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Fulham 2-2 Derby Cham 22 1617 - Derby Telegraph

last updated Monday 19th December 2016, 10:44 AM

Derby Telegraph
Kerry Ganly at Derby Telegraph

Fulham (1) 2-2 (1) Derby County

Derby County's winning run was ended by Fulham - but the Rams still salvaged a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage.

Alex Pearce's 75th-minute header earned the visitors a hard-fought point after the Cottagers had come from behind to lead.

Tom Ince opened the scoring with his seventh goal in as many games but Floyd Ayite levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Stefan Johansen's deflected effort then put Fulham in front but Pearce struck to extend Derby's unbeaten run to eight matches.

Steve McClaren made three changes to the side following Wednesday's 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers as he looked to freshen things up.

Craig Bryson, Matej Vydra and Johnny Russell all came into the starting line-up, with Will Hughes, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann dropping to the bench.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic also made three changes to his side in the wake of the midweek victory over Rotherham United. One of those who missed out was striker Chris Martin, who was not eligible to face his parent club as part of the terms of his loan deal.

The home side exerted some early pressure and Pearce had to make a vital clearance after Scott Malone sent a volley across the six-yard box.

Fulham skipper Tom Cairney then fired not too far over from 25 yards in the 12th minute.

Bryson played Ince in on goal but the flag went up for offside.

Russell then had a shot blocked, while Ince sent a swerving effort wide from distance.

Scott Carson was called into action to save Kevin McDonald's volley from a tight angle.

At the other end, Derby were close to winning a penalty when Vydra was fouled by Ryan Fredericks right on the edge of the box.

The Rams did strike first, though, going ahead in the 34th minute.

Russell whipped a pass forward from inside his own half and Ragnar Sigurdsson was unable to cut it out as the ball ran through to Ince.

He took his time before drilling a low first-time right-foot shot past keeper David Button from just inside the area.

Back came Fulham and Carson kept out Fredericks' shot before Lucas Piazon sent a low centre across the face of goal.

It looked like Derby would take their lead into the break but, in the first minute of added time, Fulham equalised.

Fredericks advanced into the box from the right and crossed low to the far post, where Ayite could not miss from about a yard out.

It was the first goal the Rams had conceded in more than 500 minutes of football.

Fulham started the second half brightly, putting the Rams under pressure.

Substitute Michael Madl sent a glancing header wide from Johansen's 51st-minute corner.

Ten minutes later, the hosts were in front.

Sone Aluko's low cross from the left was cleared by Marcus Olsson but straight to Johansen on the edge of the area. His shot beat Carson via a deflection off Pearce.

Derby might have responded within a couple of minutes.

Ince launched a long ball over the top and Russell shook off Fredericks, only to see his shot from an angle pushed around the post by Button.

However, the Rams did pull themselves level with 15 minutes to go.

Ince won a corner on the right and swung it into the box himself. Pearce managed to escape his marker and headed past Button from close range.

Fulham pushed for a winner, with Aluko's low shot well saved by Carson.

Then, in the 84th minute, substitute Scott Parker was brought down just outside the box by Jacob Butterfield.

Piazon took the free kick and his powerful effort cannoned back off the crossbar.

Carson then had to be alert to beat away another free kick from Johansen as it ended all square.

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