After the Championship’s October cull of managers, Fulham, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers have been thriving anew while Blackpool continued to struggle.
Lee Clark oversaw a small change of fortune for the bottom club, although when they led 2-0 inside 25 minutes even greater things seemed possible.
In a dramatic few minutes just before half-time, however, they had captain Tony McMahon sent off and conceded a goal to Scott Parker, after which it was only ever a question of hanging on. Unsurprisingly the home side dominated the second half, without managing more than an equaliser by Bryan Ruiz. It left Kit Symons’s side a point above the relegation places with Blackpool still nine points behind them.
In only the second minute the burly, much travelled striker Ishmael Miller chested down a long cross from Donervon Daniels and was allowed to turn and poke a low shot past Marcus Bettinelli.
After 25 minutes Miller received even less opposition as he ambled to the byline and prodded over a low cross for Jacob Murphy to tap in. But the Thamesside tide turned in the four minutes before half-time when McMahon was dismissed for appearing to lash out at Hugo Rodallega,
Symons felt the first half was the poorest Fulham had played since he took charge of the first team and that against ten men they should have gone on to win the game.
"The goalkeeper had an inspired game but we had enough quality to have taken some more chances," he said.
His former Fulham team-mate Clark was upset with his captain McMahon for a loss of discipline. "He's an experienced player and we can't get involved in stuff like that.
"We were in control of the game and it was a killer for us. Tony had a lash out and I don't know if he made contact but it probably left the referee with no option.
"But in the second half my lads were heroes."Reuse content