Fulham share spoils after last-gasp equaliser

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

Fulham centre-half Brede Hangeland earned Fulham a point with a last-gasp equaliser at Craven Cottage.

Marc Albrighton's 42nd-minute strike looked to have given Aston Villa a vital win when he latched on to a sensational cross-field pass from Barry Bannan to finish in style.

But Hangeland rose highest to head home a free-kick from Danny Murphy with just seconds remaining.

The visitors should have opened the scoring in the first minute when Albrighton put Stewart Downing in the clear but he delayed his shot and Carlos Salcido cleared the danger.

But Fulham responded immediately with a cross from Simon Davies that was headed straight into the hands of Brad Friedel by Zoltan Gera.

A dangerous cross from Downing in the 10th minute caused Mark Schwarzer to punch the ball clear for a throw-in but both sides were largely entrenched in midfield.

In the 15th minute, Villa's England under-19 striker Nathan Delfouneso headed inches wide when he rose unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box to meet a cross from Albrighton.

But a minute later it was Fulham's turn to be wasteful when Gera wriggled free of the Villa defence only to send his shot a yard wide of the target from the edge of the penalty area.

Villa had Friedel to thank in the 18th minute when Davies put Clint Dempsey clear but the American's angled drive was save by the outstretched foot of the Villa keeper.

The loose ball fell invitingly for Gera but his volley was just too high with the goal gaping.

Villa's injury crisis deepened in the 33rd minute when captain Nigel Reo-Coker was forced out of the action with what appeared to be a hamstring problem. He was replaced by Ciaran Clark.

Delfouneso wasted another gilt-edged chance in the 40th minute when Bannan's pass found Luke Young on the right.

Young's shot was saved by Schwarzer and Delfouneso headed over from six yards.

But Villa went in front three minutes before the interval when a brilliant 40-yard crossfield pass from Bannan put Albrighton through and the Villa winger cut in from the right before drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

Villa's Delfouneso wasted another chance to get on the scoresheet in the 54th minute when he sent a tame shot into the arms of Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area.

Andrew Johnson was introduced to the action in the 59th minute in place of Jonathan Greening as Fulham looked to get back into the game.

Johnson has been out for 13 months, initially with a groin injury and then a long-term knee problem, but after making his return in the final minutes against Wigan last week, boss Mark Hughes looked to the striker to save them from defeat.

In the 62nd minute Murphy's shot from the edge of the penalty area looked destined for the net until Richard Dunne's diving header diverted the ball to safety.

Fulham's appeals for a penalty when Dempsey's cross appeared to hit Dunne's arm were waved away by referee Peter Walton in the 66th minute.

Villa full-back Luke Young produced a crunching tackle on Salcido moments later which required lengthy treatment and forced the end of his participation in the game. The defender was replaced by Damien Duff for the final 22 minutes.

Johnson brought a fine save out of Friedel in the 74th minute when he burst into the penalty area and drilled a low angled shot towards the bottom corner.

The Fulham striker should have levelled in the 81st minute when he found himself with just Friedel to beat but the Villa keeper dived to his right to thwart him.

In the final minute of normal time, Ashley Young was denied a goal when his header from Downing's cross was brilliantly saved by Schwarzer.

But centre-half Hangeland earned Fulham a share of the spoils in injury-time when he headed home Murphy's free-kick.

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?