Fulham manager Kit Symons was disappointed to exit the FA Cup at home to Sunderland, particularly after having gone in front against their Premier League opposition.
Kit Symons was sadly right when he reckoned Fulham’s best chance was in the first match at Sunderland.
The Premier League side were never going to get caught cold twice even if 14,777 fans did on a night when the Black Cats asked the questions and the Whites briefly responded when Hugo Rodallega fired high into the net from a yard for an improbable 1-0 lead.
However, when keeper Marcus Bettinelli dropped the ball over his own line for the equaliser, there was no turning back
“Goals are generally defining moments in games,” said the boss. “It was a mistake but he’s been excellent for us so we’re not going to point any blame at him.
“He’s all right. He’s a strong character and he’s been superb for us this season. One mistake like that won’t affect him too badly; he’ll dust himself down and get on with it.”
“We hadn’t played particularly well in the first half and I told the players that at half-time,” said Symons afterwards. “I told them they needed to pass the ball a lot better. We never really got our passing going all night and the performance wasn’t there along with the result.
“There were too many off nights and a few enforced changes which didn’t help.
“Scotty Parker was ill. Lasse Vigen Christensen is coming back from injury and we couldn’t afford to start him in two consecutive games so quickly.
“Those two were big misses but we still had more than enough. I was happy with the team we put out and I expected us to play better than we did tonight.”