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Saturday, 2 December, 2000, 18:29 GMT
Preston 1-1 Fulham
Championship leaders Fulham were disappointed not to beat their hosts Preston after an awesome display of attacking football.

Preston took the lead after just three minutes, when Michael Jackson headed home emphatically from close range.

But Fulham came back strongly and equalised after half-an-hour when Sean Davis crashed the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards out.

They then piled on the pressure and Preston had to defend stubbornly to hold out for a draw.

After the game Preston manager David Moyes said: "In all my time as manager here that has been the hardest game, apart from Arsenal and Everton.

"I thought Fulham were fantastic. The result is a credit to our lads who defended really well.

Confidence

"I'm always delighted with goals but I was particularly pleased that we got one early."

Fulham goalkeeper Maik Taylor said: "We kept plugging away but unfortunately a win wasn't to be today.

"The lads have unbelievable confidence. We felt that over the 90 minutes we deserved a bit more."

Fulham were stunned when Preston grabbed the lead after just three minutes and 57 seconds.

They gained a corner when Chris Coleman headed out a Rob Edwards volley.

Gary Parkinson, who had been drafted into the side due to injury and suspension problems, floated over a freekick and Michael Jackson claimed a free header from seven yards out.

But Fulham refused to be downhearted and on six minutes Luis Boa Morte tested keeper David Lucas with a ball across goal that the keeper did well to palm out.

A follow-up attempt by Bjarne Goldbaek was wide of the post.

Superior play

But Goldbaek continued to press forward and might well have scored on 17 minutes if his 28-yard freekick had been a few inches closer to the far post.

Boa Morte was denied by keeper Lucas for a second time on 19 minutes, failing to beat the big man when really he should have chipped over for the finish.

Marksman Louis Saha, with 20 league and cup goals under his belt, had a rather quiet afternoon and found himself booked for a dive on 20 minutes.

Preston tried to add to their lead and Jon Macken fired over the crossbar in first-half injury time.

However, Fulham were far superior on the ball and created acres of space in midfield as Preston sometimes sat back.

Following the equaliser Davis went in search of a second. However, his 71st minute free kick was ironically cleared off the line by scorer Jackson.

With the minutes ticking away substitute Barry Hayles burst through the defence and nearly scored with a fierce drive.


Preston: Lucas, Parkinson, Edwards, Jackson, McKenna, Gregan, Robinson, Meijer, Macken, Anderson, Rankine.
Subs: Moilanen, Barry-Murphy, Cartwright, Gunnlaugsson, Ludden.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Coleman, Clark, Goldbaek, Saha, Boa Morte, Davis, Fernandes.
Subs: Hahnemann, Symons, Sahnoun, Hayles, Lewis.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)

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