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Fulham boss Burnley

last updated Monday 14th December 2009, 9:02 AM
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Peter Gardner at Daily Telegraph

Burnley 1 Fulham 1

It was back in 1951 and the days of Johnny Haynes when Fulham last beat Burnley on their own ground.

That dreadful stain on their record should have been erased at Turf Moor yesterday when a host of opportunities were carelessly squandered, particularly in a first half the visitors dominated from the outset.

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager said: "At the outset I would have settled for a point, but after the way we played in that opening period and just after half-time I felt we should have taken all three points. We played well for long periods and were constantly a threat to Burnley."

The visiting onslaught commenced as early as the first minute when Damien Duff finished wretchedly when he had only Brian Jensen, the Burnley goalkeeper to beat. Fifty seconds later Jensen denied Erik Nevland and on nine minutes Jensen denied once more and succumbed only in the 50th minute when Bobby Zamora struck clinically to follow up the winning goal he had delivered against Sunderland the previous week and one which took his total for the season to seven.

However, it was a strike that rejuvenated Burnley who introduced on loan Portsmouth striker David Nugent to show that the road up front was Steven Fletcher and Wade Elliott's stunning 59th minute equaliser provided a deserved outcome to a splendid encounter that Hodgson described as "an excellent game of football."

Hodgson praised the efforts of Zamora although totally dismissed suggestions that he had touted his player for a place in England's World Cup plans.

Burnley, beaten only once since arriving in the Premier League, a destination they reached thanks to a Wembley winning goal from Elliott in last season's play-offs, finished strongly and their manager Owen Coyle said: "Any point is hard earned and we had to do it the hard way. However when we got to 1-1 after giving away a poor goal and then feeling sorry for ourselves, I felt we could have gone on to win."

Fulham's first half domination was helped by home defensive inefficiency and but for the heroics of Jensen might have ended their 58th year anguish.

Burnley's only response in that opening period came when Robby Blake rifled in a powerful attempt that stung the hands of the Fulham goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer. Additionally, Chris Eagles had a deflected attempt held by Schwarzer who also comfortably held an angled effort from the same player shortly before the break which Burnley reached fortunate to be on turns.

Indeed they could have taken the lead four minutes on the restart but Elliott carelessly shot wide when set up by Andre Bikey. The home side were quickly punished as Zamora sprinted away from Steven Caldwell to beat Jensen with a clinical low drive.

It could have been two five minutes later had not Clarke Carlisle not cleared off the line from Clint Dempsey and Elliott's right-footed volley equaliser in the 59th minute so they deserve the reward for the home side's more hard working second-half performance.
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