Fulham 1-1 Preston: Ross McCormack earns point for Cottagers
Last Updated: 28/11/15 5:44pm
Ross McCormack's equaliser ensured Fulham and Preston shared the spoils in a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet Championship clash at Craven Cottage.
Joe Garner headed Preston in front in the 11th minute and the home fans grew frustrated in a lacklustre first period.
But McCormack's free-kick levelled matters and ensured a second successive 1-1 scoreline for Fulham.
Fulham caretaker head coach Peter Grant was forced to change his plans even before kick-off, when Sakari Mattila was withdrawn with a back injury - his replacement, Scott Parker, making his first appearance of the season for the home side.
Eoin Doyle created the first opportunity for the visitors when his shot from the edge of the box was parried away to safety by Fulham goalkeeper Joe Lewis.
Preston remained on top and took the lead when Garner got his second goal in a week - and his second of the season - when he got his head on the end of a cross by Paul Gallagher following a short corner.
There was no let-up by the Lancashire side, with Garner almost adding a second on 17 minutes when he put his 20-yard effort just wide.
The effort forced Fulham fans into venting their frustration, although their side appeared to pick up the pace soon afterwards.
Moussa Dembele almost improved the mood considerably on the half-hour mark when his looped effort was tipped over the bar by Preston 'keeper Jordan Pickford.
Doyle put a back-post header wide with three minutes of the half remaining, following a cross from Garner.
Ryan Fredericks appeared to be fouled in the box on 51 minutes when he clashed with a Preston defender, but his appeal was turned down by referee Graham Horwood.
Fulham were the more urgent of the two sides and McCormack tested Pickford from 30 yards with a low drive on 76 minutes, the 'keeper parrying away.
Then, a minute later, the captain netted his 12th of the season with a curling free-kick from just outside the penalty area to level the scores.
Neither side appeared content to settle for the single point, however, with Preston forcing pressure through a couple of corners and the home side defending resolutely.
The final effort of note fell to Preston when John Welsh should have done better with his skied effort on 90 minutes, after good work by Adam Reach.
However, the day ended on a sour note when Preston's Stevie May - only on as a last-minute substitute - was stretchered off after an innocuous challenge by Richard Stearman.