Johnson shows bottle after Hughes fails to keep cool
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Fulham 1
Monday 25 April 2011
Mark Hughes is likely to face disciplinary action for suggesting referee Michael Oliver should step down to the lower leagues for a few games after sending him off. Luckily for Fulham, while manager Hughes lost his nerve, striker Andy Johnson kept his.
The Fulham striker scored within 18 seconds of coming on to secure a late draw, meaning he could laugh afterwards about his manager's histrionics. Early in the second half, Hughes did not show the same cool-headed, accurate kicking skills as Johnson. The Welshman aimed kicks at a water bottle, missing a few times, before eventually booting the object mercilessly, reminiscent of a Peter Kay advert.
Oliver promptly dismissed Hughes, frustrated at decisions going against Fulham, from the dugout. "Abuse of a water bottle," Hughes said, when asked why he had been sent off.
Fulham had trailed at the time but Johnson's goal meant the London club remain a comfortable distance clear of relegation danger.
When discussing Hughes's banishment and failure to calm down, Johnson joked: "He was chilling up there, wasn't he? I think there was some phone action going on."
Despite the joviality, the striker said his club are not safe, even after reaching 39 points with five games to play. "We're not and I don't think anyone is from 10th-12th downwards," Johnson said. "Everyone's been saying over the last few years, it's the 40-mark. It might be higher than that this year because everyone's beaten each other down the bottom."
Fulham looked like they would lose, before Johnson's rescue act, having created more chances than struggling Wolves. Clint Dempsey shot over a particularly good one from close range early on and was ruing it when Steven Fletcher headed in Karl Henry's cross.
The visitors equalised when Brede Hangeland's long ball was knocked back by Bobby Zamora then hit Christophe Berra en route to Johnson. The former Crystal Palace striker said: "I had a bit of space and took the first touch, shifted it back and hit it low and hard. I don't think I've ever scored quicker than that after coming on."
Hughes was still unhappy afterwards when reflecting on referee Oliver, saying: "He probably needs a few more games, possibly at a lower level."
Scorers: Wolves Fletcher 22 Fulham Johnson 80
Substitutes: Wolves Mancienne 6 (Milijas, 59), Ebanks-Blake (Fletcher, 77), Kightly (Guedioura, 85). Fulham Kakuta 6 (Murphy, 69), Zamora 6 (Gudjohnsen, 69), A Johnson (Dempsey, 80).
Booked: Wolves Stearman, Craddock. Fulham Baird, Hangeland.
Man of the match Guedioura. Match rating 7/10.
Possession: Wolves 48% Fulham 52%.
Attempts on target: Wolves 3 Fulham 4.
Referee M Oliver (Northumberland) Att 28,825.
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