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Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 21:54 UK

Fulham   0 - 1   Stoke

Matt Etherington
Goalscorer Etherington (left) was this week named Stoke's player of the year

By Kevin Darling

Matthew Etherington hit a fine late winner as Stoke leapfrogged Fulham and moved into the top half of the table.

The winger lit up a dull contest seven minutes from time, hammering home from 12 yards after Ricardo Fuller's cross.

Clint Dempsey went close with a volley for Fulham, who named a strong side in their last home game before the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

The Cottagers suffered a scare when Damien Duff was substituted at half-time with a possible calf injury.

606: DEBATE
StokieSmit

Etherington's decisive strike was virtually Stoke's only shot on target and a solitary moment of quality in an otherwise dour affair.

However, it is the potential loss of key midfielder Duff that may cause Fulham boss Roy Hodgson greater concern ahead the European showpiece in Hamburg in seven days' time, although there was nothing to indicate that the Irishman's substitution was anything more than precautionary.

Hodgson had insisted before kick-off that the Cottagers would not be distracted by their European adventure and he named his strongest possible side, with Dempsey playing up front in the continued absence of Bobby Zamora.

Stoke's previous visit to west London had resulted in a 7-0 hammering at Chelsea 10 days ago, so it was little surprise that Tony Pulis's side appeared focused on keeping it tight in defence this time around.

The chance to finish in 10th spot beckoned for the winner - a placing that would represent Stoke's best league finish since 1975 - but both sides appeared happy to settle for a point in the early stages.

The first half was a forgettable affair that delivered just one shot on target - a 20-yard drive from Zoltan Gera that flew straight into the arms of Asmir Begovic after 39 minutes.

The Hungarian was at the heart of the rare moments of excitement in the opening period. He fired narrowly over from Duff's cross and cleverly sent Dempsey through on goal before Robert Huth made a saving challenge.

Stoke began the second half in comparatively lively fashion and their first chance of the match arrived from a familiar source when Rory Delap's long throw was nodded inches wide by Fuller.

The scare roused Fulham into something approaching urgency and they almost took the lead midway through the second half, with Gera once again in the thick of the action.

The midfielder played a sublime reverse ball to Dempsey at the far post but the American's close-range volley was brilliantly kept out by Begovic.

Dempsey, keen to secure a spot in Hodgson's cup final line-up, then had two more good efforts from distance but both failed to trouble the keeper.

The game seemed to be petering out for a draw when a moment of magic from Etherington, named this week as the Potters' player of the season, sealed victory.

Fuller burst down the right-hand side and took advantage of a slip by Paul Konchesky to send a far-post cross to Etherington, who blasted the ball into the roof of the net to put the visitors on course for their best league finish for 35 years.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson on his side's injury problems ahead of the Europa League final:

"We think one of Damien Duff's muscles was cramping up. That was a blow of course. We hope it's not too serious. I hope he'll be fit for the final. The medical staff don't think it's a muscle tear or anything like that.

"Bobby Zamora stands a chance of making it but he's not making vast amounts of progress on a daily basis so it could be touch and go.

"It's very disappointing to lose, especially seeing as the evidence showed it was handball which deflected the ball over for the goal."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis on his side beating last season's points total:

"We're only the second club to have beaten their points tally in their second season, so so much for second-season syndrome. That's a fantastic achievement for everyone at the club.

"We got beaten 7-0 at Chelsea two games ago and we have played a top team in Everton and we have won here tonight. We have had two clean sheets now so that shows our spirit of togetherness."

"Roy picked his best side tonight but we showed great resilience and spirit. I think it's been a great response from the players."

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham 0-1 Stoke FT
(HT 0-0)
    • Etherington 83

    Fulham

    Substitutes

    Stoke

    Substitutes

    • 01 Simonsen,
    • 22 Collins,
    • 07 Lawrence,
    • 14 Pugh,
    • 15 Diao,
    • 20 Sanli,
    • 42 Moult
    Ref: WaltonAtt: 20,831
    FULHAM
    STOKE

