Dempsey finds way to get boo boys off Hughes' back

Fulham 1 Birmingham City 1

Mark Hughes, the Fulham manager, appeared a man under pressure here yesterday before his team staged a second-half comeback to earn a point against Birmingham City courtesy of Clint Dempsey's header. The hosts were jeered off at the interval with some fans chanting "Hughes out", after they followed up last week's heavy defeat to Manchester City by falling behind to Sebastian Larsson's strike.

Sharing the spoils helps neither team, although Hughes will be the more relieved at avoiding the recriminations of defeat. "We're aware of where we are," he said. "The table is so packed, we're five points away from seventh so you can look at it that way. We'll be fine, we have too much quality and we just need to get a few players back."

Fulham have been offering supporters, for £99.99, a replica shirt to celebrate 10 consecutive years in the Premier League, although making it into a second decade is the primary concern following their recent results. Mohamed Al Fayed's visit to the Motspur Park training base on Tuesday highlighted the owner's concern over last season's Europa League finalists slipping into relegation trouble. Hughes has not been helped by injuries to his strikers. Andrew Johnson was the latest casualty when he suffered a hamstring problem in training after recovering from a knee problem that has kept him sidelined for much of the year. "We're missing key players and bringing people in with not a lot of game time but they are showing they want to be a part of it here," Hughes said.

Although they threatened in the early stages when Aaron Hughes met a corner and his effort was cleared off the line, the hosts were behind in the 20th minute from a move that started with Birmingham defending a corner.

The ball broke for Alexander Hleb and the Belarus midfielder surged forward past Hughes and Carlos Salcido and into the penalty box before picking out Larsson, unmarked, at the opposite side of the area. After taking a touch to control the ball, Larsson angled his finish into the bottom corner for his first of the season. "It was a terrific piece of play that we associate Alexander with," said Birmingham manager Alex McLeish.

It called for drastic action from Hughes, who took off Salcido and introduced John Pantsil for his first appearance since September. Pantsil, a crowd favourite who has spoken of his frustration at a lack of opportunities under Hughes, made an entrance more suitable for a rock star than a full-back, with his arms outstretched and eyes shut as he saluted the crowd. He was one of the dynamic figures in Fulham's revival after the interval.

Dempsey levelled in the 53rd minute. Simon Davies' corner was met by Zoltan Gera's header, then Dempsey climbed above Keith Fahey to nod the ball home.

Attendance: 24,391

Referee: Howard Webb

Man of the match: Gera

Match rating: 6/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker