Fulham failed to take their chances after dominating a London derby on Boxing Day at Craven Cottage – allowing Alan Curbishley’s Charlton Athletic to extend their unbeaten run in capital clashes to a club-record ten matches this afternoon.

It might have been better for the Addicks had Jason Euell not crashed a finish against the post after ridding Andy Melville of possession and going clean through on goal. The Charlton striker beat Edwin van der Sar when he took his effort early from twenty yards but couldn’t guide his effort on target. Fulham were fitful rather than fluent here, but an out-of-form Louis Saha will still rue his complete miskick when it seemed simpler to sidefoot past Dean Kiely from six yards out.

A fair lethargic first half suggested both sets of players might have enjoyed Christmas Day a little more than they should have, even though that was never likely to be the case. There was little to warm the fans on a chilly afternoon by the banks of the River Thames. Both bosses rang the changes with Curbishley dropping Jorge Costa for John Robertson and Jean Tigana leaving out both John Collins and Luis Boa Morte as Fulham looked to bounce back from their four-goal thrashing at White Hart Lane eleven days ago.

Steed Malbranque created the first real opening of an error-strewn contest when a lovely through ball sent Lee Clark scampering into the penalty. Kiely burst off his line to narrow the angle and managed to smother his shot. The Geordie midfielder’s match only last five more minutes before he succumbed to an ankle injury, which saw Boa Morte summoned from the bench earlier than expected.

Charlton had a couple of speculative shots with Claus Jensen dragging an effort wide from the edge of the area and Paul Konchesky firing over the bar when he found himself in a promising position in the area. Euell’s industriousness than embarrassed Melville, who had dilly dallied on the ball for far too long, but the experienced forward couldn’t curl his shot around van der Sar and inside the far post. That wasn’t the worst miss of the first half, with Saha somehow failing to finish off another magnificent Malbranque pass just before the interval.

The usually reliable van der Sar almost gifted Charlton the lead early in the second half. He made a routine take from Kevin Lisbie’s miscued cross far tougher than it should have been, managing to scramble the ball against his own crossbar and then reposition himself to claim the loose ball from the rebound without stepping over the line. The Dutch goalkeeper redeemed himself with an extraordinary save to keep out a half volley from Jensen, and then bravely blocked Euell’s effort from the rebound, taking a boot to the chest in the process.

Fulham’s threat had been minimal, with Sylvain Legwinski slashing wide from the edge of the area, before Kiely clawed away a Saha free-kick from 25 yards and Barry Hayles blasted into the side netting after a marauding run down the left wing a few minutes later. A dramatic finale – entirely out of keeping with this sleepy encounter – saw van der Sar deny Lisbie after the Charlton man surged into the Fulham box and then brilliantly thwart Robinson at full stretch before substitute Collins somehow shot just wide deep into stoppage time.

FULHAM (4-4-2): van der Sar; Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Goma; Davis, Legwinski (Collins 63), Malbranque, Clark (Boa Morte 12); Saha, Hayles. Subs (not used): Taylor, Ouaddoh, Stolcers.

BOOKED: Boa Morte, Hayles.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2):  Kiely; Fortune, Fish (Costa 45), C. Powell, Young; Parker (Bart-Williams 79), Stuart, Jensen, Konchesky (Robinson 74); Lisbie, Euell. Subs (not used): Roberts, Johansson.

BOOKED: Parker.

REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Kent).