodak’s hands.Embed from Getty Images
05: Fulham return with an effort at goal of their own as Neeskens Kebano receives the ball on the edge of the box, before powerfully firing a shot down low at Mark Travers. A fantastic tempo to the game already inside of the first five minutes.Embed from Getty Images
11: Kebano is certainly looking like the danger man so far as he knocks the ball past Jaidon Anthony before firing a low strike towards goal, which is tipped past the post by Travers for a corner kick. The resulting set piece in a goalmouth scramble as the cross is headed back across goal and Fabio Carvalho miss hits a shot and is blocked by Cahill on the line. Cries for a handball on Cahill from the Fulham players and fans are waved away from the referee.
15: A heavy tackle from Lewis Cook is landed on Kebano, and it looked a dangerous challenge. Cook arrives into the challenge late and with his studs raised and landing high on Kebano. Despite the Fulham appeals for a red card, referee Tim Robinson shows Cook the yellow card.
17: Dominic Solanke is down and receiving treatment for a head injury after colliding between Denis Odoi and Tosin Adarabioyo. The former Liverpool man has been strapped up and is ready to continue as play finally resumes.
20: He HAS to Score!! The previously mentioned Solanke fails to connect cleanly with a cross from the right hand side, the ball is then retrieved by Adam Smith, who crosses in a delightful ball, straight onto the head of Solanke again, who heads just wide of Rodak’s goalpost. Easily the best chance of the game so far, Bournemouth should be ahead.
26: Fulham are pressing the Bournemouth defence well, as Mitrovic almost latches on to a bad touch from Travers, with the keeper getting the ball cleared just in time. Mitrovic is looking lively but isn’t receiving the ball as much as he would like as he battles hard with the experienced Gary Cahill. This will be a key fixture throughout the ninety minutes, and you would think that whoever can get the better, will be hugely influential in earning their team the points tonight.
30: Almost a stunning goal from Solanke. He collects the ball on the left hand side on the counter attack and drives towards the retreating Fulham defence. He scoops the ball past Adarabioyo before unleashing a shot with his weaker left foot, just wide of Rodak’s goal. Solanke has had a few efforts on goal now and is looking the most likely to break the deadlock, huge let off for Fulham.
34: Another yellow card for Bournemouth after yet another wild challenge on Kebano. Jack Stacey flies in needlessly and catches the winger late and joins Cook’s name in the referee’s book.
37: First opportunity from Mitrovic as he latches onto a cross, but his effort into the ground and wide. Poor effort from the Serbian, he would expect to do better from there.Embed from Getty Images
38: Huge penalty call waved away! A Fulham corner is taken short and Harry Wilson finds his way into the box and goes down under a challenge from former teammate Solanke. Wilson is adamant he should have a penalty and replays show that there was contact after a clear kick from Solanke onto Wilson’s shin. No penalty given despite the uproar to the decision from the home fans. Looks like a penalty to me, the Bournemouth striker is lucky to get away with that one.
43: UNBELIEVABLE DEFENDING FROM STEVE COOK. Kebano finds Mitrovic in space, and the Serbian international fires his shot low, which is fantastically blocked by Steve Cook. The rebound finds the path of Carvalho, who’s shot seems destined to go into the back of the net, but is once again blocked as Steve Cook throws his body in the way of the ball. Terrific piece of defending, stopping a certain goal.
45+3: HALF TIME – The referee blows his whistle to put an end to what has been a very entertaining first half of football. Both teams have had their own chances to go ahead, but the home side have had more of the possession and efforts on goal with the best of the bunch being denied by heroic defending by Steve Cook. Bournemouth started the game the better side and looked dangerous on the counter, but half time came at the perfect time as The Cottagers started to control the game as the half went on. Half Time: Fulham 0-0 Bournemouth.
46: Both sides are out for the second half. No changes at the break for either side and Bournemouth get us back underway, lets hope the entertainment continues and we get a flurry of goals in this hugely important second half.
46: GOAL – WHAT A START TO THE SECOND HALF. WITHIN TEN SECONDS, BOURNEMOUTH ARE AHEAD. Philip Billing gets the ball from kick off and plays a delightful ball over the top of the Fulham defence. Solanke latches onto the ball and smashes it home, past Rodak and gives the visitors the lead. FULHAM 0-1 BOURNEMOUTH (SOLANKE, 46)Embed from Getty Images
47: Great Response! Kebano has another effort tipped wide of the post from the outside of the box. The resulting corner is flicked wide at the front post by Denis Odoi.
