Fulham’s goal drought (of the good type) continues – now Reed on


On the face of it, Fulham’s 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns on Tuesday was not a good result. The Cottagers really needed the win and all three points to preserve any realistic hope of an automatic promotion place.

The draw left them five points behind West Bromwich Albion with two games left.

Even if the Baggies did combust, it would be a red hot Brentford side who would be best poised to take advantage. Anthony Knockaert hit the bar but in the end, Fulham did not quite have enough depth on the bench to cause the shock, a fact Manager Scott Parker ruefully admitted post match.

But there is one cause for satisfaction for Parker.

Fulham have now gone four games without conceding a solitary goal. And given that the last goal conceded was in the first minute of their game at QPR, that makes it a total of 449 minutes without concession. (The club is estimating it at 483, perhaps including minutes added on for drinks breaks, injuries and substitutions.)

Amid all the media talk of where West Ham’s Declan Rice would be heading should the Hammers go down, few have commented on the club loyalty shown by Fulham left back Joe Bryan, who did not abandon the side when the ship sank last year.

For all the plaudits given to Ryan Sessegnon who has warmed the bench at White Hart Lane admirably this year, it was always Bryan who looked Fulham’s most talented player in the Premier League.

His 41 starts this season is equalled only by Ivan Cavaleiro, and coupled with the rejuvenation of Tim Ream, the Cottagers defence has looked absolutely unassailable of late.

But far from singling him out, one club writer thinks that another man entirely has been the stand out, defensive midfielder Harrison Reed, who is still technically on loan from Southampton.

“Reed’s form has been so strong since his return to the side, that he must surely now be in contention for Fulham’s Player of the Season.

“His most recent Man of the Match win is his fourth from six games and, if he were to claim the trophy, it would be a real statement of his quality considering he has only featured in 24 matches at the time of writing.”

The 25-year-old Worthing native has been bounced around the country by his parent club, with loan spells at Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers, before pitching up at Craven Cottage.

Injury has hampered his part in Fulham’s promotion push. He played in 13 of the first 16  games, before a calf injury ruled him out.  Returning for the festive season, he played four more league games over the Christmas period before the calf injury returned. 

The hiatus due to the coronvirus has been Reed’s ally in a footballing sense as he was able to return in time for Fulham’s first game back, that 0-2 loss to Brentford. He has started every game since.

With Reed in the side, Fulham have collected 46 points in his 24 appearances, compared to just 31 in the other 20 games.

Speaking before the side’s Saturday encounter with Sheffield Wednesday, Reed himself talked about the side’s recent frugality in front of their own net:

“It’s something that we pride ourselves on. We speak a lot before the game, and it’s the foundation we need to build our game on.

“If we keep a clean sheet, then we back ourselves to create chances and score, and that will obviously help us in getting three points in a lot of games.

“It’s something that we speak about as a unit all the time, in training we try and build those relationships, and it’s showing on the pitch at the moment.”

That’s a credit to us for the work we’re putting in, the work the coaching staff and Manager does with us on a daily basis, and it’s given us a good foundation to go on and win games.”


Sheffield Wednesday arrive in London on Saturday with anxiety kicking in. Though on 56 points, they could still be docked points after being charged with financial misconduct last November, and dragged into the relegation scrap.

The Owls won on their last visit here back in August 2017, thanks to a Steven Fletcher goal, but the last three matches between the sides have produced a win each and a draw.

That draw came at Hillsborough earlier this season, with Atdhe Nuhiu scoring in second half stoppage time to cancel out Tom Cairney’s first half opener.


The Owls lead the all time series by 32 wins to 27 with 17 draws.

With automatic promotion almost out of reach and the play-offs looming, you could forgive Parker for resting some talent, given the tough two games a week schedule they have been on.

Aleksander Mitrovic is unlikely to be one of them given he only just returned for the win over Cardiff. After his up and down season, but now mostly up, it’s very doubtful Harrison Reed would sit this one out quietly either!

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