Boa at the double for Fulham
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A Luis Boa Morte brace helped Fulham defeat London rivals 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
A Luis Boa Morte brace helped Fulham defeat London rivals Charlton 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
An exciting first half saw Boa Morte give Fulham an early lead before Addicks striker Jason Euell scored his first goal for 18 months to level things up after 26 minutes.
Boa Morte scored a goal worthy of being the winner of any match just four minutes after Charlton had equalised as he ran round a static Charlton defence to finish past Myhre.
Pouring rain meant for a poor second half but Fulham will not care as they all-but ensured they will not be dragged back into the relegation dogfight again this season.
Zat Knight missed a glorious opportunity to put the hosts ahead within the first ten minutes when he headed wide from six yards. The tall centre back ran onto Simon Elliott's corner but was put off sufficiently by Marcus Bent to send the effort off target.
However, it did not matter as Boa Morte put Fulham ahead with a cheeky free kick from the right touchline.
With the Charlton defence expecting the cross, the Portuguese international took the opportunity to place the ball round a poorly-placed wall and in at the near post leaving Thomas Myhre seething.
The goal seemed to wake The Addicks up and after Radostin Kishishev had been kept out by an excellent block, Euell had them level with a controversial goal.
Darren Ambrose's in-swinging free kick was bearing down on Antti Niemi, but with the Finn being pressurised by Euell on the line, he failed to get very much contact on the punch.
Hermann Hreidarsson kept the ball alive in the area and Euell was able to pounce from close range to head into the top of the net. Niemi continued his protests with referee Martin Atkinson but the goal was allowed to stand.
England striker Darren Bent forced a low save out of Niemi soon after, before Ambrose saw a 30-yard effort fly just over the crossbar.
Four minutes after succumbing to an equaliser, Boa Morte showed his class with a superb individual effort to restore Fulham's advantage.
The former Arsenal man picked up the ball just inside Charlton's half and ran with pace at the centre back pairing of Chris Perry and Gonzalo Sorondo, leaving them for dead before placing the ball past Myhre's out-stretched right hand and into the bottom corner.
Papa Bouba Diop forced Myhre into a good, low save from a free kick that was creeping in at the near post prior to Charlton pushing for the equaliser before the break.
Charlton were clearly causing Fulham problems with corners and Hreidarsson again guided the ball into the six-yard box where Bent stabbed at the ball and looped it onto the top of the crossbar.
The England international also had a shot deflected into the safety of Niemi's grasp as Charlton ended the half on the front-foot.
After the excitement of the first 45 minutes, both teams failed to live up to the expectations in the second with the game becoming sloppy in large parts and neither side showing their attacking ability as they did before the break.
Hreidarsson had a long-range shot deflect wide off Knight while at the other end Boa Morte had a deflected free kick cleared off the line by Euell and Diop caused Myhre problems with a shot from distance that bobbled just in front of the Norwegian goalkeeper.
Niemi was forced to make two good saves from Marcus Bent and Hreidarsson in an exciting finale but Fulham scraped through and are now just one point short of the 40-point mark that normally ensures safety.
|Fulham||Team Name||Charlton Athletic|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||6|
|2||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||1|
|12||Total Fouls Conceded||17|