Seasiders denied by Etuhu equaliser

Dickson Etuhu's 87th-minute strike earned Fulham a 2-2 draw at Blackpool on Saturday in the first-ever Premier League game at Bloomfield Road.

Last Updated: 28/08/10 at 17:22 Post Comment

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England manager Fabio Capello took in the match and must have felt he was on a rollercoaster ride as Etuhu ended an exciting encounter with a late leveller for the visitors.

Bobby Zamora, who could be called up for England's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland, opened the scoring for Fulham before going off with a knock in the second half.

Etuhu had the final word but the Seasiders have now taken a heartening four points from three games in the top flight.

Varney almost put Blackpool ahead in the third minute. He tested goalkeeper David Stockdale - another possible England candidate - from the edge of the area in the third minute, the keeper reacting to see the ball to safety.

Blackpool had the ball in the net after 18 minutes but Brett Ormerod's header following a cross from Charlie Adam was ruled out for offside.

Varney was looking lively and skipped past Pantsil two minutes later, only to find the wrong side of the post with his effort.

Fulham responded and Etuhu saw his header from inside blocked after a corner by Damien Duff.

Fulham carved out a good chance in the 26th minute when Zamora worked his way into the area and tried to release Simon Davies.

But Alex Baptiste stood firm and made a crucial challenge just as his opponent was about to shoot.

Fulham made the breakthrough in the 35th minute with a simple move that split the Blackpool defence.

Duff slipped the ball through to Moussa Dembele, who delivered it into the centre and Zamora sent a powerful header beyond goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

With the England squad about to be announced, it was good moment for Zamora to stress his aerial ability.

Fulham were keen to build on their lead and Zamora got goal-side of Stephen Crainey in the 49th minute but failed to put enough power on his shot and Gilks made the save.

Back came Blackpool and Ian Evatt's effort troubled Stockdale but he recovered with Ormerod handily placed to capitalise on any mistake.

Now it was Fulham's turn to come under some pressure and Stockdale spilled the ball following a challenge by Varney in the 61st minute.

It fell to Elliot Grandin and he found the net but again Blackpool were out of luck.

Referee Mike Oliver ruled that Stockdale had been fouled and disallowed Grandin's effort leaving manager Ian Holloway incensed on the touchline

Blackpool drew level in the 70th minute when Varney's shot came off Aaron Hughes and back to Pantsil, who lost his bearings and diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper.

With Zamora going off after taking a knock Fulham appeared to have lost their way a little.

And Blackpool took the lead in the 76th minute to send the home fans in the 15,529 crowd into dreamland.

It was new recruit Varney who took the plaudits with a glorious finish across Stockdale after a defence-splitting pass by Ormerod.

That goal only sparked Fulham into life, however and they drew level in the 87th minute when Etuhu sent a delicate lob over Gilks after being released by Dembele.

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