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Fulham battle to draw at Reading ~ Ch. Match Report MD35

last updated Monday 07th March 2016, 10:06 AM

Match Report

Reading (2) 2-2 (1) Fulham

Championship Match Day 35 1516 at Madejski Stadium

Saturday 5th March 2016    KO: 15:00

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Fulham striker Moussa Dembele
Fulham striker
Moussa Dembele
Moussa Dembele
His Wiki page
Fulham still hover too close to the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone for comfort after battling for a 2-2 draw at Reading.

Moussa Dembele gave them an early lead but they found themselves 2-1 down at half-time as Reading fought back.

Hal Robson-Kanu stroked in a penalty and then added a second with a header from close range.

Despite having to survive severe pressure in the second half, Fulham won a penalty on the break that leading scorer Ross McCormack converted to ultimately earn them a point.

Fulham had seen little upturn in fortunes since the appointment of new head coach Slavisa Jokanovic in December.

Fulham striker Ross McCormack
Fulham striker
Ross McCormack
Ross McCormack
His Wiki page
In his first 11 matches, Fulham won only twice. In total, they had won only three times in 21 games.

Reading, who face Crystal Palace at home in the FA Cup quarter-finals next Friday, had enjoyed better fortunes.

They had won three successive matches in the Cup and Championship and had suffered only two defeats in 13.

But it was Fulham who started the brighter, with McCormack wasting two good openings early on.

He soon made amends, though, when supplying a nicely flighted corner from the left in the eighth minute.

Michael Madl headed on unopposed at the far post and Dembele scruffily guided in his 13th goal of the season.

Match Stats Reading Fulham
Goals (2) 2 2 (1)
Scorers Robson-Kanu pen 24 Dembele 8
  Robson-Kanu 41 McCormack pen 52
Goal attempts 18 8
On target 6 4
Shooting Accuracy 33% 50%
Possession 54% 46%
Passes 440 397
Pass Success 78% 71%
Crosses 32 16
Crosses Success 28% 12%
Corners 7 5
Tackles 19 9
Tackles Success 63% 67%
Saves 2 4
Fouls 9 12
Offsides 3 2
Yellows 0 4
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet/Fulham FC
Fulham continued on the offensive, with home goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi forced to make a fumbling save from a fierce Tom Cairney drive.

But Reading drew level in fortuitous circumstances in the 24th minute, when Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta senselessly barged over Robson-Kanu as the ball drifted harmlessly in a corner of the penalty area.

Referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and Robson-Kanu calmly sent Fulham keeper Andy Lonergan the wrong way.

Al-Habsi was again unconvincing, when just managing to save a 30-yard free kick from McCormack, but Reading nosed in front in the 41st minute.

Ola John escaped on the left and chipped a precise cross for Robson-Kanu to nod into the unguarded net.

Robson-Kanu was replaced at half-time, by Garath McCleary, due to injury but Reading almost increased their lead soon after the restart.

Oliver Norwood found Yann Kermorgant in space but the Frenchman's angled effort flew narrowly wide of Lonergan's far post.

Fulham appeared under the cosh but were level in the 52nd minute. Jake Cooper clumsily felled Ryan Fredericks in the area and McCormack drilled in the penalty for his 19th goal of the season.

Reading forced the pace towards the end but Stephen Quinn, John three times, McCleary, Cooper and Kermorgant all squandered presentable chances as Fulham struggled to hold on for a draw.

Reading: Al Habsi; Gunter, Ferdinand, Cooper, Obita; Norwood, Hector; Robson-Kanu (McCleary 45'), Quinn (Rakels 59'), John; Kermorgant
Unused substitutes: Bond, Evans, Lucas Piazon, Williams, Cox

Robson-Kanu pen 24 (converts penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner. 24' Penalty conceded by Fernando Amorebieta after a foul in the penalty area.),
Robson-Kanu 41 (header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ola John.)

Fulham: Lonergan; Jazz Richards, Madl, Amorebieta, Garbutt; Fredericks (Kacaniklic 73'), Baird, O'Hara (Tunnicliffe 67'), McCormack; Cairney (Parker 81'); Dembele
Unused substitutes: Lewis, Burn, Hyndman, Matt Smith

Dembele 8 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Michael Madl with a headed pass following a corner.),
McCormack pen 52 (converts penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner. 51' Penalty conceded by Jake Cooper after a foul in the penalty area.)

Booked: Fredericks (21,f), McCormack (64,f), Tunnicliffe (72,f), Richards (90,hb)

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 17,859

Source ESPN FC
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