A late George Williams penalty earned Fulham Under-18s a richly deserved point at Staplewood as the Whites were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton on Wednesday.
The Fulham winger had the first real opportunity of the match with 20 minutes on the clock when he fired wide from Dean O’Halloran’s pass, before Sam Gallagher missed the target at the other end.
Gallagher’s lob at the end of the first half just lacked the accuracy needed to break the deadlock, with Patrick Roberts squandering a chance to open the scoring four minutes after the restart when his 20-yard effort flew just wide.
Mekhi Leacock-McLeod then saw his strike deflect behind, before Williams, Josh Smile and Liam Donnelly all tried their luck as Fulham turned the screw.
But it was the home side who drew first blood as the imposing Gallagher rose highest to head in the opener in the 81st minute – although their lead was short-lived when Williams was upended in the area by goalkeeper Harry Isted.
Williams planted his spot-kick into the top corner to ensure the Whites didn’t leave Hampshire empty handed as his side ended 2013 on a three-game unbeaten run. They are next in action at home to Arsenal on Saturday 4th January.
“It wasn’t our best performance but in the second half we got on top,” Academy Director Huw Jennings told fulhamfc.com. “We conceded against the run of play, but certainly justifiably got a draw with the penalty about five minutes before the end.
“It’s another solid result away from home and keeps our consistent run going in terms of results. It’s nice for the lads to have a breather now as they’ve been working hard since July so I think it’s very important for them to have a break.”