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Fulham 2-2 Hull Prem 36 1314 Daily Telegraph

last updated Monday 28th April 2014, 5:06 PM
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Gerry Cox at Daily Telegraph

Fulham (0) 2-2 (0) Hull

When Fernando Amorebieta put Fulham 2-0 ahead with half an hour remaining, their supporters started singing the theme from The Great Escape - a premature celebration, it transpired.

Victory would have lifted Fulham out of the relegation zone, but it was not to be as Hull City stormed back to earn the point that should allow Steve Bruce's side to spend at least another season in the Premier League.

Fulham are back in the 'brown stuff' as Bruce put it, however, having wilted in the west London sun, and Felix Magath questioned the mental strength of his players.

Asked if his side were up to the physical challenge of playing Stoke and Crystal Palace in their remaining games, Magath replied: "It is not a problem of physical ability, it is a problem of the mind.

"It's disappointing because when you are 2-0 up at home, you expect to get through it.

Victory could have pushed us to the next level, but now we know we have to win our next two games."

Even six points may not be enough to save Fulham, who had a real chance of salvation but let it slip.

Ashkan Dejagah and Amorebieta had given them a commanding lead with goals early in the second-half, after a forgettable opening 45 minutes, and they had chances to score even more.

But Hull showed the sort of never-say-die spirit that has taken them so far this season and Nikica Jelavic pulled one goal back before Shane Long equalised in the 86th minute.

Although Bruce will not celebrate survival yet, it would take a series of freak results to relegate Hull now. "Usually 37 points is enough, but as yet we don't know if it will be," he said.

"There have been some crazy games, and clubs below have given themselves a lifeline." But he was delighted with his players. "We had a crazy 12 minutes when we found ourselves 2-0 down after being in control, and when we hit the woodwork twice, you think it is not going to be your day.

"But all credit to them, they didn't give up, showed the spirit that has got them to 13th place and the FA Cup final, and got our rewards."

After a goalless first half, Magath sent on Kieran Richardson and Dejagah, who opened the scoring within 10 minutes.

Receiving the ball on the right-hand corner of the penalty box, he curled a lovely left-footed shot into the far corner.

The goal sparked raucous celebrations, and the noise rose three minutes later when Amorebieta made it 2-0. Richardson floated in a deep cross, and the Venezuelan glanced home a header from 15 yards.

Darren Bent wasted another chance for the hosts before

Steve Bruce sent on Sone Aluko. Hull promptly set home nerves on edge in the 75th minute. Riether intercepted a pass intended for Long but the ball flew towards his own goal.

Stockdale tipped it on to the crossbar and Jelavic headed the rebound over the line.

Aluko hit the bar from long range as Fulham started to wobble.

The home side could have made it 3-1 but Harper made a terrific save to keep out Dejagah. "The turning point," said Bruce.

Hull struck the woodwork again through Elmohamady before Long finally bagged the equaliser he deserved.

Aluko floated a deep cross from the left, and Long stole in unmarked at the far post to score with a diving header.

The goal sparked Hull's supporters to start chanting "We are staying up", while Fulham's crestfallen fans began to fear the worst.

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Stockdale 6; Riethe 6, Heitinga 6, Hangeland 6, Amorebieta 7; Diarra 6, Parker 6, Holtby 6 (Richardson h-t), Sidwell 6 (Bent 52), Riise 6 (Dejagah h-t), Rodallega 6
Subs Stekelenburg, Kasami, Woodrow, Roberts,

Booked Diarra.

Hull City (5-3-2): Harper 7 Elmohamady 6, Chester 6, Bruce 6 (Aluko 66), Davies 7, Rosenior 6 (Sagbo 80), Meyler 6 (Boyd 80), Huddlestone 6, Livermore 7, Long 7, Jelavic 6
Subs Jakupovic, Koren, Fryatt, Quinn

Booked Elmohamady, Jelavic, Livermore.

Referee L Mason (Lancashire).

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