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Fulham 2-2 Hull Prem 36 1314 Daily Mail

last updated Monday 28th April 2014, 5:01 PM
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Laura Williamson at Daily Mail

Fulham (0) 2-2 (0) Hull

For Fulham it was a case of elation to deflation. For Hull it was vice-versa.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Fulham were cruising to a 2-0 win that would have seen them climb out of the bottom three.

But Felix Magath's side somehow conspired to throw away their lead - and quite possibly their Barclays Premier League status in the process.

When Steve Bruce signed Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long in January, many thought they would keep Hull in the top-flight.

And those predictions proved correct yesterday as the pair clinched a dramatic draw that should see the Tigers safe.

'If we hadn't have got the point today we might still be in it - but now on 37 points, it is usually enough,' said Bruce.

'We have a good goal difference and usually 37 is enough, so we are delighted to be out of it that's for sure.

'We didn't want to be involved in that s*** at the end of the season.'

Climbing out of the drop zone was clearly an incentive for Fulham as they started brightly, Hugo Rodallega and John Arne Riise both going close inside the opening 12 minutes.

As if the pressure on Fulham to produce a result yesterday wasn't intense enough, owner Shahid Khan was at Craven Cottage yesterday - taking his seat next to chief executive Alistair Mackintosh.

The pair would have been satisfied with Fulham's showing in the opening 30 minutes.

Satisfactory, however, isn't what Fulham need - they need victories.

And slowly but surely Hull awoke from their early slumber; with Tom Huddlestone, in particular, looking impressive in central midfield.

Five minutes from half-time Shane Long thought he'd won his side a penalty after he was clumsily bundled over by Amorebieta, but Lee Mason waved away Hull's protest.

It was slice of fortune for Fulham, they were probably due it after the season they've had.

But Magath does not want to rely on luck - and took matters into his own hands at half-time making a bold double substitution.

Kieran Richardson replaced Riise while Ashkan Dejagh came on for the ineffective Lewis Holtby.

And the changes nearly had the desired impact with the first attack of the second half as Rodallega fired an awkward volley from Dejagh's corner just over.

Magath didn't waste much more time in making his final substitution, throwing on striker Darren Bent for midfielder Steve Sidwell, who looked to be suffering with ankle injury, in the 53rd minute.

And just two minutes later Fulham were in front; inevitably it was one of Magath's substitutes who sent Craven Cottage into a frenzy.

There looked little danger when Dejagh picked up the ball just outside the penalty area, but after a clever turn inside David Meyler and a cultured swing of his left-foot Fulham were ahead as the Iranian's curling effort flew past Harper.

And the decibel levels were turned up even higher when another one of Magath's replacements played an integral role in Fulham doubling their advantage less than three minutes later.

Richardson was afforded the freedom of the left-hand side to play an outswinging cross into the Hull box, and Amorebieta rose above Alex Bruce to head home.

Fulham should have had more, Rodallega and Bent both fluffing their lines in front of goal as Fulham looked to ensure a vital three points.

And those misses proved costly pay as Hull staged an unlikely comeback.

Fulham keeper David Stockdale could only palm Sascha Riether's sliced clearance onto the bar leaving Jelavic to head home into an unguarded net in the 75th minute.

Suddenly a jumping Craven Cottage was trembling with nerves - and it showed on the pitch as Fulham's players lost their second half gusto.

Substitute Sone Aluko hit the bar with a venomous long-range effort in the 78th minute, before the Tigers hit the woodwork again seven minutes later as Elmohamady rattled the post with an angled shot.

You could sense what was coming and it arrived three minutes from time when Long expertly headed Aluko's cross past Stockdale.

Hull were delirious, In contrast, Fulham players were deflated, the excellent Dejagah flat out on the floor.

'Unfortunately the pressure was too much,' said Magath.

'We have to win the two last games, that wasn't what we wanted but as long as there's a chance we have to take it.

'Now we have to stand up and show we can do it, if you have a chance you should try. I've told them it's not too late.

Fulham (4-3-2-1): Stockdale 5; Riether 5, Heitinga 6.5, Hangeland 6.5, Amorebieta 7; Parker 6.5, Sidwell 6.5 (Bent 53, 6.5), Diarra 7; Holtby 5 (Dejagah 46, 7.5), Riise 5 (Richardson 46, 6.5); Rodallega 6.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Kasami, Roberts, Woodrow.

Dejagah 55, Amorebieta 58,

Booking: Diarra

Hull (3-5-2): Harper 6; Bruce 6 (Aluko 67, 6), Chester 6, Davies 6.5; Elmohamady 6, Rosenior 6.5 (Boyd 82); Meyler 6 (Sagbo 82), Huddlestone 7, Livermore 7; Jelavic 6.5, Long 6.5.
Subs: Jakupovic, Koren, Fryatt, Quinn

Scorers: Jelavic 75, Long 87

Booking: Elmohamady, Livermore, Jelavic

Ref: Lee Mason (Bolton) - 6

Attendance: 25,700

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