Fulham continued their pre-season preparations with a scoreless draw at Bournemouth last night.
The fairly sizeable visiting support saw Roy Hodgson field a strong side with Brede Hangeland making his first start of the summer alongside Aaron Hughes at the back. Dickson Etuhu partnered Danny Murphy in midfield and Andy Johnson and Erik Nevland led the line.
It was the former Palace striker who had Fulham’s first chance almost immediately after kick-off. Fed the ball by Nevland, Johnson dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box. Four minutes later, a slick Fulham passing move seemed to have broken down only for a poor clearance to land at the feet of Zoltan Gera. The Hungarian’s rasping shot was well saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Shwan Jalal.
David Stockdale had his first taste of the action on thirteen minutes when he got down sharply to gather Brett Pitman’s low free-kick which he must have seen very late.
Fulham continued to create chances and perhaps should have gone one up midway through the first half. Murphy played a perfect through ball to set Nevland on his way but the Norwegian’s poor first touch allowed Jalal to claim the ball and the danger had passed. Johnson and Nevland were linking up well and one fine exchange of passes saw Nevland’s shot cleared off the line by Warren Cummings. Nevland’s usual ice-cool composure deserted him when he managed to get on the end of a hopeful clearance by Paul Konchesky as his failure to properly control the ball saw another opportunity go begging.
Roy Hodgson made three changes at half-time and Pascal Zuberbuhler had a chance to prove that his judgement was better than it seemed late on against Gold Coast United. Pittman’s ambitious lob looked threatening but the Swiss veteran was correct in allowing it float harmlessly over the crossbar.
Eddie Johnson continued his encouraging pre-season with an impressive cameo as a second half substitute but it was Seol Ki-Hyeon who had the best chance of the second period for Fulham. The Korean charged down a clearance and sped into the penalty area but his shot careered off a defender and went behind for a corner.
Fulham continue their pre-season programme by facing Championship new boys Peterborough at London Road on Saturday.
BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Jalal (Pryce, 75); Thelwell (Ruddick, 60), Garry (Broadhurst, 67), Pearce (Partington, 45), Cummings; Feeney (Costa, 67), Molesley (Browne, 73), Robinson, Igoe; Goulding (Fletcher, 45), Pitman (Smith, 78).
FULHAM (4-4-2): Stockdale (Zuberbuhler 45); Kelly, Konchesky (Pantsil 65), Hughes, Hangeland (Smalling 65); Etuhu (Andranik 60), Murphy (Saunders 85), Gera (Stoor 60), Seol Ki-Hyeon; Nevland (E. Johnson 45), A. Johnson (Kamara 45).
REFEREE: Keith Stroud (Southampton).