Premier League - Fulham draw again at Hammers
Sat, 02 Oct 16:58:00 2010
The match saw Clint Dempsey reunited with Robert Green just a couple of months after the American benefitted from the England keeper's World Cup gaffe and Dempsey again proved to be Green's nemesis as he opened the scoring for the Cottagers in the 33rd minute.
However, Frederic Piquionne, who scored the winner against Tottenham last week, headed home an equaliser five minutes into the second half after a Victor Obinna cross.
West Ham had most of the play before the finish but Fulham the better chances, with Green having to make two superb late saves before Fulham substitute Diomansy Kamara then blazed a great chance over deep into stoppage time.
Despite picking up a point, West Ham drop back down to the bottom of the table, while Fulham have now drawn six of their opening seven matches.
Clear cut chances in the first half were at a premium but West Ham nearly took an early lead after only six minutes when Piquionne got his head on a cross from Mark Noble; the ball was heading for the top corner but Carlos Salcido was well positioned on the post to head it away.
After that the chances dried up but the action was still well-paced and entertaining.
The Cottagers did go in front just a minute later though. Simon Davies and Dempsey exchanged passes down the right. Davies then played in a second pass which deflected into the box and into the path of Dempsey. He took it on his chest and guided the ball past Green from close range in impressive fashion given the pressure he was under from the Hammers' defence.
Dempsey had another Fulham penalty shout rightly waved away a few moments later while at the other end Obinna should have done better with a low drive after barging his way into the box.
Early in the second half Dempsey flashed another effort off the bar but West Ham started to play with more urgency and levelled in the 50th minute.
The goal came after a terrible, misplaced pass from Brede Hangeland. He gave it straight to former Fulham man Luis Boa Morte. The Portuguese then shifted it to Obinna on the right and his pinpoint cross found the head of Piquionne who duly planted it home.
West Ham looked busy thereafter but struggled with their final passes and their crossing. When they did create some decent openings their shooting let them down such as in the 80th minute when Obinna fired wide of the target after a right-to-left move ended with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area.
Instead it was Fulham who came closest to winning it. Green made two great saves in the space of a minute just four minutes from time. First he batted away a long-range effort from Davies and then he got down low from close range to deny Dickson Etuhu's header.
Green also saved from Dempsey early in the half to show he has fully recovered from his World Cup nightmare.
West Ham had some late moments too with the industrious Scott Parker firing into the side netting and Noble getting a low shot on target right at the death.
But the best late chance fell again to Fulham as the impressive Dempsey put Kamara in behind the defence. The French-born Senegalese striker only had Green to beat but blazed an awful effort over as the points, perhaps fairly, were shared.Sean Fay / Eurosport