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Charlton 1-1 Fulham Cham 41 1415 Daily Mail

last updated Thursday 09th April 2015, 10:08 AM
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Martha Kelner at Daily Mail

Charlton (1) 1-1 (1) Fulham

The Fulham fans in the Jimmy Steed Stand applauded their team at the final whistle. It was not the victory manager Kit Symons had called for but a point away to Charlton probably secures their future in the Championship next season.

They are eight points clear of Millwall and bar a miraculous resurgence from one of the bottom three sides will stay up but the fact relegation is still mathematically feasible for a club that were in the Premier League last season is alarming.

A vertiginous decline, just one victory in their last seven games had seen them dragged back into a relegation battle and after a painful 4-1 trouncing by bitter rivals Brentford last week, Symons was looking for a quick response from his players.

He got it with Ross McCormack giving them the lead after eight minutes. A superb long ball by Michael Turner found Matt Smith who headed on to the Scotsman to loop the ball over the top of Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson in front of the 1620 travelling fans in the Jimmy Seed stand.

The passage of time has clearly not dulled the bad feeling Charlton fans harbour towards Scott Parker. The midfielder, who missed the Brentford game through illness, departed the club more than a decade ago but his every touch of the ball was greeted by a chorus of boos.

Not that it seemed to affect him as he dictated the pace of the game in the early stages, feeding striker Smith well.

But Charlton hit back with a 16th minute equaliser. Morgan Fox's cross bounced across the front of goal and Frederic Bulot swung a leg at it but could not connect.

It was left for a waiting Johann Gudmundsson to fire his 10th goal of the season into the top right corner. Goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, who seemed rooted to the spot, wisely dragged a furious James Husband, who seemed to believe the goal offside, from a confrontation with the linesman.

Almost the whole stadium thought Gudmundsson had nabbed his second when Igor Vetokele set him up with the whole goal to aim at but the winger contrived to miss, hitting the side netting instead.

The second half was low in quality but high in chances. The visitors seemed reenergised after the interval, forcing a save in the 46th minute. Matt Smith found space in the centre of the box and got his head on a pinpoint James Husband cross but Henderson did well to thwart the effort.

Charlton soon asserted control with Tony Watt going close three times before Parker was booked for bringing him down with a late challenge.

The Charlton players were outraged when referee Andy Madley awarded Fulham a free kick 25 yards out deep into stoppage time but McCormack blasted the ball over the bar.

Fulham now sit 20th in the table eight points clear of fellow London rivals Millwall, but Symons is refusing to relax just yet.

He said: 'We're definitely not safe until it's mathematically sure because this league is topsy turvy at both ends and it is going to go to the wire.

'But I can't be greedy so I will take the point and I was pleased with the performance.'

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