Hodgson happy to share spoils on familiar ground
Fulham 1 (Dempsey 69) West Bromwich Albion 1 (Tchoyi 82)
Roy Hodgson enjoyed a happy return to Craven Cottage last night
as his current team took a well-earned point from the club he
steered to the final of the Europa League. It did not look that way
when Clint Dempsey scored with a quarter of the match left but
Somen Tchoyi levelled for West Bromwich Albion to keep both teams
just above the relegation scramble.
Dempsey's goal, the 16th of a productive campaign, had made it easier for Fulham fans to put the irritating loss of Bobby Zamora to neighbours Queen's Park Rangers aside, but the failure to win led to a renewal of discontent and a chorus of boos on the final whistle. Martin Jol, who never seemed to develop a satisfactory working relationship with Zamora, mused: "Had Bobby been here it is a possibility we would have won, but the same with Andy Johnson or Moussa Dembélé who were injured. Clint played there instead and did a job for us." Of Zamora's £4.5m exit Jol added: "It was the best we could do. He wanted to go. It had been lingering for months."
It is 18 months since Hodgson left for that ill-fated stint at Anfield but his imprint remains on this Fulham team. That led to a stalemate for an hour as two of the best-drilled teams in the Premier League cancelled each other out. Albion sat deep, but the front two pressed high enough to make it difficult for the home side to pass their way forward. Fulham's approach was similar so it was no surprise the best chance of the first half came on the break.
After Youssouf Mulumbu had held off a trio of challenges Simon Cox released Peter Odemwingie who made it to the byline. But Marc-Antoine Fortuné shot weakly from his cut-back prompting a chorus of "Are you Bobby in disguise?" from the Hammersmith End in unloving memory of Zamora.
Fulham's best opportunity had come from a mistake, Ben Foster rashly coming out for a Danny Murphy cross only to be beaten by Bryan Ruiz whose header went wide. Another error prompted the breakthrough, Graham Dorrans slicing a clearance skywards. The loose ball came to Ruiz whose pass was neatly turned past Foster by Dempsey.
Hodgson responded by introducing Tchoyi and five minutes later the Cameroonian, played onside by John Arne Riise,finished superbly from James Morrison's pass.
"I was pleased with the performance and thought we were fully in control," said Hodgson. "They scored as the result of a few errors and when we got back to 1-1 I did think justice had been done."
He added, of the home fans' recognition: "It's nice to know the work you did was appreciated."
Substitutes: Fulham - None.West Bromwich Albion - Tchoyi (Cox, 77), Reid (Morrison, 88).
Booked: Fulham Murphy.
Man of the match Morrison.
Match rating 6/10.
Possession: Fulham 55% WBA 45%.
Attempts on target: Fulham 6 WBA 10.
Referee M Halsey (Lancashire). Attendance 25,689.
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures