Fulham 1-2 Brighton
Fulham manager Kit Symons rued his team’s defensive frailty as Fulham dropped points late on at home to Brighton on Saturday.
Symons highlighted two specific defensive errors that led to both of Brighton’s goals.
Firstly Sam Baldock too easily escaped the attention of Nickolay Bodurov to put the visiting Seagulls in front before a superb equaliser from home debutant Tom Cairney levelled things up for the home team.
The matched looked to be heading for a draw before a rash challenge by Shaun Hutchinson on the ever lively Kazenga LuaLua right on the edge of the area led to a contested penalty.
After Israeli striker Tomer Hemed dispatched the spot kick there was no time left for the Whites to get back on terms.
“I’ve seen it back a few times and it’s very difficult to call,” said Symons of the penalty decision.
“Possibly the initial contact was just outside but he’s travelling at pace and it’s hard to tell – even stopping it and rewinding it back and looking at it from different angles.
“I’ve got no argument with the award of the penalty but I’m not very happy with the defending to give it away.
“Hutch knows it was a rash challenge that we didn’t need at that stage of the game. Lua-Lua had toed it away and it was going out for a goal kick.
“It’s hard to stop yourself once you’re committed but it wasn’t what we needed.”
After a lacklustre first 45 minutes Fulham were much improved in the second half and there were encouraging signs as new recruit Jamie O’Hara produced another man-of-the-match performance.
Symons praised the Fulham fans’ reaction in the second 45 even though they were ultimately left frustrated.
“The fans haven’t had an awful lot to cheer about for the last few years now but you could really feel them start to get going in the second half as were building momentum,” he added.
“They were getting right behind us. I’d have been disappointed coming off with a draw.”
Symonds offered some optimism for disappointed fans with suggestions of imminent transfer news and the return to fitness of key players.
“We’re very close to a couple of signings but until they’re done I won’t name names,” Symons explained.
“We’re very, very close to one and hopefully close to another as well.
“Scott Parker is coming on well. He’s out on the grass most days now. We’re quite happy with him.
“Jack Grimmer will have an exploratory operation on Monday and if they see any damage they’ll act on it there and then.
“We’ve moved quite quickly on that one to try and get it sorted out. He went to see the same specialist that Luke Garbutt went to.
“Fernando Amorebieta is coming on well and isn’t far off full fitness, Sean Kavanagh is back in training as is Adam Taggart.”
Feature image courtesy of Fulham FC, via Youtube, with thanks