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Cardiff 1-1 Fulham Cham 01 1516 - West London Sport

last updated Tuesday 11th August 2015, 10:29 AM

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Yann Tear at West London Sport

Cardiff City (0) 1-1 (0) Fulham

Fulham striker Matt Smith header early in the second half was almost enough to give Fulham a winning start to the season.

Cardiff substitute Craig Noone netted a superb equaliser four minutes from time, cutting in from the right flank before unleashing a perfect drive over Andy Lonergan from the edge of the area.

Smith showed a poacher's instinct to touch in from close range after keeper Simon Moore had spilled a speculative cross from Ben Pringle underneath his crossbar.

Lonergan had a fine game for the Cottagers and did superbly to deny Joe Mason an equaliser, his left hand blocking a rasping shot on the turn.

The Fulham keeper twice got in the way Mason strikes - palming away a powerful shot and later getting down well to keep out a near-post piledriver.

But it was by no means one-way traffic, with Smith a constant menace to the home side. He almost nodded a ball into the path of skipper Ross McCormack and from the rebound, headed down onto the base of the post.

The target man also headed just over when found from a cross from the right by Jamie O'Hara and from the left by Kay Voser, while McCormack was narrowly off-target after skipping away from Peter Whittingham to open up a half-chance.

There was a let-off for Fulham at the start of the second half, when Dan Burn stumbled inside the box and Antony Pilkington's deflected effort came back off the crossbar.

But seconds later, Smith had the Whites in front with a close-range header on 48 minutes.

Alex Revell had the ball in the Fulham net in the next City attack, but the use of a hand earned him a booking rather than glory.

Only a despairing block from former QPR man Matt Connolly denied Pringle after a good move down the right involving Thomas Cairney and McCormack, while Shaun Hutchinson replicated the heroics to deny Sean Morrison following a goalmouth scramble.

Fulham: Lonergan; Richards, Hutchinson, Burn, Voser; O'Hara, Vigen Christensen; Cairney, McCormack, Pringle; Smith (Dembele 78). Subs not used: Bettinelli, Bodurov, Kacaniklic, Mattila, Woodrow, Hyndman.

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