FAC: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham

Tottenham had Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping them in Saturday

evening’s FA Cup quarter-final tie at Fulham, which ended in a 0-0


Gomes made a string of fine saves as the Cottagers went on

the rampage after the interval to book a replay at White Hart Lane

on Wednesday March 24.

The Brazilian prevented Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede

Hangeland and Zoltan Gera scoring in a London derby that lacked any

bite until a pulsating second period.

For Gomes, it was a return to the ground where in November

2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him

sold by manager Harry Redknapp.

Redknapp opted against offloading the £7.8million

signing from PSV Eindhoven.

The Spurs manager’s faith has already been repaid but once

more Gomes underlined his value.

At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and

Peter Crouch at the end of the first half, but was hardly involved


For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on

the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham’s goal and wilted as an

attacking force.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will be disappointed his side, who

continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions, did

not finish off their capital rivals.

Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and

player of the month awards for February shortly before kick-off.

Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little

time on the ball but despite some slick passing, they failed to

trouble Fulham’s goal.

Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the

left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot

straight into the arms of Gomes.

It was not until the 28th minute that either keeper was

extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Niko


The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to

turn a fine goalbound header by Peter Crouch away from the target.

Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other

end as Fulham’s chances continued to be severely limited.

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one

well-worked move but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the


The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a

superb save from Gomes.

Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the

right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora

directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes.

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out

Hangeland’s header from a Davies corner.

Dawson smashed the ball into the stands to end a spell of

Spurs’ dominance but once again the visitors did not look like

scoring for all their dominance.

The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly

thanks to the noisy Spurs fans.

Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and

was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent

work by Zamora.

The impressive Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the

penalty area as Spurs launched a swashbuckling counter-attack.

Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly

frantic final 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a

fine chance.

Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his

own net – he did not know where the ball was going and Spurs

breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.