Fulham 1 Sunderland 0

Last updated : 04 March 2003 By Footymad Previewer

It was hard luck on the Black Cats, who had the best of the chances, especially in the second half, but failed to convert any of them.

A ragged first half wasn't short of end to end stuff, but there were only two clear cut chances for either side.

On 15 minutes Junichi Inamoto chased a lost cause down the right but somehow managed to pull the ball back for Steed Malbranque to bring a fine save out of Thomas Sorensen. The rebound fell to Saha only eight yards out, but this time the legs of Jody Craddock blocked the goalbound effort.

Five minutes later Stephen Wright played the perfect through ball to Tore Andre Flo and although the striker delicately lifted the ball over the keeper the chance drifted inches wide of the far post.

Both sides had the ball in the box on numerous occasions but the mood of the scoreless half was summed up when the ball hit Kevin Phillips five yards out from a Sunderland corner, but bounced harmlessly into the arms of Maik Taylor.

Two minutes after half time the visitors squandered a golden opportunity.

From ten yards out Craddock brought an instinctive stop from the keeper, but from half that distance Gavin McCann hooked the rebound wide under pressure from Andy Melville.

Kevin Kilbane had another opportunity on 59 minutes when he tried to hook home from an acute angle only to see his effort cleared off the line by a diving Martin Djetou, with Taylor beaten.

Then straight after Matthew Piper headed goalwards; Taylor parried, but Flo couldn't get enough power on the bouncing ball to make his shot count.

The tall striker had an even better chance on 71 minutes when he was allowed a free header from Jason McAteer's free-kick only to nod wide from four yards.

In a rare chance at the other end, Andrejs Stolcers' low cross just missed the outstretched legs of sub Elvis Hammond.

When the Latvian crossed for the second time he unerringly picked out Saha to condemn the luckless Black Cats to yet another defeat.