Fulham battled for a rare away point as the set aside the sending off of captain Luis Boa Morte before half time to hold West Bromwich Albion in a dour draw at the Hawthorn’s this afternoon.
The Portuguese winger was dismissed for a second bookable offence after lunging at Steve Watson in first half stoppage time but Chris Coleman quickly reorganised to a 4-4-1-1 formation and the home side failed to break down his disciplined defence. The Londoners were delighted to leave with only their third away point in eight games given the nature of their backs to the wall showing.
West Brom dominated but couldn’t put Fulham under pressure for prolonged periods. The Baggies were first to threaten when Diomansy Kamara’s powerful drive was palmed away by Mark Crossley but escaped when Steve Bennett decided that Curtis Davies’ backpass was not deliberate after Thomas Kuszczak handled under pressure from the in-form Brian McBride. The industrious Jonathan Greening prevented Collins John from surging through on goal with an excellent intervention.
Kanu did find the net midway through the first period but he had clearly strayed offside before heading in Kamara’s cross. The hosts had much more of play following Boa Morte’s sending but still struggling for penetration inside the Fulham box. Crossley did well to keep out a Greening strike after the former Manchester United midfielder had latched onto a lovely ball from Kanu and Alain Goma got in the way of another Greening effort after excellent approach play from Nathan Ellington and Paul Robinson.
Former Fulham striker Geoff Horsfield, a late replaced for Kanu after the Nigerian limped off injured, almost won it late on for Albion but Crossley clawed away his shot on the turn.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Kuszczak; Watson, C. Davies, Clement, Robinson; Greening (Earnshaw 82), Wallwork, Inamoto, Kamara (Carter 67); Kanu (Horsfield 72), Ellington. Subs (not used): Hoult, Albrechtsen.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Crossley; Volz (Knight 70), Rosenior, Goma, Bocanegra; Diop, Malbranque, Radzinski, Boa Morte; McBride (Helguson 83), John (Legwinski 61). Subs (not used): Warner, Pearce.
BOOKED: Boa Morte, McBride, Diop.
SENT OFF: Boa Morte.
REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Kent)