Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Fulham 1 West Brom 1

This was always a dangerous one for Martin Jol as he faced a side led by the most successful manager in Fulham’s history, less than 24 hours after selling the squad’s main striker, Bobby Zamora.

There would have been open revolt had he sold Clint Dempsey, too, whose 16th goal of the season was not enough to claim victory on what was West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson’s return to his former club.

Dempsey left the field unhappy after he claimed he was elbowed in the face by West Brom captain Jonas Olsson and then headed over a late chance.

Little more than 18 months ago Hodgson left Fulham for Liverpool and is now trying to recreate what he established here at Craven Cottage. And it was his team who established the early opportunities. Peter Odemwingie miscued horribly, Marc-Antoine Fortune’s drive was blocked and then a low shot by the striker was turned away by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Despite those chances, it was Fulham who dominated possession. Bryan Ruiz stole in front of Ben Foster but could only loop his header wide while Damien Duff’s goal-bound effort was halted by Jonas Olsson before Steve Sidwell surged into the area, exchanged passes with Ruiz only to then rashly over-hit a cross when he should have shot.

By now, Fulham were firmly ensconced inside their opponents’ half but the match still appeared to be evolving into a stalemate and needed something to change the dynamic. Clint Dempsey almost provided it, fashioning space for a shot that lacked the power to beat Foster.

West Brom threatened when Odemwingie rounded Philippe Senderos, and he cut the ball back for Fortune, whose shot was held. What a wasted opportunity.

At the other end Ruiz weaved his way into the area only to poke his effort at Foster, but shortly after he showed far more composure to cushion Sidwell’s header down from a half-clearance and play a clever reverse pass to Dempsey, who swivelled to screw his shot back across the goalkeeper and into the net.

Hodgson then introduced Somen Tchoyi, who soon ran on to James Morrison’s flick forward to fire a cross-shot that was fierce enough to catch out Stockdale and level the scores. The home side attempted to regain the initiative but were frustrated in their attempts to do so.

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