Mark Clattenburg has had another decisive effect on match. At least, that's what Rovers supports will tell you after Balckburn's 3-2 loss at Craven Cottage. Fulham fans - as well as most who dispassionately watched the replay - will call Clattenburg's decision justifiable. After all, there is a point where fouls are so egregious that they can't be ignored, and when you ride a man into the ground while defending a corner kick, you're being to cavalier about referee's discretion. Even if it's the 89th minute. Even if the score is 2-2.
So it was that the whistle blew against Grant Hanley and Bobby Zamora was given a chance to give Fulham three. In blasting his spot kick past Paul Robinson just before regulation time ended, the substitute put the Cottagers on track for a 3-2 win, only their fourth victory of the season. It was the third lead of the match for the home team, with Damien Duff having given Fulham one goal leads in each half.
Both times, Blackburn equalized. Just before halftime, a Hanley shot went off Brede Hangeland's head and into Mark Schwarzer's net, sending the teams into half tied 1-1. In the second half, persistence from Jason Roberts saw the Blackburn striker flick a ball back from the byline for David Hoillett, the Canadian international volleying home from 15 yards out.
But a match that looked destined to be Fulham's 15th draw ended with the Cottagers getting full points. The win vaults Mark Hughes's side into 10th place, while Blackburn, in 14th place, is only two points above the drop.