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Match Reports

Fulham v Norwich City

18 October 2016


FULHAM pegged Norwich City back to earn a 2-2 draw and deny Alex Neil's men a first win at Craven Cottage for over 30 years.

The opening half was a story of two penalties as Graham Dorrans converted twice from 12 yards to elevate his team into a position of control.

His first spot-kick came after Scott Malone had clattered into Jacob Murphy in the area, with the Scot calmly slotting the ball straight down the middle to deceive David Button.

Fulham were competitive but with City defending well, and the hosts were dealt another blow four minutes before half-time when Dorrans did the business again after the hapless Malone had tugged Cameron Jerome to the floor.

Ten minutes after break though, the lead was halved when Canaries Academy graduate Chris Martin made space and fired at goal, his effort finding the bottom corner via two deflections.

Dorrans - hero of the first half - then gave possession away cheaply for Fulham's leveller 12 minutes later as Martin finished with aplomb after being spotted by Stefan Johansen.

The momentum was firmly with the home side, but City stemmed the flow and even threatened to snatch the win in the final moments - though in the end, it was a point apiece for the Canaries and the Cottagers.

Robbie Brady's return to fitness meant Alex Pritchard had to settle for a place on Norwich's bench.

That was Neil's only change from the weekend victory over Rotherham United as Jonny Howson remained absent with an ankle injury.

For Fulham, Martin - on loan at London outfit from Derby County - led the line after hitting the net in their 4-2 triumph at Barnsley on Saturday, and former loanee Scott Parker was their skipper.

Following the frustration at conceding two penalties in the first 45, Fulham needed a boost early in the second half and got it when Martin was fortunate to see his first goal end up in the net.

The Scotland international worked himself into an area where he was able to get the shot away, and with clips off Russell Martin and his teammate Johansen, it beat a helpless Michael McGovern.

It lifted a despondent crowd and ultimately brought his team back into a game, with a point secured after his convincing second strike.

With Newcastle picking up another three points against Barnsley, City were displaced at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

There will be an overriding feeling of disappointment after losing a two-goal advantage, but a point at least keeps the Canaries ticking over in the relentless schedule of English football's second tier.

At times in the second half, it looked like Fulham might have stolen all three, so it will now be about learning the lessons for Neil's troops and preparing for the visit of Preston on Saturday.

GOALS: Cottagers: Chris Martin (55, 67) - Canaries: Graham Dorrans (pen 17, pen 41)

FULHAM: Button; Odoi (Fredericks 49), Sigurdsson, Ream, Malone, Parker (c), McDonald (Tunnicliffe 82), Aluko, Johansen, Piazon (Smith 90), Martin. Subs not used: Bettinelli (GK), Madl, Sessegnon, Kebano.

: McGovern; Pinto, Martin (c), Klose, Olsson; Tettey, Dorrans; Ja. Murphy, Hoolahan (Naismith 63), Brady (Oliveira 85); Jerome. Subs not used: Ruddy (GK), Pritchard, Bennett, Jo. Murphy, Thompson.

REFEREE: James Linington


Tickets are available on general sale for City's meeting with Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.

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