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Late Donnelly leveller pinches point for U21s

Liam Donnelly’s last-gasp equaliser stole a point for Fulham’s Under 21s as showed great spirit to deny West Brom all three points at the Lamb Ground in Tamworth this evening.

A young Whites side looked destined for defeat after Albion took the lead two minutes into the second half through a fine header from full-back Robbie McCourt. The hosts appeared to have done more than enough to secure the victory and could have put the game beyond Peter Grant’s team but Samir Nabi failed to hit the target after being found by an excellent cross from Jonathan Leko.

Albion were made to rue that miss when Fulham found an equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game. Donnelly, in his first start for the Under 21s since he returned from a loan spell at Crawley, poked home from just two yards out after a scramble in front of goal. The home side protested that goalkeeper Jack Rose had been fouled in the build-up to goal, but Fulham’s equaliser was allowed to stand and Rose was sent off for continuing his complaints after the final whistle.

The game was also notable for the early than expected return to action of midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, who has been sidelined since injuring his knee in the draw at MK Dons in November. The former Manchester United man came through 59 minutes unscathed, whilst England youth international Dennis Adeniran delivered a composed display on his first start for the under 21s. Fulham’s best chances fell to Stephen Humphrys, who saw a first half header well held by Rose, and Josh Smile, who had a speculative second half strike from range.

WEST BROM U21s: Rose; Ezewele, Howkins, Barbir, McCourt; Elbouzedi (Nabi 71′), Sweeney, Nabi, Field; Ward (Edwards 78′), Leko. Subs (not used): Ross, Scrivens, Smith.

FULHAM U21s: Norman; Sheckleford, Elworthy, Donnelly, Pino; Tunnicliffe (Kwietniewski 59), Smile; de la Torre, Adeniran (Thorsteinsson 73), Redford; Humphrys. Subs (not used): Dawber, Walker, Davies.

Fulham recall Donnelly

Fulham have recalled defender Liam Donnelly from his loan spell at League Two side Crawley Town.

The 19-year-old Northern Ireland international has made 12 appearances for the Reds and was due to remain with the West Sussex club until 2 January.

However, the Northern Ireland U21 captain has not made an appearance for the Reds since their 3-0 cup defeat to Southend United at the start of the month, partly due to international duty.

Yates said: “Liam has done a good job for us and been a model pro during his time at Crawley.

“We’d like to thank him for his services and wish him all the best for the future.”

Evans, Donnelly and O’Halloran sign new Fulham contracts

Three of Fulham’s brightest young stars have extended their contracts at Craven Cottage, the club have confirmed this morning.

Defender Liam Donnelly and midfielders Jordan Evans and Dean O’Halloran have all signed new deals to keep them at Fulham after their current contracts were due to expire this summer. Donnelly, who was named on the first team substitutes’ bench twice last season, has extended his contract for another year and Evans, a highly rated left-sided Welsh youth international, has also signed a one-year deal. O’Halloran, whose performances caught the eye as the Under-18 side reached the FA Youth Cup final in 2014, has agreed a new two-year contract.

U18s edge out Everton

Fulham’s U18s made it two wins out of two in the U18 Premier League Elite Group with an impressive win at Everton on Saturday morning.

Steve Wigley’s side had kicked off the second phase of the competition with a five-goal thumping of Southampton and they were quickly into their stride at Finch Farm. Promising defender Liam Donnelly, capped by the Northern Ireland under-21 side at the age of sixteen, scored his first goal for Fulham with a firm header from a free-kick and striker Mousa Dembele doubled the lead from the penalty after after Patrick Roberts’ solo run was ended by a crude tackle inside the box.

The home side, who came through a tough FA Youth Cup replay in midweek, improved after the break and when George Waring finished a flowing move down the right to halve Everton’s arrears with a quarter of an hour to play, it made for a tense finish. Fulham defended diligently, however, and held on for all three points. Wigley’s boys will look to continue their 100% start to the Elite Group phase at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday morning.