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Lambert late show rescues Southampton
Published : 26 Dec 2012 18:16:57Rss feed
Rickie Lambert lashed home an 85th-minute penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Southampton at Fulham on Wednesday that helped Nigel Adkins' side keep their noses above the Premier League relegation zone.
Dimitar Berbatov had put the hosts ahead in the eighth minute at Craven Cottage and the London club were on course for only a second win in 11 games until Chris Baird's handball allowed Lambert to level from the spot.
The draw left the Saints a point above the bottom three in 17th place, with Fulham slipping to 14th.
Fulham had already seen Steve Sidwell shoot narrowly wide from 20 yards when Berbatov broke the deadlock, helping the ball over the line after visiting goalkeeper Kelvin Davis had taken the sting out of Sascha Riether's cross.
The Bulgarian celebrated by revealing a T-shirt that bore the slogan 'Keep Calm and Pass the Ball to Me,' and earned a booking for his trouble.
The former Manchester United striker then headed off-target following a sweeping move, before Jack Cork reacted for the visitors with a powerful effort that was well fielded by Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Jason Puncheon threatened for Southampton early in the second period but a point seemed destined to elude them until former Saints star Baird handled the ball under pressure from Lambert at a corner.
Schwarzer got a glove to Lambert's spot-kick, but the power on the ball took it past him.
Close-season signing Gaston Ramirez almost gave Southampton all three points with a swerving effort that caused Schwarzer a moment of unease, while Sidwell flashed a volley wide at the death.