Bobby Zamora spared Fulham’s blushes on his return to first-team action, scoring the equaliser as the Whites drew their second pre-season friendly at Bournemouth this afternoon.
A stronger looking side than the one that eased past Brentford on Wednesday went behind after ten minutes at Dean Court after a neat move saw Liam Feeney find Anton Robinson, whose venomous strike from distance gave David Stockdale no chance. Brede Hangeland had already blocked a shot from Feeney and Eddie Howe’s side will have few problems adapting to life in League One on this impressive showing.
Fulham levelled in controversial circumstances after 26 minutes. Fredrik Stoor, starting again at right back as John Panstil recovers from Ghana’s World Cup exertions, floated a hopeful ball into the penalty area which Shawn Jalal fumbled under pressure from Zamora, who tapped home the equaliser. The goal stood, despite protestations from the home defence that Zamora may have fouled the goalkeeper. The Cherries goalkeeper had already saved well from Zoltan Gera and repeated the feat just before the break gathering well as the Hungarian tried his luck from distance.
Eddie Johnson, who replaced Zamora at half time, looked spritly, but couldn’t make the most of the opportunities that came his way. He fluffed a chance to make an immediate impact shooting straight at the keeper after his pace had created some space and then failed to convert a one-on-one after getting the better of a dubious offside call.
The Iraqi-born custodian had an excellent afternoon and was equal to the task when Gera bore down on goal, having latched onto a good ball from Johnson. He even made a top save from David Elm as the clock ticked down.
Bournemouth had their chances too. Danny Hollands spurned a great opportunity to restore the hosts’ lead when his miskicked after a fine run and cross from substitute Harry Arter before Chris Baird had to clear a header from Mitchell Nelson off the goaline after slack marking at a corner.
BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Jalal; Purches (Bradbury 45), Garry (Stephenson 72), Pearce, Cummings; McQuoid (Stockley 45), Bartley (Hollands 45), Robinson, Feeney (Nelson 63); Pitman (Partington 45), Symes (Arter, 14; Ings 60; Strugnell 80).
GOAL: Robinson (10).
FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Stockdale, Stoor (Kelly 60), Konchesky (Smith 83), Hughes, Hangeland (Marsh-Brown 83); Baird, Murphy (Greening 45), Duff (Riise 60), Davies (Saunders 74); Gera (Elm 74); Zamora (E. Johnson 45).
GOAL: Zamora (26).
REFEREE: Roger East (Salisbury).