Eddie Johnson continued his impressive pre-season campaign as a strong Fulham XI claimed a narrow win at Aldershot Town.
Most Fulham fans were expecting to see Bjørn Helge Riise, brother of former Liverpool star John Arne, make his debut in the more high-profile game at Peterborough tomorrow afternoon but the Norwegian international lined up against last season’s non-league double winners. It was a stronger than expected Fulham side with Pascal Zuberbuhler in goal, Toni Kallio in defence and Diomansy Kamara and Johnson together up front.
That pair, probably far from Roy Hodgson’s first-choice striking partnership, combined to great effect to create the only goal of the game just seven minutes in. Kamara chipped a clever through ball over a static Shots back line and the American forward burst through the middle in a flash. He finished confidently and continued to display the kind of form that prompted Fulham to spend big to bring him from the MLS to Craven Cottage in January 2008. Johnson’s hardly justified the hype that came with him since, but having enjoyed more game time with Cardiff City on loan last season and impressed on Fulham’s pre-season tour to Australia, some of his critics might have written him off too soon.
The home side played their part in a fairly entertaining contest, keeping the ball well and fashioning plenty of chances. They had four clear cut openings in the first half and hit Zuberbuhler’s post before Dave Winfield had a headed effort cleared off the line in first half stoppage-time. The second half was a quieter affair, before the game rather petered out, disrupted by a flurry of substitutions.
ALDERSHOT TOWN (4-4-2): Ruiz (Masters 45); Soares (Grant 81), Morgan (Hylton 62), Donnelly, Hudson (Connelly 81); Winfield (Blackburn 45), Harding (Mekki 85), Herd (Martin 81), Hinshelwood (Charles 45); Sandell (Straker 71), Halls (Chalmers 81).
FULHAM XI (4-4-2): Zuberbuhler; Stoor, Kallio, Kelly, Smalling; Mackay- Stephen, Harris, Riise, Andranik; E. Johnson, Kamara. Subs: Stockdale, Anderson, Leijer, Thomas, Smith, Moscatiello, Hoesen, Uwezu, Saunders.
GOAL: E. Johnson (7).