x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Southampton 2 Fulham 2

Nigel Adkins was pleased by the character Southampton showed to earn a point but was disappointed with the way his side almost gifted Fulham victory at St Mary's.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Hugo Rodallega of Fulham has his shot blocked by Jose Fonte of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Fulham at St Mary's Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 153610527.jpg
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Hugo Rodallega of Fulham has his shot blocked by Jose Fonte of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Fulham at St Mary's Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 153610527.jpg

SOUTHAMPTON // Nigel Adkins was pleased by the character Southampton showed to earn a point but was disappointed with the way his side almost gifted Fulham victory at St Mary's.

Jose Fonte gave Saints a fourth-minute lead but, having failed to make the most out of their first-half dominance, Fulham levelled things up thanks to Jos Hooiveld's second-half own goal.

The Dutch defender was again involved two minutes from time when the substitute Kieran Richardson's close-range effort took a deflection off him on its way in, seemingly ensuring an away win.

However, Saints rallied late on and Fonte's last-gasp header earned a point that Adkins knows could have easily been three.

"Obviously I am delighted we've come back so late after going behind, but disappointed to concede the goals we did," the Southampton manager said.

He added: "We'd like to think we could've done better with them, but there was great character from the players to score at the end."

While Adkins was left thankful, Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, rued what could have been. The Dutchman was annoyed by Fonte's leveller, claiming Maya Yoshida fouled Richardson in the build-up to what proved to be a decisive free kick for Southampton.

"It was 100 per cent a free kick [for Fulham] ... I remember I thought 'now we are fine, we have the ball, the pressure is gone'," he said. "But ... two seconds later it was a free kick for them. That happens and, of course, if it hadn't they wouldn't have scored.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE