Frank Stubbs, Fans' Diarist, September 28, 2009
Supporting After a season that has already seen us lose two games where our performance deserved a point at the very least, I will take three from a game that overall we didn't deserve to win thank you very much! If we win our game in hand at home to Bolton we are only three points from the very top of the league. This having already gone away to four of last season's top six clubs, excluding us of course. I think I would have taken that if offered before a ball was kicked.
Saturday was always going to be a great day off the pitch. Taking three points from the game made it an awesome one.
On a glorious sunny day, 250 of us Gooners were to see our great capital city from arguably the best vantage point of all, a boat on the river Thames. Leaving Westminster Pier at lunchtime under the shadows of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, on our boat aptly named 'Pride of London' we headed east initially before turning round as we approached Greenwich and heading west right through the very heart of the city and finally on to Putney Pier to join the rest of the Gooners enjoying the pre-match refreshment on the banks of the river.
The sights, sounds, onlookers, onboard company, refreshment and singing throughout made it a quite superb few hours and had us all in fine spirits as we made our way into Craven Cottage.
The scene was so so similar just 12 months ago where our 1-0 defeat totally ruined what had also been a fine day. Something deep down inside me however, made me think this year was going to be different.
To be fair, it wasn't down to a lack of ability or confidence from our hosts, in fact they played very well. Vito Mannone however, must have felt on top of the world on Saturday night, his fine performance keeping Fulham at bay on a number of occasions.
I always felt we could eventually break Fulham down, if on the break or from a set piece, as long as we kept the game to 0-0 and this despite our usual passing fluidity not being apparent at times.
Cesc's great pass and RVP's magnificent first touch and finish and five-odd thousand Gooners went crazy behind the very goal where the ball nestled in the corner.
We rarely win games it seems, where the opposition have proved very difficult to overcome on the day and overall created more clear openings than ourselves. We do win games where we haven't necessarily been at our best, especially at home but often even in those situations we have been considerably better than our opponent.
Make no bones about it, Fulham played well on Saturday, yet we stuck at it, defended admirably and looked dangerous on the break. We snatched a 1-0 win, that'll definitely do for me on for many of us Gooners, what was a day to remember all-round.
On Sunday us Maidstone lot held our annual Clay Pigeon Shoot for charity and with the weather still glorious it proved a fine few hours. Much of the discussion as we shot - and to be fair missed most of the clays - surrounded our Carling Cup draw against Liverpool. A very, very difficult tie of course but one that will be a huge test and hopefully highly educational for our younger talent.
Another trophy is on the agenda first however, as we take on Olympiacos tomorrow night and aim to build on the hard-fought three points we snatched late on out in Liege.
Twirl your scarves and make some noise!
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