Substitute Paul Trollope rescued a point with a late strike as Fulham fought back to draw 1-1 with Walsall at Craven Cottage this evening.

The Welsh international improvised a volleyed finish from seven yards out after an old-fashioned goalmouth scramble ended with Mark Blake flicking a header into his path as Walsall struggled to clear Matt Brazier’s floated free-kick. Trollope’s predatory strike with his weaker right foot came just ten minutes after he had stepped off the bench to replace Wayne Collins with Fulham’s promotion hopes threatened by Roger Boli’s brilliantly taken breakaway goal after half an hour.

Walsall punished a poor piece of play from Neil Smith as the midfielder dwelt on the ball ten yards inside his own half after the Midlanders had a cleared a Fulham set piece. Didier Tholot dispossessed Smith and led a rapid counter-attack before playing in Boli on the stretch, who fired his twelfth goal of the season between a helpless Maik Taylor and the Fulham goalkeeper’s near post.

Jan Sorenson’s side were so close to claiming a valuable victory with Jimmy Walker’s heroics in goal denying Paul Moody, Paul Peschisolido and Tony Thorpe during the second half and the visitors looking threatening on the counter-attack. Trollope’s third goal of the season proved priceless for Ray Wilkins – and the much-maligned midfielder sprinted to the Stevenage Road stand pointing to the Fulham badge on his shirt.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Brazier, Blake, Coleman; Bracewell, Smith, Beardsley, W. Collins (Trollope 75); Moody (Thorpe 69), Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Hayward.

BOOKED: Coleman.

GOAL: Trollope (87).

WALSALL (5-3-2): Walker; Evans, Viveash, Mountfield, Ryder, Marsh; Eydelie, Porter, Peron; Boli (Ricketts 82), Tholot (Hodge 85). Subs (not used): Roper.

BOOKED: Walker.

GOAL: Boli (30).

REFEREE: Alan Butler (Sutton-in-Ashfield).