Thursday 23 November 2017

McAuley rescues draw for Baggies

FULHAM 1 WEST BROM 1

Paul Doyle

Gareth McAuley scored West Bromwich Albion's first goal of the season to salvage a late draw for Steve Clarke's team, who had been on course for another disappointing result when Steve Sidwell gave Fulham a first-half lead.

Martin Jol will reflect on the chances that his side squandered before conceding late on to a team that remain two points behind them, at the bottom of the league.

Fulham found the breakthrough on 22 minutes. Alexander Kacaniklic delivered a corner, for which Philipe Senderos and McAuley challenged. The ball broke to Sidwell, who swept it smartly into the net from 10 yards.

West Brom found inspiration early in the second half, when Chris Brunt slipped a lovely pass to debutant Victor Anichebe, who rolled past Brede Hangeland and fired a low shot at goal from 12 yards. David Stockdale saved well.

Nicolas Anelka spent most of the afternoon foraging far from goal but in the 74th minute he was teed up nicely by Anichebe and produced a volley from the edge of the box that Stockdale saved awkwardly.

Even if Fulham were beginning to look creaky, Bryan Ruiz could have secured the victory in the 84th minute but his shot from 15 yards cannoned out off the crossbar.

The home side were to regret it when McAuley equalised in stoppage time – soaring superbly to send a powerful 10-yard header into the net from a Brunt corner.

Sunday Independent

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