A dogged AFC Bournemouth side ended Fulham’s 100 per cent to the season by holding the Whites to a goalless draw at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
The hosts made a strong start on the banks of the Thames – pushing Bournemouth back with expansive and dominant football. Kevin Keegan’s side hit the woodwork twice in the space of five minutes. First, Simon Morgan rattled the crossbar with a 35-yard effort that took Cherries keeper Mark Ovendale by surprise and then, after Kit Symons had headed down a corner from Steve Hayward, Dirk Lehmann’s acrobatic overhead kick skimmed the bar on its way over.
Bournemouth grew in confidence the longer the game went on and eventually Mel Machin’s front three challenged Fulham’s defence. Mark Stein and Steve Fletcher spurned their best chances on the break, with Fulham continuing to press for a late winner as Keegan had replaced Lehmann with Paul Moody at half time and sent on Paul Peschisolido, who had made the winner at Colchester United last weekend, with five minutes to play.
But they were largely restricted to efforts from distance by a brilliant Bournemouth defensive display with both Paul Bracewell and Hayward shooting over the top as Fulham’s substitute strikers were well shackled.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; W. Collins, Brevett, Symons, Coleman; Bracewell, Morgan, Hayward, Salako (Peschisolido 85); Lehmann (Moody 45), Beardsley. Subs (not used): Uhlenbeek.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH (4-3-3): Ovendale; Young, Vincent, Howe, Cox; Tindall, Hughes, Robson; Stein, Berthe (Dean 72), Fletcher. Subs (not used): O’Neill, Town.
REFEREE: Paul Rejer (Dudley).