LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur missed the chance to go sixth in the English Premier League on Monday after battling Fulham earned a 1-1 draw in a pulsating London derby at White Hart Lane.
Both sides finished with 10 men, Fulham having goalkeeper Maik Taylor sent-off just before half-time while Spurs lost midfielder Darren Anderton on 73 minutes.
An own goal from Ledley King gifted Fulham an early lead but Teddy Sheringham levelled from the penalty spot following Taylor’s dismissal for hauling down Simon Davies.
“It was a frustrating night for us. We were not at our best,” Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle told Sky TV.
The former England coach added: “We did not come out of the traps and be ruthless enough in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
“When you have an extra man you have to make it pay. But Fulham made it difficult for us and deserved a point.”
Spurs remain eighth, level on 43 points with Liverpool, while Fulham stay 15th but move one point closer to safety.
Fulham lost defender Martin Djetou to injury in the 12th minute but went ahead three minutes later with a route one goal.
Taylor’s long goal kick was not dealt with by the Spurs defence, allowing Steve Marlet to feed Portuguese Luis Boa Morte, whose left-foot strike deflected in off King's thigh.
The home side countered with Anderton forcing Taylor to tip over his rasping drive from distance. The Fulham goalkeeper then followed up just minutes later by clawing King’s firm header on to the crossbar.
Taylor’s night turned to misery though just before the break when he was dismissed for hauling down a clean-through Davies inside the penalty area.
TV replays appeared to show Taylor getting a hand to the ball before Davies fell over his challenge, but referee Graham Barber reached for a straight red card.
Reserve goalkeeper Martin Herrera, signed on a free transfer from Spanish Division One outfit Alaves last July, came on for his Fulham debut but the Argentine was unable to save Sheringham’s spot-kick which brought Spurs level.
Hoddle’s side pressed forward after the break and should have gone ahead on 64 minutes, only for Slovenia midfielder Milenko Acimovic to miss from just six metres out.
Barber then restored parity by dismissing Anderton for a foul on striker Louis Saha, his second yellow card.
Saha almost won it for Fulham 15 minutes from time, his rasping drive beating Kasey Keller but cannoning against the crossbar. – Reuters