Paul Peschisolido scored on his Fulham debut to show exactly why Ray Wilkins had parted with a £1m to bring him to Craven Cottage – but second-placed Northampton Town fought back to earn a share of the spoils in an entertaining clash this afternoon.
The Canadian international, who became Fulham’s record signing when he completed a move from West Bromwich Albion earlier this week, showed his predatory instincts in firing the home side in front two minutes before half time. Peschisolido pounced after the Cobblers had failed to clear Robbie Herrera’s corner – volleying into the bottom corner after Steve Hayward’s cross had caused chaos amongst the visiting defence.
But Fulham were pegged back five minutes into the second period. Mark Walton came a long way to punch clear a cross from David Brightwell and then was retreated as John Gayle’s header hit the crossbar. The Fulham goalkeeper was unfortunate to see the ball ricochet off his body into the net.
Fulham’s rhythm was disrupted when Ian Selley, signed earlier this month from Arsenal for £500,000, was stretchered off shortly after Northampton’s equaliser with a suspected broken leg. The home side couldn’t force a winner despite last pressure and Wilkins, brought in to spark a push for a second successive promotion, has now only won two of his last eight league matches.
FULHAM: Walton; Morgan, Cullip, Lawrence; Smith, Herrera (Watson 61), Bracewell, Selley, Hayward; Moody, Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Scott.
GOAL: Peschisolido (43).
NORTHAMPTON TOWN: Woodman; Warburton (Gibb 19), Sampson, Frain, Potter (Hunt 74); Hunter, Clarkson, Peer, Brightwell; Gayle, Seal (Heggs 83).
BOOKED: Brightwell, Hunter, Seal.
GOAL: Walton (o.g. 50).
REFEREE: Mick Fletcher (Worcestershire).