Villa squander three points after taking the lead twice in fiery encounter at Villa Park.Aston Villa and Fulham played out an entertaining draw at Villa Park as both sides spurned chances for victory which would see them move away from the scrap at the bottom end of the Premier League.
Villa opened the scoring when John Pantsil headed into his own net from a Stewart Downing cross. Both sides spurned decent chances before Andy Johnson got Fulham back into the game in the second half after following up Steve Sidwell’s shot which was parried out by Brad Friedel.
Kyle Walker put Villa back in the lead with a superb effort from distance after running at the Fulham defense from his own half.
Seven minutes later Clint Dempsey got a deserved equalizer for the Cottagers after heading in form a Danny Murphy cross to give Mark Hughes’ side a crucial point away from home.
Aston Villa got off to a good start with some flowing moves but took the lead in a surprise manner when Downing’s cross was headed into his own net by Pantsil for his second own goal in a matter of weeks after the ball had sailed over the head of Darren Bent
Fulham were playing catch-up but had a decent chance to get back on level terms through Sidwell whos struck well from the edge of the box which troubled Friedel but he managed to gather the ball at the second attempt
Again the visitors pressed high up the field in and Moussa Demeble nicked the ball off Stilian Petrov and found Johnson infield.
The ball found its way back to Dembele on the left who fizzed a ball across the area which fell to Damien Duff but his effort was well blocked by James Collins who bravely dived in the way of the ball.
Villa played some good possession football but struggled to carve out any clear cut chances with Downing in particular seeing a lot of the ball but was unable to produce anything in the final third which meant Darren Bent spent the majority of the first half feeding off scraps.
The Cottagers continued to threaten on the break and this Murphy and Dempsey combined to set up Sidwell ,who was having a great game at the heart of the midfield, shot just wide from 20 yards just before the break.
In the second half Villa came out looking for a second to kill the game off and nearly did just that as Gabriel Agbonlahor and Bent went close but both were unable to beat Schwarzer in the Fulham goal.
Fulham again pressed forward and Sidwell again was proving to be a nuisance for his former club and saw another long drive blocked by the Villa defense as it looked goal-bound.
The visitors got a deserved equalizer when Dembele got the ball infield and teed up Sidwell who stuck another stinging shot at Friedel but the American parried the ball outwards in the middle of the goal and Johnson reacted first and headed the ball into the net.
The home-side responded and Clark and Agbonlahor could have regained the lead for Villa before Walker received ball off Petrov in the 78th minute and ran unopposed at the Fulham defense where he drove a vicious 30 yard shot at goal which ended up in the bottom corner giving Schwarzer no chance.
This joy for Villa was short-lived as Fulham refused to lie down and Murphy put great ball into the box for Dempsey to home from six-yards with Friedel flapping in no-man’s land.
It could have gotten worse for Villa when Mark Hughes’ side broke up the field with two minutes left and Johnson cut inside Walker before firing an effort at goal which was well saved by Friedel atoning for his earlier error.Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!