Football: There was no New Year’s Day hangover for Fulham as the London side picked up just their second win on the road this season in yesterday’s early kick-off.
Despite being kept awake by a New Year’s Eve firework display outside the team’s Birmingham city centre hotel, Martin Jol’s side secured a valuable three points to ease recent relegation worries.
“(There were) fireworks yesterday at 12 o’clock in front of my hotel but to have a win under our belt the next day — January 1 — it’s fantastic,” Cottagers boss Martin Jol beamed.
“It was annoying, you know. I said that we need a quiet hotel and then it was unbelievable — 2,000 people in front of my window. But it was the best fireworks I’ve seen so it was worthwhile.”
Man of the Match Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring for the away side, becoming just the second player to ever score a Premier League for goal for Fulham at The Hawthorns, with Andrew Cole being the other in a 1-1 draw in September 2004.
“I don’t want to talk about him (Berbatov) all the time because other players will probably get annoyed,” said Jol.
“If you don’t get the results they will pick on him. If you get the results they will say he is fantastic, but I am very happy he is playing for us.”
The Bulgarian’s goal was cancelled out minutes after the restart when on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku tapped into an empty net.
The Baggies then had a chance to take the lead when former Fulham man Zoltan Gera saw a great chance come back off the upright with Chris Brunt firing the rebound over the bar.
Steve Clarke’s side would rue the miss as Alexander Kacaniklic secured all three points for the Cottagers in their first win at The Hawthorns in seven Premier League encounters.
“It’s three points today that we have thrown away,” claimed a frustrated Steve Clarke. “I’ve asked the players to claw that somewhere over the course of the season and we’ll just keep working from game to game to try and get as many points as we can.”