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Fulham 1-1 Leeds Cham 35 1617 - The Sun

last updated Wednesday 08th March 2017, 1:03 PM

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Gareth Davies at The Sun

Fulham (0) 1-1 (1) Leeds

Leeds escaped from Craven Cottage with a point that left Fulham fuming.

Tom Cairney fired in a deserved equaliser seconds before the end — but the Londoners claimed they were ROBBED of all three points.

The Cottagers thought they had cancelled out Tim Ream’s fifth-minute own goal when a Neeskens Kebano shot hit the bar and looked to have bounced over the line.

But instead, ref Lee Probert waved play on in the 24th minute, leaving Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic raging.

Goal-line technology is introduced to the Championship next season — but how the hosts would have loved to have had a ‘video ref’ available last night.

And Jokanovic blasted: “We got one goal, but scored two — the ball was over the line. I could see that from my position.

“We also checked at half-time. I’m not criticising the ref — they make mistakes. But that was a very expensive one for us.”

Garry Monk’s Leeds then somehow survived an attacking storm and took home a point despite having midfielder Kalvin Phillips sent off for a second yellow late on.

The midfielder saw red for an awful tackle on veteran midfielder Scott Parker, 36.

But boss Monk was unsure if Kebano’s ‘goal’ should have counted.

He said: “We couldn’t tell from where we were if it went in.

“But we followed our game-plan very well. Cairney’s goal feels like a sucker punch. It was going to take something like that to stop us.”

Leeds had been hit pre-match with news in-form striker Chris Wood was out with a suspected calf strain.

The Kiwi forward has notched 25 goals in all competitions this season. And 11 in their last 11 league matches, including a double strike in Friday’s 3-1 win at Birmingham.

Defender Luke Ayling also missed out after his daughter Maisie was born yesterday.

Wood’s absence left Souleymane Doukara facing a big job as lone striker — and he had scored just five goals before last night. Yet none of that bothered Leeds as they took a fifth-minute lead thanks to a defensive howler.

Kyle Bartley’s free-kick from just inside halfway appeared to be overhit, with Fulham keeper David Button ready to gather.

But centre-back Tim Ream bizarrely stretched out a leg — and the ball went into the net past a stranded Button.

Ream stood there wishing the ground would swallow him up, while the massive army of travelling Whites fans chanted “Leeds are going up”.

Maybe a tad early for that, but they were well aware victory would tighten the Yorkshire club’s grip on a play-off spot and leave them 11 points clear of seventh-placed Fulham.

But Fulham pressed forward with urgency and narrowly missed equalising just after the 20-minute mark.

Hadi Sacko was booked for felling Scott Malone just outside the box and Kebano’s free-kick from the left teed up Cairney for a shot that flew just wide.

That was the signal for 20 torrid minutes as Leeds defended for their lives.

And Fulham’s next attack sparked controversy as Kebano’s rocket hit the bar but was ruled to have not gone over the line. Fulham, looking for a fifth straight home win, kept the attacks coming in waves.

Scott Malone went close with a shot and Fulham appealed for a penalty as Ryan Fredericks went down under Doukara’s challenge, but Leeds almost snatched a second six minutes before half-time.

Alfonso Pedraza was one-on-one with Button, yet the keeper advanced from his line to save.

Leeds had survived until half-time with 25 per cent possession and one shot on target.

So it was no surprise Fulham returned straight to the attack, with Sone Aluko firing into the side netting with a narrowly-angled shot from the left.

Jokanovic sent on 16-year-old Ryan Sessegnon to try to find a way through Leeds’ defence, and the youngster soon tested Green.

That followed another huge penalty appeal as Cairney was bundled over.

Pedraza almost made it 2-0 in the 74th minute when he hit the post after good work by Kemar Roofe and sub Mo Barrow.

But the pounding at the other end went on and on. And after Phillips’ red card, the pressure told as Cairney’s shot snatched a point right at the death.

The point for Leeds may they remain in the play-off hunt, although the two teams above them in third and second, Huddersfield and Brighton, both won.

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