Paul Holland punished a goalkeeping error from Mark Walton as Chesterfield took a point from Craven Cottage this afternoon to continue Ray Wilkins’ underwhelming start as new Fulham manager.
The Spireities earned a share of the spoils after their hosts failed to extend a lead given to them by Mark Blake’s first goal of the season. John Duncan’s side were level six minutes after the break when Walton charged from his line to come and collect a cross from Marcus Ebdon but was beaten by the ball by midfielder Holland, who headed into the empty net to the delight of the travelling Chesterfield fans.
Wilkins has now only one two of his seven matches since being drafted in alongside Kevin Keegan to replace Micky Adams by Mohamed Al-Fayed. Fulham dominated this contest from start to finish but couldn’t make their dominance pay on the scoreboard. They led at half-time through Blake’s emphatic header from Steve Hayward’s free-kick, but £1m striker Paul Peschisolido, his partner Paul Moody and Paul Bracewell spurned good chances to put the Whites further in front before Holland’s headed equaliser.
Chesterfield held on to earn a well-deserved point, which left Wilkins, who elected not to introduce last season’s top scorer Mike Conroy from the bench, insisting the ‘wins would come’ in due course.
FULHAM: Walton; Morgan, Blake, Lawrence; Smith, Herrera, Bracewell, Carpenter, Hayward; Moody, Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Watson, Cockerill, Conroy.
GOAL: Blake (39).
CHESTERFIELD: Gayle; Breckin, Williams, Jules; Hewitt, Edbon, Holland, Perkins, Beaumont; Wilkinson (Howard 85), Willis. Subs (not used): Rogers, Garvey.
BOOKED: Hewitt, Perkins.
GOAL: Holland (51).
REFEREE: Chris Foy (Merseyside).