Paul Bracewell’s Fulham were held to a dour draw at promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion on Bank Holiday Monday.
Defences were on top throughout at the Hawthorns, with Fulham’s holding firm despite the disruption of an injury to Saturday’s goalscoring hero Alan Neilson midway through the first half. Chances were few and far between with the best of them falling to Albion in the first period, but strikers Fabian de Freitas and Lee Hughes were both thwarted by Maik Taylor in the visiting goal.
Two similar systems largely cancelled each other out and Fulham’s lack of threat in the final third showed in Bracewell substituting both of his strikers before the end of this disappointing spectacle. Lee Clark and Sean Davis went close with strikes from range, but substitute Barry Hayles missed the Cottagers’ clearest opening – stabbing tamely at Alan Miller after Steve Hayward had opened up the Albion defence with a lovely through ball.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (5-3-2): Miller; Carbon, Burgess, Gabbidon, Raven, van Blerk; Flynn, Sneekes, Maresca (Evans 65); Hughes, de Freitas (Oliver 65). Subs (not used): Whitehead, Potter.
BOOKED: Carbon, van Blerk.
FULHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Finnan, Neilson (Brevett 24), Melville, Symons, Coleman; Davis, Hayward, Clark; Horsfield (Hayles 57), Peschisolido (Trollope 84). Subs (not used): Hahnemann, Morgan.
REFEREE: Matt Messias (York).