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  • By Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Fulham pegged back by Blackpool after failing to build on thrilling start

Fulham (1) 1 Mitrovic 5

Blackpool (0) 1 Bowler 57

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s early goal got Fulham off to a flier – but they had to settle for a point after losing their way during a largely anemic second half.

The Whites have been having a ball of late, and went into today’s game on the back of 22 goals from four straight wins, but for the first time this year, failed to secure victory.

It took all of five minutes for what appeared to be another routine victory to be signposted, but an equaliser on 57 minutes from Josh Bowler was deserved.

It could be that a first half stoppage of nearly 40 minutes robbed the Whites of all the momentum they were creating but there can be few excuses for an iffy display on their return.

Blackpool were massed into a low block at the off, which was almost all the way back to the 18-yard box at times. But still Fulham got in behind them, like water seeping through cracks of unfinished crazy paving.

Neeskens Kebano worked the ball in to Fabio Carvalho and a rolled cross into the six-yard box was tapped in by Mitrovic from all of three yards. It was his 28th Championship goal of the season.

Soon, Harry Wilson was lobbing just wide and Carvalho sent a glancing header just off target as the prospect of more goals followed.

Could anything stop them? As it happens, a medical emergency at the Hammersmith End did.

The match was halted after 12 minutes and the players left the field for the best part of 40 - a supporter being taken to hospital.

Rediscovering that early rhythm proved tricky for the Whites and Blackpool arguably benefited from the long delay.

Callum Connolly sent a free-kick at Marek Rodak which needed palming away. Bowler cut in from the right and cracked a shot against the bar after getting the better of Tim Ream.

But most of the direction of travel was still unmistakable and after Jordan Thorniley almost flashed a clearing header into his own net – it hit a post – Mitrovic's rebound was smothered by keeper Daniel Grimshaw.

Carvalho, in fine form throughout, produced the moment of the match early in the second half when he twisted past two defenders on half way near the touchline, then hared towards goal before firing against the near post.

The Seasiders were still in it though, and Rodak had to make sure he got behind a rising shot from Jordan Gabriel to preserve the lead. But on 57 minutes, it was all square when Bowler swept in a cut back from CJ Hamilton, with Joe Bryan unable to get back in time to deny the scorer.

The goal gave extra zip to the visitors, who believed they could go on and beat Fulham for a second time this season – they won 1-0 when the teams met at the start of the campaign. Hamilton forced a save from Rodak and the tangerine shirts got forward in numbers. In the end, they looked good value for their point.

Whites: (4-2-1-3) Rodak – Odoi (Knockaert 83), Tosin, Ream, Bryan – Cairney, Reed (Chalobah 73) – Kebano (Muniz 73), Wilson, Carvalho – Mitrovic. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Hector, Cavaleiro, Onomah

Seasiders: (4-1-4-1) Grimshaw – Sterling, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Thorniley - Lawrence-Gabriel – Bowler, Connolly, Dougall, Hamilton – Lavery (Yates 80). Subs not used: Moore, Dale, Madine, Robson, Casey, Kirk

Attendance: 19,092


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