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Page last updated at 18:56 GMT, Sunday, 26 October 2008

Portsmouth 1-1 Fulham

By Nabil Hassan

Brende Hangeland and Peter Crouch
Crouch (right) scored the opening goal for Portsmouth

Clint Dempsey's late goal rescued an unlikely point for Fulham against managerless Portsmouth.

Pompey took a 60th minute lead through Peter Crouch, who tucked home from close range after being played in by the lively Jermain Defoe.

Fulham were thankful to keeper Mark Schwarzer for keeping them in the game while Nadir Belhadj also hit the post.

And with the game heading for a home victory Dempsey found himself unmarked at the near post to equalise.

All the pre-match talk was of Harry Redknapp's departure to Tottenham and his subsequent successor at Fratton Park.

Pompey chairman Peter Storrie said before the game that Redknapp's exit had shocked and disappointed him while he also confirmed that no-one had so far been approached as a replacement.

Jordan shocked by Redknapp's departure

That left Tony Adams and Joe Jordan to take charge of Pompey who were looking to extend a three-match home winning run in the Premier League while also bouncing back from their disappointing Uefa Cup defeat to Braga on Thursday.

For Fulham the game marked an opportunity to climb up the Premier League table and move away from the relegation places.

And Roy Hodgson's men started brightly with midfielder Jimmy Bullard going close with a first-minute free-kick.

Portsmouth also started well and Younes Kaboul was unlucky to see his early header from Lassana Diarra's corner blocked on the line.

606: DEBATE
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Striker Andrew Johnson was giving the Portsmouth defence, who were missing captain Sol Campbell, a tough time and the former Everton man tested David James with a shot on the turn midway through the first half.

Soon after Pompey midfielder Richard Hughes tested Schwarzer with a fierce drive with the Fulham keeper also equal to Crouch's near-post effort.

Then on the half hour Portsmouth defender Belhadj embarked on a mazy run from the halfway line which saw him beat several men before firing straight at Schwarzer.

Just before the break Johnson had the ball in the net, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

Hodgson satisfied as Fulham draw

Portsmouth continued to press for the opening goal at the start of the second half with Defoe in particular looking most likely to break the deadlock.

Twice he went close, firing just wide on one occasion and seeing Schwarzer save well on another.

Unsurprisingly, it was Defoe who was involved when Pompey did eventually take the lead.

The England striker picked the ball up 25 yards out and with the Fulham defence backing off he neatly played in Crouch who beat Schwarzer from 12-yards out.

Belhadj again went close for Portsmouth shortly after, this time seeing his shot from a tight angle tipped onto the post and behind for a corner.

Fulham rarely threatened in the second half with Bobby Zamora volleying straight at James late on. And James was lucky to see Brede Hangeland head straight at him from close range following an inswinging Bullard corner.

But with four minutes remaining, Dempsey found himself unmarked at the near post and converted Erik Nevland's cross to rescue a point for Fulham.

Defoe had a late chance to win the game but his strike was blocked by Hangeland as Fulham held on for a point.


Portsmouth coach Joe Jordan:
"It was bad luck that we didn't win the game.

"We were the better team for the majority of the game and we should have wrapped up the game before their equaliser.

"On reflection we should have won the game.

"We had several opportunities in general play and we created enough chances to win this game comfortably."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"Portsmouth are a good team with big, strong defenders, hard-working midfielders and dangerous strikers. So this is a good result.

"We have a lot of spirit and it is important that we keep that spirit because this team will get stronger.

"I can never accuse my team of lacking effort and we need to pick up as many points so that we can move up the table."


Portsmouth: James, Pamarot, Kaboul, Distin, Belhadj, Diop, Diarra (Mvuemba 83), Hughes, Armand Traore (Kranjcar 84), Crouch, Defoe. Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Utaka, Kanu, Djimi Traore.

Goals: Crouch 61.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil (Nevland 84), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Gera (Dempsey 71), Johnson, Zamora. Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Ki-Hyeon, Milsom, Kallio, Baird.

Goals: Dempsey 87.

Att: 19,233

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match on 90 minutes: Portsmouth's Jermain Defoe 8.21 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
26 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football


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