Fulham 2-1 Everton
Damien Duff produced a moment of magic at Craven Cottage to defeat
Republic of Ireland winger Duff beat Tim Howard with a powerful drive before the end for his first
Duff’s contribution meant an exciting finale but it was a game short on action before that.
Both teams are in Europa League action this week –
Duff tried his luck from long range early on but Howard did not have to move to make the save, then Clint Dempsey went wide with a drive from a similar distance.
David Stockdale, the 23-year-old former York and Darlington goalkeeper, was making his debut and was called into action on the quarter-of-an-hour mark when Jack Rodwell’s drive deflected off Aaron Hughes, with the rookie using his knees to block and his team-mates clearing the rebound.
Since arriving from Millwall, Cahill has now scored 38 goals for
Danny Murphy was booked for a foul in the build-up, with Leighton Baines swinging over the free-kick and Cahill jumping above Dickson Etuhu to head past Stockdale, although he should have been flagged for offside.
It was the Australia midfielder’s first strike of the season and he celebrated with his trademark boxing routine at the corner flag.
Leon Osman almost grabbed a second before the interval when he trapped Steven Pienaar’s pass and went through on goal – but Hughes was back to make a last-ditch tackle.
Howard had gone untroubled for 45 minutes despite
Andrew Johnson came back from his collarbone injury to face his former club. He suffered the problem against Amkar Perm last month and will always have a deformity in his shoulder due to the problem, but he was fit enough to play.
Bobby Zamora partnered him in attack after coming back from an Achilles complaint – but the lack of understanding between the pair was illustrated by a comedy kick-off routine that gifted the ball to
That would all change in the second half. Johnson forced Howard into a save just after the restart following a sharp turn on the edge of the area, then Etuhu headed wide from Murphy’s free-kick.
The fortuitous equaliser came in the 57th minute when Murphy’s free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall. It rebounded to Konchesky, whose powerful drive deflected in off Sylvain Distin.
Phil Neville had brought down Etuhu for the free-kick leading up to the goal, then six minutes after the goal Etuhu caught the
Duff’s moment, his first goal since arriving from
Stockdale saved a Marouane Fellaini header from point-blank range and Murphy cleared Joseph Yobo’s follow-up shot off the line.
Hughes was also forced into a last-ditch tackle on Aiyegbeni Yakubu as