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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Tottenham 0-0 Fulham
By Sarah Holt

Fulham's Luis Boa Morte tangles with Pascal Chimbonda
A hard-working Fulham side cancel Tottenham out at White Hart Lane
Fulham claimed a deserved point at Tottenham as both sides wasted chances in an open game at White Hart Lane.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto had the best chance of the first half when he forced Fulham keeper Antti Niemi into a solid save.

Spurs turned up the heat after the break with Pascal Chimbonda and substitute Jermain Defoe going close but a lack of finishing quality showed.

The excellent Moritz Volz nearly nicked it for Fulham but Paul Robinson saved his shot - and a share of the points.

With Tottenham missing England winger Aaron Lennon and Fulham without playmaker Jimmy Bullard (both knee injuries), both sides were a little off kilter - and it showed.

Surprisingly, it was the visitors who seized the initiative, capitalising on some sloppy play amongst the Spurs midfield.

606 VIEW

Cottagers' midfielder Michael Brown gave his former club a scare when he teed-up a shot from the edge of the box, only to see his effort smothered by Michael Dawson.

Robinson also comfortably dealt with a long-range piledriver from Collins John before Bocanegra sent his rising header wide, under pressure from a looming Ledley King.

It was a good 15 minutes before Spurs regained their shape, and finally Chimbonda and Jermaine Jenas, taking Lennon's role on the wing, began feeding some useful wide balls through to Robbie Keane and Mido. Keane, preferred to Defoe, looked lively but his best efforts were thwarted by a mix-and-match Fulham defence.

As the half wore on, the home side's confidence grew and Teemu Tainio went close when he picked up Mido's pass in the box only to wastefully drag his left-footed strike inches wide.

Niemi was also tested by Assou-Ekotto in the 40th minute but the Finn was alert enough to push the ball out of danger.

Keane thought he might have ended Spurs' frustration when he was shoved over in the box by Franck Queudrue but his penalty appeals were waved away and the teams trudged off for the break in stalemate.

Fulham boss Chris Coleman must have had the better of the team talks as the visitors again quickly set the tempo.

Volz, who had a decent game playing in central midfield, won a free-kick and then attempted a rather speculative punt, which sailed wide.

But the match soon descended into pretty harum-scarum stuff with both sides struggling for quality with their final ball.

Aaron Lennon watches from the stands
Spurs winger Lennon watches from the stands after surgery

Keane looped a decent ball into the box but neither Mido or Jenas could get on the end of it.

Minutes later, Mido missed out again when he thumped the ball into the post from a tight angle.

Didier Zokora won a dubious free-kick outside the area - there appeared to be no contact from Queudrue - but Assou-Ekotto again failed to convert a good chance, sending the ball rising over the bar.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Tottenham boss Martin Jol hauled off Tainio and brought on Defoe, to grateful cheers from the home crowd.

Defoe tried to make an instant impact and won a free-kick outside the box but he lashed his strike wide.

Tottenham, urged on by an anxious crowd, threw everything forward in the final 15 minutes but Fulham's defence was impenetrable.

Luis Boa Morte damaged his cheekbone as he cleared Chimbonda's header off the line, Niemi turned Defoe's snap-shot round the post and then substitute Edgar Davids' powerful effort was blocked.

Fulham almost stole maximum points when Volz raced down the other end, only to see Robinson save his long-range strike with his shins.

Despite earning a slim Uefa Cup victory on Thursday, Tottenham remain scoreless in their last three Premiership matches while Fulham stretched their unbeaten run to four games.

  • Tottenham manager Martin Jol:
    "A draw is always frustrating at home because we need a win. It is a concern.

    "We have strikers who can score goals and we have quality midfield players but we need them to gel together as soon as possible. The strikers need better service.

    "I still think we worked hard and defended well and we could easily have lost the game. Credit to Fulham - we couldn't break them down."

  • Fulham manager Chris Coleman:
    "It's not just the point that I'm so pleased about, it's the fashion and the way in which we got it.

    "We took the game to Tottenham, soaked up the pressure, hit them on the break and caused problems.

    "Really, we had half a team out there on the pitch but we have a good work ethic, physically we are very strong and it is all credit to the players."

    Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Zokora, Murphy (Davids 80), Tainio (Defoe 70), Keane, Mido.
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Lee, Huddlestone.

    Booked: Chimbonda, Mido.

    Fulham: Niemi, Rosenior, Pearce, Knight, Queudrue, Volz, Brown, Bocanegra, Boa Morte (Radzinski 77), McBride (Helguson 66), John (Runstrom 82).
    Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Claus Jensen.

    Booked: Boa Morte, Bocanegra.

    Att: 36,131

    Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).

    Boa Morte facing injury lay-off
    17 Sep 06 |  Fulham
    Sunday football photos
    17 Sep 06 |  Football


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