A subdued performance by Spurs was a big let down in a match which could
have gone a long way to keeping the club out of trouble at the bottom of
the table, but with Fulham being in good form, especially at home, the
Cottagers were good value for their win. However, Gomes' gaffe
could have mad eit a bit harder for them.
A slow start to the match perhaps set the tone for Tottenham who failed
to pick up any sort of tempo. It took ten minutes before a chance
arrived and it was for Fulham, who got Johnson away and his square ball
to Murphy was blocked by Corluka. A couple of minutes later, Gomes
was equal to Dempsey's shot as he came in off the left to hit a shot
that looked as though it was going into the top corner. Johnson
struck a shot over the top and Woodgate got in the way of a Bullard
effort before Tottenham's first shot on goal in the 25th minute, when
Modric got through and lashed a shot wide from outside the penalty box.
It was quickly followed by David Bentley's volley flashed just wide of
the left hand post with Schwarzer stranded.
Unfortunately, it was the pre-cursor to
Fulham's goal. Davies was allowed too much time on their left wing
and cut back to put a cross into the near post area. Johnson went
for it, but it was Jonathan Woodgate who got a touch to it and while the
ball went towards the Tottenham goal, it had little pace on it, but
Gomes took his eye off the ball and failed to get his body behind the
ball, allowing it off his arm and chest into the inside of the net to
hand the home side the lead.
It was a ghastly goal to give away and
made it all the harder to get anything from the match, even if the side
was playing well. The only succour was a Jeans break into the box
to have his shot blocked by Hangeland, so when the team came out for the
second half, there was a double change, with Modric and Hud going off to
be replaced by Lennon and Pavlyuchenko.
It set up a 4-4-2 formation, which had
worked against Liverpool in midweek, but the opening attack saw Lennon
just fail to pick out Roman's head with his cross. It was Gomes
doing what he does better in the next action, with a save from Bullard's
25 yard free kick, but he still could not get it wide of the goalmouth
and had to rely on a defender to hack it away.
Shots from distance rained in on Gomes,
who dealt with a lot of the stuff safely, but Fulham had worked out that
there was always the chance that he might mess up. Lennon almost
pulled a low ball back for Pavlyuchenko and Bale tried a shot from very
long range, as it looked like Spurs were getting a bit desperate.
When Gareth's cross was taken well by Ledley King, his volley was just
too high to trouble the Cottagers' keeper. With twenty minutes to
go, it all went wrong again, with another goal conceded from a corner.
A long cross to the far post allowed
Simon Davies to jump highest to head into the goalmouth, but the ball
was knocked out where it came from. Davies again won the header
and when the ball dropped in the six yard box, Andy Johnson turned and
hit the ball low past Gomes and the two defenders in front of him.
It is another aspect of the defensive side of the game that needs
Redknapp brought on Fraizer Campbell for
a lack-lustre Darren Bent and things looked a bit livelier. Gomes
had to be on his toes to tip over Bullard's drilled free-kick from
outside the area and another corner led to a panic, but Hangeland could
only put in a tame header that fell into Gomes' hands comfortably.
Then, almost out of nothing, Tottenham got a lifeline.
Jermaine Jenas brought the ball through
midfield and into the Fulham half, before passing square to Bentley, who
played it on to Campbell inside the left corner of the penalty area.
His cool side-foot finish was out of Schwarzer's reach and well-placed
inside the post to make it 1-2 with ten minutes left.
However, Spurs failed to capitalise on
any worry the goal might have put into Fulham minds, but it was the home
side who went closest, with Bullard hitting another sweet free-kick that
Gomes once more flew into the air to turn aside.
The final whistle brought a big cheer
from the home club's fans and there were familiar groans from the Spurs
end, as points were once more (literally) thrown away. The team
were perhaps not as sharp as they should have been and need to regain
the zip in their play they showed against Liverpool in midweek to make
opponents work harder to get the ball and push them backwards.
It was not a great game, but one in which
we handed a goal start to Fulham and then had to play catch up again.
If we can eradicate these cheap goals we keep giving away, then there
may be a chance of moving up the table a bit more consistently.