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Honours even at Cottage

Posted on 26 December 2009  - 12:00

It was goalless at Fulham as a scrappy Boxing Day affair resulted in a point being added to the accounts of both teams.

Honours even at Cottage

It was goalless at Fulham as a scrappy Boxing Day affair resulted in a point being added to the accounts of both teams.

Fulham were the livlier attacking force - particularly in the second half - but there is much to be said for stout defending and class goalkeeping.

We had both in abundance and if you don't play well there is always credit for not losing...

Damien Duff zapped in an early shot that stung the chest of Heurelho Gomes inside the first couple of minutes as Fulham were quick out of the blocks in front of a full house of 25,679 at Craven Cottage.

There were two changes to the Spurs starting line-up, with Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Keane restored to the side in place of Tom Huddlestone and Jermain Defoe - no doubt with half an eye and the quick return to action against West Ham at the Lane on Monday.

The Gomes reactions were worked again on eight minutes when a John Pantsil drill across the six yard box was directed on goal by Zoltan Gera, thankfully the hands of the goalkeeper did not have to stray too far from his chest.

At the other end there was some neat approach play but Fulham were operating with greater purpose, none more so than Danny Murphy who forced a fine save out of Gomes. Picking up the second ball from a corner he controlled and aimed to smash high into the net, but the fingertips of the goalkeeper diverted the ball into the thousands of Spurs fans behind his goal.

Peter Crouch had the ball in the net after a sublime finish on 18 minutes, but referee Mr Bennett had already whistled for a foul on Niko Kranjcar. The Croatian then shot narrowly wide from the resulting free-kick.

The ebb and flow of the game was edging in our direction as tackles became snappier and passing a little more crisp. You sensed that the key was getting Aaron Lennon into the contest, but Paul Konchesky was proving a match on the few occasions the winger was supplied with the ball.

Clint Dempsey rattled the bar from a free-kick just after the half hour mark before, just before the break, a Keane breakaway was stopped in its tracks by Aaron Hughes just as he was about to square for Crouch in front of goal.

Jenas shot just wide of the top corner in the opening minutes of the second half before Gomes pulled off a superb save to push away a towering header from Bobby Zamora.

Crouch fired over at the other end but the team was struggling to establish a second half pattern. Gomes then saved well to his right to deny Dempsey after a clever counter-attack from Fulham.

Gomes made a stunning fingertip save to deny Zamora with another header - the Fulham fans were nearly all on their feet in celebration when the Brazilian somehow defied the odds.

It was time for change and the introduction of Defoe and Luka Modric with 70 minutes on the clock. Keane and Kranjcar made way.

Defoe nearly made an instant impact with a hooked effort after a Crouch flick-on, while Modric began to weave around midfield.

Crouch forced Mark Schwarzer into a fine save low to his right and the goalkeeper did well to recover and block Jenas' follow-up.

With just a couple of minutes left Fulham could have won it when Zamora slipped Duff through, the Irishman guided the ball across the face of goal and the oncoming Dempsey could not get there in time.

Bassong got a kick in the face in stoppage time, meaning a late entry for Ledley King - a few seconds actually before Mr Bennett called time on this festive stalemate.