Football: Symons the saviour

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The Independent Online
Millwall 0

Fulham 1

Symons 89

Attendance: 11,876

ONE PLAYER sent off, eight others booked - including six from the home side - the referee escorted off at half-time and full-time and a torrent of abuse pouring down from the stands. It could only be Millwall.

Forget the fact that there was only one goal at the New Den yesterday, scored by Fulham's Welsh international defender Kit Symons with two minutes left. There were enough incidents to fill a dozen notebooks.

Fortunately, despite the atmosphere of seething hostility, there was no repeat of the antics that marred the home game against Manchester City recently. Three spectators were evicted for invading the pitch, but the only expulsion that mattered was that of Jamie Stuart, the Millwall defender, for two yellow cards.

One had to feel sympathy for Millwall as their 10 men defended resolutely in the second half and almost earned a point until Symons headed home Steve Hayward's cross.

The Millwall manager Keith Stevens could not understand the severity of Mr Wolstenholme. "The bookings suggest there was a war out there but there was nothing vicious. "

Kevin Keegan, for whom Paul Peschisolido was a constant threat up front and Symons and Chris Coleman were rock solid at the back, described the atmosphere as "intimidating".

"It's a passionate place to come," said the Fulham boss, whose entertaining team tried to play the ball to feet but found it difficult in the swirling conditions. "There were a lot of tackles flying around but that's football. It wasn't the best game I've seen in this division. It was a day for grinding out a result."

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