It was the annual dinner last night at the Hydra Hotel Eastbourne of the Chamois Society, the Federation of British Window Cleaners of which I am regional social secretary and I had to miss out on the trip to Craven Cottage and watch the game broadcast on SKY. Given the cold I was secretly pleased to be witness-in-chief for the stay at home supporters. I enjoy the SKY coverage. I usually follow Gentleman Jim McGullion on the Fulham website but it’s good to have a more impartial assessment from Steve MacLaren, no friend to Fulham over the Chris Martin debacle whom he tried to sign for Derby whilst contracted to Fulham, and co-pundit the loquacious Keith Andrews.
Ian Holloway set up QPR in two banks of four to frustrate us.
Our fluid passing game was soon in action and we cruised into a 2 goal lead. All good.
Then in the 3rd minute of 2 minutes extra time QPR scored from a free kick. Andy Hinchcliffe noted the Fulham defensive line was too high. Buoyed by this QPR took the game to Fuham in the second half and their equaliser was as deserved as inevitable, albeit after a grotesque error by Denis Odoi who was caught in possession. This symptomised a second half performance strewn with errors, wasted possession and 2 extraordinary substitutions when coach Slavisa JoKatoic took off the two players – Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon – who were most likely to win the game for us. How QPR must have been relieved to see them depart the pitch.
Automatic promotion looks more distant now. More worrying is that the pressing physical game unnerves Fulham and Reading played this way in their play-off victory over us last season.