Fulham draws with Birmingham
27 November 2010, 21:18
London - Fulham forward Clint Dempsey denied Birmingham their first away win of the season as the American's equaliser earned a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Alex McLeish's side led through a 19th-minute strike from Sebastian Larsson but Fulham salvaged a point through Dempsey's 53rd-minute header.
Fulham are still one place above the relegation zone and they are now without a win in their last five league games.
The Cottagers should have taken the lead in the fourth minute but a goalbound shot by Aaron Hughes was cleared off the line by Keith Fahey.
In the 11th minute, Dempsey tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area but his shot flashed past the upright.
Birmingham took the lead against the run of play with their first threatening attack of the game.
A surge by Alexander Hleb took him into the penalty and he crossed for Larsson to control and fire into the far corner.
In the 31st minute the hosts carved out an opening when Zoltan Gera crossed for Diomansy Kamara to try a spectacular overhead kick. But the Fulham striker did not connect with the ball sufficiently to threaten Ben Foster in the City goal.
Birmingham continued to press forward and in the 40th minute Fulham defender Chris Baird had to make a last-ditch header to prevent Larsson from getting another chance at the far post.
But Fulham started brightly in the second-half and their pressure paid off in the 53rd minute when Birmingham failed to clear a corner and Dempsey climbed highest at the far post to equalise with a simple header.
The Cottagers were in the ascendancy and Birmingham's frustration deepened when they lost Hleb through injury in the 61st minute.
City had the chance to reclaim the lead moments later but a far-post header from Roger Johnson was well wide of the target.
Fulham escaped another defeat thanks to the woodwork in the 74th minute when another header from Johnson rattled the bar.