Late Jones goal seals draw
Fulham let lead slip against 10-man hosts
Last Updated: 27/10/07 5:40pm
Jones: Late equaliser
A late goal from Kenwyne Jones earned Sunderland a deserved point against Fulham at the Stadium of Light.
It really was a game of two halves as Fulham dominated a nervous Sunderland in the first half and deservedly took the lead from a Simon Davies free-kick in the 32nd minute.
But Sunderland came out a different team in the second half and eventually got their equaliser in the 86th minute when Jones headed home a Grant Leadbitter cross.
They had earlier been reduced to ten men when Greg Halford was sent off in the 67th minute for a second bookable offence.
Sunderland could have won the game deep into injury-time but substitute Anthony Stokes shot straight at keeper Antti Niemi from point-blank range.
Fulham enjoyed the better of the first period and Clint Dempsey forced a solid save from Craig Gordon with a fourth-minute header and then put another effort wide on 29 minutes.
However, only David Healy will know how he failed to give Fulham the lead on nine minutes when he ran on to Danny Higginbotham's suicidal pass across goal 20 yards out, but steered his left-foot shot wide of the empty net.
But the deadlock was broken on 32 minutes when, after Diomansy Kamara had been fouled by Dickson Etuhu, Davies stepped up to drill a wind-assisted free-kick past Gordon.
It was scarcely more than his side deserved, and the Sunderland players left the field at half-time knowing there would be few punches pulled in the dressing room.
Roy Keane's salvo appeared to do the trick as the home side emerged in determined fashion and made more of an impact in the opening three minutes of the second half than they had done in the entire first.
Jones belatedly found his feet and forced an important block from Danny Murphy after cutting inside from the left, and then curled another effort wide before Aaron Hughes had to throw himself into the path of a Leadbitter shot.
However, the visitors would have extended their lead on the hour had Dempsey managed to keep his shot down after Davies' free-kick had been diverted back across the penalty area.
Keane moved to increase the pressure a minute later when he replaced Etuhu and Chopra with Stokes and Daryl Murphy, but his plans were torn apart within six minutes when Halford was sent off for a second bookable offence.
In a frantic period of play, Kamara saw a goal ruled out for a foul on Nyron Nosworthy, but it was then that Sunderland's big chance arrived.
Leadbitter slipped in behind the Fulham defence to run on to Jones' flick-on, but although Niemi hesitated initially, he recovered to make a fine save.
The equaliser finally arrived with four minutes remaining when Jones climbed to power home a header from Leadbitter's cross, and the Black Cats might have completed a remarkable comeback deep into injury-time when Stokes got in but saw Niemi block with his legs.
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|3||Shots on Target||2|
|4||Shots off Target||5|
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