<
>
2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Aboubakar Kamara (86')
  • Cyrus Christie (88')

Cyrus Christie redeems himself with late goal for Middlesbrough

Cyrus Christie earned himself redemption with the 88th-minute equaliser which gave Middlesbrough a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
With the ball bouncing around the Fulham penalty area, Christie kept his nerve to volley under the body of home keeper David Button to earn Boro a point.
Just two minutes earlier, Christie had allowed Ryan Sessegnon to send over a deep cross on to the head of Aboubakar Kamara. The Fulham substitute nodded the ball in off the post in what appeared to spare him his own embarrassment after skewing his shot wide 10 minutes earlier.
The whirr of excitement in the closing stages made up for the opening 75 minutes which, while pleasing on the eye, were short on goal-scoring chances.
It took just 14 seconds for the first attempt on goal with Middlesbrough midfielder Lewis Baker skipping through but failing to connect properly with his 20-yard effort.
Seven minutes later, he tried again and connected more sweetly only for Fulham keeper David Button to tip his rising shot over the bar.
Next, Fulham midfielder Oliver Norwood spotted that Boro keeper Darren Randolph had drifted away from his near post at a free-kick.
The Northern Ireland midfielder tried to catch him out, but Randolph scrambled back to shovel the ball away just in time.
If ever there was a game which summed up the conundrum that is Fulham it was this one. Beguiling in possession with runners pulling the Middlesbrough defenders this way and that, the home side also had Floyd Ayite, Sheyi Ojo and Sessegnon running at the Boro full-backs and flashing low cross after low cross into the visitors' penalty area.
The problem was that left only lone striker Rui Fonte in the box to try to finish the moves. Time and again, he was thwarted by Ben Gibson and Dael Fry who simply denied him the space he craved.
It meant that for all the Fulham possession, their only serious attempts on goal came from just inside the area with Ayite foiled by the legs of Darren Randolph or from outside with Norwood shooting just over on two occasions in the first half.
At the other end, Boro right-back Christie, who was more effective going forward than trying to stop Sessegnon galloping past him, jinked his way into the Fulham area. From his pass, Baker's shot was always rising as it flew over the bar.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Another Norwood free-kick came close, this one landing on top of the net.
Fulham were guilty of overplaying after 65 minutes, allowing Jonny Howson to set in motion an attack which ended with Patrick Bamford striking a left-foot shot just wide of the post. Marvin Johnson was similarly just off target three minutes with a low drive from just inside the area.
Neither opportunity was as clear-cut as the chance that then to Kamara 15 minutes from time and which preceded the breathless finish to the game.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 +14 35
2 Sheffield United 16 +10 33
3 Cardiff City 16 +9 31
4 Bristol City 16 +10 30
5 Middlesbrough 16 +8 26
6 Aston Villa 16 +7 26
7 Derby County 15 +4 25
8 Ipswich Town 15 +4 24
9 Nottingham Forest 16 -1 24
10 Leeds United 16 +5 23
11 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +2 23
12 Brentford 16 +4 22
13 Norwich City 16 -5 22
14 Preston North End 16 0 21
15 Queens Park Rangers 16 -3 21
16 Barnsley 15 +1 19
17 Fulham 16 -1 19
18 Reading 15 -1 18
19 Millwall 16 0 17
20 Hull City 16 -2 16
21 Burton Albion 16 -21 13
22 Birmingham City 16 -17 12
23 Bolton Wanderers 16 -16 11
24 Sunderland 16 -11 10

Championship News