Davis adds gloss to colour parade

Fulham 2 Charlton Athletic 0

A game almost as colourful as the frighteningly garish shirt sported by Mohamed Al Fayed. Never mind the sunshine, his attire alone brought out the shades. But the Fulham chairman witnessed an impressive victory, against fiercely competitive opponents, which drew his team level on points with Charlton and just about ended the latter's diminishing hopes of qualifying for the Champions' League even if their manager, Alan Curbishley, was raging against such suggestions afterwards.

A game almost as colourful as the frighteningly garish shirt sported by Mohamed Al Fayed. Never mind the sunshine, his attire alone brought out the shades. But the Fulham chairman witnessed an impressive victory, against fiercely competitive opponents, which drew his team level on points with Charlton and just about ended the latter's diminishing hopes of qualifying for the Champions' League even if their manager, Alan Curbishley, was raging against such suggestions afterwards.

It was not all he raged about. Curbishley tore into the sloppy performance of referee Matt Messias and the state of the "appalling" Loftus Road pitch. In both cases he was not wrong. At least it will be the last time his side play Fulham there. Next season it's back to Craven Cottage, of course. "Thank God," said Curbishley.

He probably had a few more blasphemies for Messias. "It was a big game today," he said. "and he was poor. I don't think he was ever going to give us anything. I cannot quite believe we have lost."

Curbishley's main complaint was over two rejected penalty appeals. For the first, in particular, when Martin Djetou handled a Luke Young cross, his case was strong. Curbishley, who implied his report on the referee would be brutal, also revealed that he had been telephoned by Bolton's manager, Sam Allardyce - no shrinking violet - and castigated for being "too nice" to referees. He appears to have taken the advice on board.

His opposite number, Chris Coleman, has also being doling out advice of late. He dropped his two young hopefuls Sean Davis and Zat Knight for breaking a pre-match curfew before the encounter with Blackburn Rovers. The former came back, as a half-time substitute, to score a spectacular volley from distance to seal the match.

"They overstepped the mark, they got their punishment," Coleman said. "But he [Davis] shut me up and I'm glad. You could definitely see he was trying to prove a point." And he did so by securing the points, although it was the performances of Fulham's goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar, and the aggressively speedy Luis Boa Morte which caught the eye.

Inside the first 10 seconds the pace of Fulham's strikers was causing alarm. Collins John almost burst through, and then Boa Morte shot narrowly over from distance. In between, Van der Sar made a terrific double save from Claus Jensen before the pitch defeated Hermann Hreidarsson, the ball bouncing wildly over his foot, and Boa Morte sprinted away. He was upended by Dean Kiely and Steed Malbranque calmly scored the penalty. The Frenchman almost added a second after turning inside, but was brilliantly blocked by Kiely.

Charlton then had their two penalty appeals turned down - the second when Jason Euell, restored as a striker, was grappled by Djetou. It was less convincing than the handball. But the visitors appeared to be wresting further control with shots by Graham Stuart and Jensen, while Van der Sar robbed Carlton Cole.

In the second half it was Boa Morte's turn to steal the ball inside Charlton's half, and he fed Davis, who turned a poor first touch, courtesy of the hard pitch, to his advantage to volley right-footed beyond Kiely from 25 yards. Davis, energised, forced another fine stop from Kiely before Euell, spiky throughout, should have pulled a goal back. But his free header, from a corner, thumped woefully wide.

It was a bad miss. As was another by Jonathan Fortune, who was too deliberate with a volley from six yards. Nevertheless Van der Sar's save was instinctively impressive.

One final chance fell to Euell, but his shot looped weakly over. "We have lost to a penalty and a wonder strike," said Curbishley, his disappointment sharpened not just by his sense of grievance but by a realisation that Charlton are in danger, again, of sliding meekly into the season's end. For Coleman's team, still in contention for European competition themselves, the weeks ahead are brighter.

Fulham 2 Charlton Athletic 0
Malbranque pen 18, Davis 64

Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 16,585

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin