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16:59 2nd January 2010

FA Cup Report: Fulham 1 Town 0

Swindon Town take on Gillingham on Saturday 16th January with matchday hospitality available from just £35 per person, including a match ticket and food! Call 0844 880 1094 for details or to make a booking. Town went out of the FA Cup despite an impressive showing at Craven Cottage against Roy Hodgson's Fulham. Danny Wilson's visitors made a bright start to the match, and enjoyed much of the early possession. However it was the home side who came closest, when Bobby Zamora cut inside and curled a shot just wide of Dave Lucas' goal. Simon Ferry had Town's best chance of the opening exchanges, when he found space on the edge of the box after latching on to Billy Paynter's knock down, but the Scot scewed his left footed shot over the bar from the edge of the box. The home side took the lead after 16 minutes with a piece of excellent centre forward play by Zamora. Stephen Kelly lifted the ball through to him, and the striker showed strength to hold off Gordon Greer and then a touch of class to ease the ball over David Lucas from close range. Town reacted well to going behind however, and could have equalised through Ben Hutchinson, but the striker shot straight at Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the box. The visitors continued to impose themselves on the game, moving the ball around nicely and competing well with their Premiership opponents. McGovern, Ferry and Douglas looked composed in possession in a three man midfield, while Danny Ward and Ben Hutchinson provided decent support for Billy Paynter up front. Both Douglas and Paynter could have equalised for Town, but it was the home side who finished the half the stronger, both Johnson and Zamora missing chances to extend the lead. Town were out of the blocks quickly in the second half, with both Sheehan and Hutchinson spurning decent chances to equalise. However, a swift break from the home side saw Andrew Johnson one on one with Lucas, and the striker went over to win the penalty. Johnson brushed himself off to take the spot-kick, but Lucas guessed right and held a tame effort from the striker to keep Town in it. The game became stretched there on after, with both sides looking for what would be a decisive goal. Both sides looked threatening in attack; Town with a new outlet on the right through Lloyd Macklin, and Fulham with the ever threatening pairing of Zamora and Johnson up front. As the game progressed into the final 15 minutes, there was little or nothing to choose between the sides, with chances at a premium at both ends-in stark contrast to the start of the period. Town huffed and puffed as the game drew to an end, and although there was always the feeling they would have one more chance, it never materialised. Despite the disappointing result, Town can be pleased with an impressive showing against a strong Fulham side. The midfield trio of McGovern, Ferry and Douglas dominated large parts of the game, but it was a lack of cutting edge that cost the visitors in the end, with a classy finish from Bobby Zamora eventually the difference between the sides. FULHAM 1 (Zamora '16)
SWINDON TOWN 0 Fulham: Mark Schwarzer; Stephen Kelly, Aaron Hughes (Capt.), Chris Smalling, Paul Konchesky; Clint Dempsey, Jonathan Greening, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Bjorn Helge Riise; Andrew Johnson (Gera '83), Bobby Zamora Substitutes: David Stockdale (GK), Chris Baird, Erik Nevland, Zoltan Gera, Fredrik Stoor, Toni Kallio, David Elm Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Gordon Greer (Capt.), Scott Cuthbert, Alan Sheehan; Ben Hutchinson (Macklin '64), Jon-Paul McGovern, Jonathan Douglas, Simon Ferry, Danny Ward (Timlin' 86); Billy Paynter Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Michael Timlin, Lee Peacock, Lloyd Macklin, Alex Henshall, Nathan Thompson, Lecsinel Jean-Francois Referee: Mr A Taylor Attendance: The key moments from the match are as follows.... 2pm - Many of the 6,000 Town fans who have made the trip start to fill up the Putney Stand behind the goal and welcome the players out of the changing room for their warm up. Loanees Danny Ward and Ben Hutchinson prepare to start for Swindon alongside lone striker Billy Paynter. The atmosphere is slowly building ahead of what promises to be a pulsating cup tie. 2.10pm - The Robins will stick with their all-blue kit for today's tie. After a winning 'debut' at Wrexham in the last round of the  competition, could the strip be a lucky omen for today's encounter? 