Ipswich Town 2-1 Fulham
What’s the kind phrase? A work in progress?
Fulham boss Felix Magath reckoned his new project with emphasis on youth would take time – he’s going to need it.
This looked a Whites side set up to pass well, but short of guile, thrust and not a little nervous.
Tim Hoogland netted a late consolation, and after that Moussa Dembele came closest when he stabbed into the chest of Ipswich keeper from point-blank range. But £11million Ross McCormack got nil service from anyone in white and was ignominiously subbed off in the second half.
“What a waste of money,” taunted Ipswich fans in unison. We’ll see, but it was difficult to see from this showing another 27 goals like the Scot hit last season.
Alongside, McCormack, nine debutants lined up and one of those, Jesse Joronen, was in demand just four minutes later to tip over a header from Christophe Berra after he connected with a curling cross from Tyrone Mings.
Joronen was full length again to watch a dipping effort from Cole Skuse graze the bar.
Before Hoogland's goal, Dembele stabbed the ball back into the grateful chest of Dean Gerken rather than the net.
A half-decent drive from Chris David was fumbled by the Ipswich keeper, and the alert Dembele could only prod against the atoning custodian who spread himself to save.
Then the Ipswich goal that had been half-threatened since the start.
Daryl Murphy should have been pocketed by Shaun Hutchinson, but was he far too easily outpaced down the right for Murphy to fire a rising shot past Joronen at his near post.
Hutchinson made partial amends when he blocked sub David McGoldrick’s shot seconds after the restart.
A Parker run straight after, and a low cross that just evaded Dembele, saw new boy Kostas Stafylidis picking up the scraps and firing a sliver over the bar.
But it almost felt like 2-0 when McCormack was replaced by Cauley Woodrow.
The real coffin nail got banged in seconds later, and as Get West London feared, it came from McGoldrick.
Hutchinson was too easily dispossessed in the right hand corner, and the subsequent cross caused confusion.
The ball spun out to the waiting McGoldrick on the edge of the box who fired low and left and beyond the charging Joronen.
OK, it’s the first game, but there was a curious look to the side. Hoogland's goal via a deflection and it heralded a late Fulham rally, but far too late.
David looked lively in the first half, but had to make way for Thomas Eisfeld at half time, while Cameron Burgess, Emerson Hyndman and poor Hutchinson got a baptism of fire in rural Suffolk
Fulham, 4-1-3-2: Joronen; Hoogland, Bodurov, Hutchinson (Roberts 74), Stafylidis; Burgess; David (Eisfeld 46), Hyndman, Parker, McCormack (Woodrow 57), Dembele; subs not used: Bettinelli, Rodallega, Fotheringham, Burn