Fontes late leveller frustrates Fulham

07 October 2012 05:17

Southampton defender Jose Fonte headed a late equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw against Fulham in a dramatic finish at St Mary's on Sunday.

Nigel Adkins' side looked set for their sixth defeat in seven Premier League matches this season when Kieran Richardson put Fulham 2-1 ahead with just two minutes to go.

But Portuguese centre-back Fonte, who had earlier given Saints the lead before a Jos Hooiveld own goal drew Fulham level, came to the rescue as he popped up at the far post to nod home a free-kick in stoppage-time.

Fonte's goal lifted Southampton out of the relegation zone at Reading's expense, while Fulham remain in ninth place.

Southampton made a fast start and striker Rickie Lambert headed into the side-netting after connecting with a Danny Fox corner.

In the fifth minute the hosts went in front when Adam Lallana floated a corner in from the left and Fonte's glanced header at the near post looped over Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Jason Puncheon was next to threaten for the hosts. He was denied on the goal-line by Sascha Riether and then, from the following corner, had the ball in the net only to see his goal disallowed for a foul on Schwarzer.

However, Fulham were more dangerous in the second half and Steve Sidwell hit a post before Hugo Rodallega's close-range effort was well saved by Paulo Gazzaniga.

Martin Jol's side drew level in the 70th minute when John Arne Riise drilled a low shot and centre-back Hooiveld deflected it in for his second own goal of the season.

Hooiveld was involved again when Fulham looked to have snatched the win in the 88th minute. Former Manchester United midfielder Richardson hit a goalbound shot that clipped off Hooiveld's leg and past the wrong-footed Gazzaniga.

But Richardson went from hero to zero in stoppage-time. He gave away a free-kick with a rash foul and Fonte headed home from Fox's delivery to steal a point.

Source: AFP