Fulham Deaf made to graft by NPL Reserves
Fulham Deaf FC entered new territory with their first ever cup match in the Kingston & District Football League Teck Intermediate Cup, first round match against NPL Reserves.
On paper, what with Fulham Deaf FC being placed on top of Division 2 and NPL Reserves placed bottom of Division 3, this was viewed to be a sure-fire away win for Fulham Deaf FC. It was not to be.
Fulham started badly with simple mistakes being made, many balls being given away with poor first touches, no structure or team work to see anywhere. The first half was slightly more in NPL's favour with their counter attacks proving to be fruitless. Fulham did not even come close except for an Andrew Drury's hastily taken shot that was scooped by NPL's goalkeeper.
Fulham's manager Christof Niklaus made a couple of substitutions at half time with Richard Jeffers and Ewan McGreevy coming on for Saltan Ahmed and Kevin Harewood. In the second half it was clear the team had reversed from a 4-4-2 format to a 3-5-2 format.
The new attacking format piled on the pressure with most of the action inside NPL's half for the opening 25 minutes of the second half. In one three minutes spell, Fulham had at least eight 'sure-goal' shots at goal only for NPL to turn them away for corners or block the ball on the line. It was admirable the desperate measures, yet but brave defending and saves employed by NPL.
Extra time was looking more likely with twenty minutes to go.
With 15 minutes to go, captain Drury turned past two defenders and got into the box only to be tripped by the third defender. Drury got up and coolly slotted the ball home from the spot.
Fulham won a corner and from a McGreevy's curling shot, Nick Beese half dived to head the ball into the far end of the net to make the game safe.
The match petered out to an unconvincing win for Fulham Deaf. If NPL thought they had been done hard by, no one would have blamed them. Fulham Deaf FC are now drawn away to NPL (the NPL first team) for a place in the quarter finals.
Final score NPL Reserves 0 – 2 Fulham Deaf FC (half time 0 – 0)
Fulham Deaf FC Line up:
Fulham Deaf FC Team: Parker, Stubbs, Ahmed (McGreevy 46), Beese, Campbell, Pendley, Gill, Ajadi (Fox 57), Drury, Harewood (Jeffers 46), Westbury
Fulham Deaf FC Manager