Wood spot on to earn Evans his first point with Leeds United

Leeds United players celebrate after Chris Wood scores from the penalty spot against Fulham. Picture: Tony JohnsonLeeds United players celebrate after Chris Wood scores from the penalty spot against Fulham. Picture: Tony Johnson
Leeds United players celebrate after Chris Wood scores from the penalty spot against Fulham. Picture: Tony Johnson
New head coach Steve Evans made the same start as Uwe Rosler as he drew his first game in charge of Leeds United when they took a point from their game against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Moussa Dembele’s 23rd minute effort looked like giving Evans a disappointing night, but Chris Wood’s second half penalty earned United a 1-1 draw which they fully deserved.

New boss Evans made three changes to the side that lost to leaders Brighton on Saturday, bringing back Sam Byram at right-back, Luke Murphy in midfield and Mirco Antenucci up front alongside Chris Wood. Missing out were Scott Wootton, Alex Mowatt and Jordan Botaka, but central defender Liam Cooper was passed fit after recovering from the knee injury that saw him taken off against Brighton.

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It was Fulham through a former Leeds captain, Ross McCormack, who got the first meaningful effort in as he hit a low shot into the side netting.

Leeds responded and Stuart Dallas got in a good shot from the edge of the area that was well saved by goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Wood then saw his effort from close range saved by Lewis after he met Murphy’s free-kick.

But it was the hosts who went ahead when Dembele beat Leeds keeper Marco Silvestri at his near post with a low shot.

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Dallas for Leeds and Ben Pringle for Fulham both hit efforts well over before long range strikes by Lewis Cook and Gaetano Berardi were saved by Lewis.

Sol Bamba headed over as United enjoyed a decent spell, but could not find the net and went in one down at the break.

In the second half, Cooper made an early block to keep the hosts out before Leeds began to exert some pressure in a bid to equalise.

Big shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears when Tom Adeyemi ran into the box only to go down under the challenge of the onrushing Lewis.

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A spot-kick was awarded on 64 minutes, however, as Pringle, who used to play for Evans at Rotherham, was ruled to have handled the ball inside the area and up stepped Wood to score his fifth goal of the season.

Wood was not to feature for long, however, as an injury saw him leave the field and with no striker on the bench Leeds now fielded three wingers with first sub Jordan Botaka asked to play down the middle and second sub Will Buckley on the wing.

Ironically, they had only started with one wide man in Dallas with Cook asked to do a job on the flank.

No matter how unbalanced their line-up was it was United making most of the running and they came close to a winner when Cook went on a great run before putting Antenucci through, but the Italian was foiled by Lewis who was quick off his line .

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Home man of the match Lewis then superbly kept out a fine bending shot by Dallas.

Fulham were hanging on and grateful to their keeper again late on as he saved from Antenucci.

A late corner caused some panic in the Leeds box, but it would have been a travesty if they had been beaten after being the better side for much of the contest.

Match facts

Fulham 1

(Dembele 23)

(Wood 64, pen)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 19,969

Fulham: Lewis, Richards, Stearman, Burn, Garbutt, Tunnicliffe, O’Hara, Christensen (Kacaniklic 67), McCormack, Pringle (Fredericks 65), Dembele (Woodrow 84).

Leeds: Silvestri, Byram, Bamba, Cooper, Berardi, Dallas (Phillips 85), Adeyemi, Murphy (Botaka 58), Cook, Antenucci, Wood (Buckley 70).

Referee: Keith Hill.