• Fulham Flashback

    Wakey Wakey!

    You're waking up with a little tingle of excitement this morning and it's not because you're off on holiday. It's the first away league game of the season, it's a short trip to London and it's the venue which hosted the away game of last season. You were either there and loved it, or you missed out and don't want to make the same mistake again.

    Picture: Paul Hazlewood

    Let's quickly set the scene.

    After two consecutive playoff appearances the Albion, under new boss Sami Hyypia, had become utterly dreadful. Performances were getting worse and it looked as though the Albion were sleepwalking towards League One. The atmosphere around the club was one of despondency. Match days were becoming ever more poisonous.

    Then all Albion fans' Christmas presents arrived early. First Hyypia resigned and then David Burke, a man who had overseen what had turned out to be a disastrous period of player recruitment, was relieved of his duties. Albion entered the Christmas programme in the bottom three and four points adrift of safety.

    Nathan Jones stepped into the hot seat, tasked with trying to keep things going whilst Tony Bloom tried to find a way of halting the revolving door that seemed to be spinning ever more quickly on the Albion's manager's office.

    First up was Reading at home on Boxing Day. The Albion were two goals behind early on. Glenn Murray, twice, of course. FFS. Somehow, the Albion dragged themselves back into the game and Inigo Calderon, the man for whom there are not enough superlatives in existence, scored the goal that earned Nathan Jones his first managerial point.

    Three days later, the Seagull army headed North for a night out in the big smoke. Hope was the word of the day, not expectation. What transpired over 90 soggy minutes in South-West London very possibly saved Albion's season. Nathan Jones inspired his team to a remarkable performance - stoic in defence and probing in attack.

    Picture: Paul Hazlewood

    The thousands of Albion fans amassed behind the goal enjoyed a late Christmas knees-up with their extended family. Ring of Fire became an unlikely anthem which would stick with the club for the remainder of the season.

    Adrian Colunga scored one of those oh-so-cool penalties that has the risk of looking oh-so-stupid if the 'keeper goes the right way, before Solly March sealed the win, finishing a fine team move.

    The win at Fulham was the first in a series of three consecutive away trips to the nation's capital, with the Albion then visiting Brentford in the FA Cup and Charlton in the league. All three games were won without conceding a goal. The worm had turned, and under new manager Chris Hughton the Albion had gained just enough momentum to keep them going and finish the season above the relegation dotted line.

    Thousands of Albion fans will be heading to Craven Cottage again today. It will be warmer, it will be drier and once again we've regained a long-lost spring in our step. The Summer transfer comings and goings are not yet finalised, but it is hard to imagine this season going the same way as last.

    If you need some warming up before you set off, watch the videos below. Have a great day!

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