All sort of excuses were made for this poor performance and home defeat: 2 matches in a week, yesterday’s conditions of sapping heat, a poor referee ignoring 3 handball penalty appeals, no plan B when the possession and elaborate passing game faltered.
I saw it differently: Forest were the better side and deserved their victory. Clearly they did their home work: Fulham were not going to pass them into submission. Forest retreated and held a line about 40 yards from the goal line which Fulham had utmost difficult in breaching.
They added a second when Steven Sessegnon was caught in possession and Grabban’s shot thundered off the bar.
We did pull one back from Mitrovic diverted a ball home and we laid siege to the Forest goal but their defence, superbly marshalled by Michael Dawson, held out.
The Forest fans to our left behind the goal made a lot of noise. A group of Fulham fans at the back intermingled singing with swearing. A team of stewards remonstrated with them to sit down but withdrew.
This and a mob of Forest fans strutting aggressively down the street after the game make the match experience an unhappy one.
I was uplifted to see in the restaurant we frequent afterwards two toddlers in Fulham kit from the Shrimpton family. Henry Shrimpton was one of the founding fathers of Fulham at the turn of the last century and one of four brothers to play for the team. His grandson David became a director and the toddlers were his grandchildren, making 5 generations in all.
Fulham is also a club of tradition.
The programme featured pieces on the regime of the Clays, SB estates who tried to merge with QPR; the Fulham historian on managers of yore Barry Hayles ; keepers Gerry Peyton and Edwin Van der Sar were profiled ; a photo of Fulham v Notts. Forest in March 1967 both in the top flight with a where- are- they now and a memoir of our unforgettable journey to the Europa Cup Final in Hamburg in 2010. I cannot imagine this defeat will live long in the memory.