    Possession

    • Fulham 53%
    • Stoke 47%

    Attempts on target

    • Fulham 6
    • Stoke 2

    Attempts off target

    • Fulham 6
    • Stoke 3

    Corners

    • Fulham 8
    • Stoke 3

    Fouls

    • Fulham 7
    • Stoke 6
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:38 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+4:05 Substitution Ricardo Fuller goes off and Liam Lawrence comes on.
    • 90:00+3:45 Booking Ricardo Fuller is cautioned by the ref for dissent.
    • 90:00+3:33 The assistant referee flags for offside against Ricardo Fuller. Paul Konchesky takes the indirect free kick.
    • 90:00+0:15 Direct free kick taken by Tuncay Sanli.
    • 90:00+0:15 Booking The referee cautions Aaron Hughes for unsporting behaviour.
    • 90:00+0:09 Aaron Hughes challenges Tuncay Sanli unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 88:18 Corner taken short by Tuncay Sanli.
    • Correction - 86:35 Robert Huth concedes a free kick for a foul on Clinton Dempsey. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
    • 86:35 Substitution Matthew Etherington leaves the field to be replaced by Salif Diao.
    • 86:35 Unfair challenge on Clinton Dempsey by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
    • 85:07 Substitution John Pantsil goes off and Stefano Okaka comes on.
    • 85:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Zoltan Gera on Asmir Begovic. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
    • 84:42 The ball is delivered by Rory Delap, Danny Murphy makes a clearance.
    • 84:08 Robert Huth fouled by Clinton Dempsey, the ref awards a free kick. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
    • 82:28 The assist for the goal came from Tuncay Sanli.
    • 82:28 GOAL - Matthew EtheringtonFulham 0 - 1 Stoke Matthew Etherington finds the net with a goal from inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Fulham 0-1 Stoke.
    • 81:42 Clinton Dempsey has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.
    • 79:42 Shot by John Pantsil from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
    • 78:10 The referee blows for offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
    • 76:58 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
    • 75:06 John Pantsil fouled by Tuncay Sanli, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
    • 74:27 Unfair challenge on Danny Higginbotham by Zoltan Gera results in a free kick. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
    • 74:02 Danny Higginbotham produces a cross.
    • 71:30 Corner taken by Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
    • 70:53 Substitution Tuncay Sanli joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mamady Sidibe.
    • 69:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland by Ricardo Fuller. Free kick taken by Paul Konchesky.
    • 68:16 Short corner taken by Simon Davies.
    • 68:05 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
    • 67:35 Short corner worked by Simon Davies.
    • 66:56 The ball is delivered by Mamady Sidibe, save by Mark Schwarzer.
    • 64:08 Short corner worked by Simon Davies.
    • 63:56 Danny Murphy takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan.
    • 62:40 Dickson Etuhu has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 62:03 Ryan Shawcross fouled by Erik Nevland, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Shawcross restarts play with the free kick.
    • 58:21 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
    • 53:38 Booking Ryan Shawcross is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 51:10 John Pantsil produces a cross, clearance made by Dean Whitehead.
    • 50:20 The assistant referee flags for offside against Mamady Sidibe. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.
    • 49:17 Headed effort from deep inside the area by Ricardo Fuller misses to the left of the goal.
    • 47:52 Ricardo Fuller has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 46:08 A cross is delivered by Rory Delap, clearance made by John Pantsil.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • 45:01 Substitution Erik Nevland joins the action as a substitute, replacing Damien Duff.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:11 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 45:00+0:17 John Pantsil takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.
    • 45:00+0:01 Paul Konchesky delivers the ball.
    • 43:59 Shot from just outside the box by Glenn Whelan misses to the right of the goal.
    • 43:01 Booking Robert Huth is cautioned.
    • 42:24 Paul Konchesky crosses the ball.
    • 41:07 The referee blows for offside against Mamady Sidibe. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
    • 40:02 Andy Wilkinson challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.
    • 38:36 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
    • 34:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shawcross on Zoltan Gera. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:47 Mamady Sidibe takes a shot. Danny Murphy gets a block in.
    • 33:06 Clinton Dempsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Robert Huth. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
    • 31:34 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies from the right by-line, clearance by Rory Delap.
    • 26:00 Damien Duff is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
    • 24:13 Corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan to the near post, clearance made by Simon Davies.
    • 20:26 Ricardo Fuller is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
    • 18:13 The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Shot from inside the area by Zoltan Gera clears the bar.
    • 16:57 Corner taken by Simon Davies, Damien Duff produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 16:14 The ball is swung over by John Pantsil, save made by Asmir Begovic.
    • 13:02 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in.
    • 12:21 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Damien Duff.
    • 11:19 The ball is crossed by John Pantsil, Robert Huth makes a clearance.
    • 7:40 Mamady Sidibe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dickson Etuhu. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick.
    • 5:45 Short corner worked by Simon Davies.
    • 5:40 The ball is sent over by Damien Duff, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.
    • 2:31 Unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross by Zoltan Gera results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    5 May 2010 23:59 UK


    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 5 May 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 37 63 83
    2 Man Utd 37 54 82
    3 Arsenal 37 38 72
    4 Tottenham 37 28 70
    5 Man City 37 28 66
    6 Aston Villa 37 14 64
    7 Liverpool 37 26 62
    8 Everton 37 10 58
    9 Birmingham 37 -8 50
    10 Stoke 37 -10 47
    11 Blackburn 37 -15 47
    12 Fulham 37 -3 46
    13 Sunderland 37 -7 44
    14 Bolton 37 -26 36
    15 Wigan 37 -34 36
    16 Wolves 37 -25 35
    17 West Ham 37 -19 34
    18 Hull 37 -41 29
    19 Burnley 37 -42 27
    20 Portsmouth 37 -31 19

    see also
    Premier League as it happened
    05 May 10 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    05 May 10 |  Premier League


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