Fulham’s reserves stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a steady 2-0 win over Stoke City at Motspur Park last night. The impressive Christoper Buchtmann, making his first appearance for Billy McKinlay’s side, scored the first and striker Danny Hoesen made the game safe.
Just as importantly, Paul Konchesky got through 70 minutes as he continues his comeback from a foot problem and the left back could be in contention for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter final with Spurs. Fulham’s defence, featuring two relatively inexperienced centre backs in Cheick Toure and Aaron Pierre, were relatively untroubled as the young centre halves kept the dangerous Dave Kitson quiet.
Buchtmann didn’t take long to warm to his task either, embarking on several surging runs that caused problems for the Stoke defence. The German youth international, who signed from Liverpool in the transfer window, opened the scoring on the stroke of half time. After linking up with Konchesky, Buchtmann beat his man cleverly and drove a shot past Steve Simonsen and into the corner.
Simonsen did well to stop shots from David Elm and Alex Smith, while the returning Rob Milsom, sidelined for more than a year with a serious knee injury, became increasingly influential. With five minutes left, Hoesen made sure of the win displaying all the predatory instincts that have made the young Dutch striker one to look out for with a clinical close-range finish.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Zuberbuhler; Stoor, Konchesky (Harris 70), Pierre, Toure; Smith, Milsom (Marquez-Sanchez 85), Marsh-Brown, Buchtmann; Elm (Trotta 77), Hoesen. Subs (not used): Etheridge, Payne.
STOKE CITY (4-4-2): Simonsen; Hedley (Stockhall 87), McDonald, Cohen, Davies; Lund, Faye, Mitchell (Sinclair 87), Foster (Jackson 87); Kitson, Moult. Subs (not used): Parton.