50: Anthony crosses from the right hand side and the cross is cleared by Odoi out to Ryan Christie on the edge of the box, but his half volley bounces into the ground and into the arms of Rodak, an end to end start of the second half.
51: Fulham’s tempers are starting to boil. Carvalho commits a foul in the middle of the park and talks his way into the referee’s book. The Cottagers must stay calm and composed, they have already showed the quality they possess, they are more than capable to create enough chances to find an equalizer.
54: Almost an absolute screamer from Harry Wilson! The Welsh international drifts inside and strikes the ball from 30 yards out and the ball just drifts wide. That would have been one hell of an equalizer from the home side!Embed from Getty Images
56: First substitution of the evening is from the visitors as Ben Pearson replaces Emiliano Marcondes, a defensive minded switch from Scott Parker in the middle of the park. They currently sit top of the league, and the Bournemouth fans are letting the home fans know exactly that, with chants of “Scotty Parker, he’s top of the league” ringing around the away end.
60: Adam Smith is shown a yellow card for clearly obstructing Harry Wilson, preventing him from reaching a through ball. Wilson crosses in the resulting free kick, right onto the head of Mitrovic, but the striker heads just over the bar. They are starting to put the pressure on Bournemouth.
61: Mark Travers takes a long time to take the goal kick and he is shown a yellow card for time-wasting by the referee. The cards are starting to rack up for Parker’s men.
67: A very late challenge from Joe Bryan has given the referee no other choice but to show the yellow card. Referee Tim Robinson is certainly having an eventful second half to say the least.
69: Double substitution from Fulham as Tom Cairney and Bobby Reid are on the field to replace Jean Michael Seri and Fabio Carvahlo. Marco Silva’s team must score if they wish to return to the top of the table.
76: HUGE CHANCE. Fulham take the corner short once again and Wilson curls the ball into the box onto the head of Mitrovic who heads straight at Travers from six yards out. He should do much better but he was being held by Pearson, no penalty given and a huge chance wasted for Fulham.
78: Fantastic goalkeeping! Kebano runs across the penalty area and collects the ball, Travers rushes out and stretches to stop Kebano from an acute angle. Fulham are dominating right now, if one team is to score, it’s looking to be the home side.Embed from Getty Images
80: Another foul, another yellow card. This time for Ryan Christie as he drags down Harry Wilson, wide of the penalty area. Another chance for a Wilson set piece to enter the penalty box.
81: HOW ARE FULHAM STILL LOSING? Wilson crosses in yet another delightful cross, onto the head of Mitrovic, Travers pulls off an unbelievable stop to prevent the Serbian from heading in, but his saves falls into the path of Kebano who misses a sitter from a few yards out. The angle was acute, but the goal was open. Kebano simply HAS to score.
83: GOAL – IT HAS BEEN COMING. FULHAM HAVE THEIR EQUALIZER. Tom Cairney collects the ball outside of the box and crosses into a dangerous area and the ball is headed home by Tosin Adarabioyo on his 50th appearance for The Cottagers. A huge goal, which sends Fulham back to the top of the table. FULHAM 1-1 BOURNEMOUTH (ADARABIOYO, 83)
87: This game has just become more lively as Phillip Billing collects a yellow card for a foul. Both teams are attacking, it looks like neither side want to settle with just a point. This ending could be special…
88: Robbie Brady and Chris Mepham are on for the visitors in place of Jaidon Anthony and Adam Smith.
90: Fulham have a late corner. Four minutes of additional time has been signalled by the fourth official, this game might just have one last chance.
90+4: FULL TIME – I was wrong, there was no final chance. But nonetheless, a fantastic spectacle a Craven Cottage finishes with both side leaving with a point. If only Fulham were awake at the start of the second half, maybe they would have got all three points. Bournemouth’s defending was resilient and strong but eventually cracked as Tosin Adarabioyo headed home from close range. Fulham remain top of the championship and you would have to imagine that these two sides will be battling for the top position right until the very end of the season. Full Time: Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth.Embed from Getty Images
My Man Of The Match goes to Bournemouth’s Steve Cook. Himself and centre back partner Gary Cahill showed their experience and dealt with Aleksander Mitrovic well throughout the 90 minutes. Either of them could have won the MOTM award but it had to go to Steve Cook, especially after THAT heroic double block in the first half to keep the scoreline at 0-0.
Thank you for following my live coverage of tonight’s thrilling encounter between two Championship sides battling it out to go top of the league. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I hope to catch you again soon. Thank you and goodnight.