2.40pm - The Town starting line-up make their way back down the tunnel to prepare for kick-off. Only the substitutes remain on the pitch as Town's vocal following start to build the atmosphere ahead of the match. 2.55pm - The teams walk out onto the pitch into what is fast becoming an electric atmosphere. Obligatory hand-shakes are all that will follow before it's show time. 3pm - The match kicks off with Town shooting towards their travelling fans in The Putney End. 3.02pm - After a bright start from Town, the hosts break quickly, and Riise sets up Zamora, who shoots narrowly wide from 10 yards out. 3.06pm - Gordon Greer's interception breaks to Clint Dempsey who's shot is deflected wide for a corner. 3.08pm - Ben Hutchinson spreads the ball wide to Alan Sheehan, and the Irishman's cross is met by Danny Ward, but it loops harmlessly into Schwarzer's arms in the Fulham goal. 3.12pm - A long ball forward from Cuthbert is flicked into Simon Ferry's path by lone front man Paynter, but the midfielder can only shoot over from the edge of the box. Town's best chance thus far in fairly evenly contested affair. 3.16pm - GOAL! Stephen Kelly chips the ball through to Bobby Zamora who holds off the challenge of Greer, and chips the ball calmly over Lucas from just inside the penalty box. 3.17pm - JP McGovern fizzes in a cross from the right, but Paynter can only direct it over from 12 yards out. 3.19pm - Good play by Danny Ward sets up Hutchinson on the edge of the box, but the Celtic loanee can only shoot straight at Schwarzer from 10 yards out when he should have done better. The 'keeper fumbles the shot, but claims the loose ball before Simon Ferry can follow up for Town. 3.23pm - JP McGovern crosses deep towards Kevin Amankwaah, who wins the header but can't work Schwarzer who watches it go wide of his post. 3.26pm - A neat period of passing from Town threatens something special, but when the ball breaks to McGovern, his shot is closer to the scoreboard than the back of the net.  3.29pm - Paul Konchesky is set free down the left, and he crosses across the six yard box, but David Lucas makes a smart claim at the feet of Andrew Johnson. 3.38pm - Hutchinson chips the ball forward to Paynter, who chests it down, and volleys narrowly over from the edge of the box. 3.42pm - Paynter slips it through to Douglas, who nearly finds space for a shot from close range, but is crowded out and the ball is cleared. 3.44pm - Town switch off at a Fulham corner, and Greening crosses for Zamora who heads over from close range when he should have done better. A let off for Town. 3.45pm - Johnson takes on Sheehan, and takes a snap shot from the edge of the box which flashes narrowly wide. HALF-TIME: Fulham 1 Town 0 4pm - The second half kicks off. 4.02pm - The ball loops over Scott Cuthbert's head, but Johnson can't take it down and it trickles through to Lucas when the front man would have been clear. 4.05pm - Ferry breaks forward and slips the ball through to Hutchinson, who cuts inside nicely, but shoots tamely at Schwarzer. 4.11pm - Riise's near post corner is met by Zamora, but he heads wide of Lucas' goal. 4.13pm - Paynter is clattered into by Chris Smalling, and Alan Sheehan curls the free kick towards goal, but Schwarzer catches easily. 4.16pm - Town fans come alive as the pressure on the Fulham goal starts to mount... 4.18pm - A swift break from Fulham sees the ball break to Johnson, but his shoots straight at Lucas. 4.19pm - PENALTY for Fulham, as Lucas brings down Johnson. The Town 'keeper is booked. 4.20pm- SAVED! Lucas redeems himself as he gets in behind Johnson's tame spot-kick to keep Town in the game. 4.21pm - SUBSTITUTION: Ben Hutchinson is replaced by Lloyd Macklin. 4.28pm - McGovern's corner is cleared to Sheehan on the edge of the box who'se powerful shot hits Paynter inside the box and rolls wide. 4.33pm - Johnson steals a yard on Cuthbert, and hits the bouncing ball over Lucas' bar. 4.34pm - Dempsey finds a yard of space and shoots speculatively from 25 yards, but Lucas watches it fly over the bar. 4.35pm - Wilson pushes Danny Ward up front as Town move to 4-4-2 for the last ten minutes. Is there one more chance left for The Robins? 4.38pm - Sheehan crosses well for Ward, but the youngster's header is easily dealt with by Schwarzer. 4.39pm - Johnson knocks it down for Riise, but he shoots well over from 10 yards out. 4.39pm - SUBSTITUTION: Zoltan Gera replaces Johnson for Fulham.  4.43pm - SUBSTITUTION: Michael Timlin replaces Danny Ward. FULL TIME Fulham 1 Town 0
    Data provided by Press Association