An equaliser from substitute Rob Scott secured Fulham a point at the end of a tempestuous London derby at Barnet this afternoon.
The Whites, buoyed by Mark Blake’s late penalty that rescued a share of the spoils from their promotion showdown against Wigan last weekend, began well at Underhill. Darren Freeman hit the post early on, but the Cottagers were punished for going to sleep at a set piece as Lee Hodges headed Alan Mullery’s side in front on thirteen minutes from a free kick by Paul Wilson. Fulham forced their way level just before the half hour mark when Richard Carpenter’s deflected shot fell kindly for Mike Conroy to slot home from five yards out.
But Fulham’s top scorer was carried off injured and Barnet regained the lead in controversial circumstances when referee Uriah Rennie, who blew up for fifty free-kicks in what became a stop-start contest, awarded a penalty for a foul on Linvoy Primus by Simon Stewart, who was making his first start for Fulham. Wilson sent Mark Walton the wrong way from the penalty spot to the delight of the home fans.
Fulham dug deep and equalised for the second time midway through the second half. The goal owed everything to persistence of Darren Freeman who chased a lost cause into the Barnet area, beating two defenders to the ball and hooking a cross in that was chested home by a delighted Scott. The visitors had chances to win the game after that but couldn’t take them and were indebted to Walton for preserving a share of the spoils after the goalkeeper made a magnificent save to deny Jamie Ndah at the death.
BARNET: Harrison; Primus, Gale, Stockley; Ford, Simpson, Wilson, Hodges, Campbell (Hardyman 88); Tomlinson, Ndah. Subs (not used): Pardew, Codner.
GOALS: Hodges (13), Wilson (pen 61).
FULHAM: Walton; Thomas, Watson, Blake, Stewart; Cusack, Cockerill (Lawrence 88), Carpenter, Morgan; Conroy (Scott 46), Freeman (Brooker 80).
BOOKED: Watson, Stewart, Blake.
GOALS: Conroy (29), Scott (67).
REFEREE: Uriah Rennie.