Draw leave Boro on the brink

2009-04-18 19:30

Middlesbrough - Middlesbrough were left looking doomed to relegation after a superb display by their former goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer earned Fulham a point in a goalless draw at the Riverside.

With matches against Arsenal and Manchester United next on their agenda, Gareth Southgate's men knew they had to take all three points against Fulham if they were to retain a realistic chance of beating the drop.

That they failed to do so was the result of a sterling display by Fulham centreback Aaron Hughes and Schwarzer's efforts against the club he served for 11 years, the Australian capping a typically efficient all-round display with one stunning stop to deny Tuncay Sanli two minutes after the break.

Fulham probably just about deserved their point having carved out two superior chances in the opening period.

The first of those saw Bobby Zamora inexplicably failing to connect with Simon Davies's cross, while Andrew Johnson was left clutching his head in disbelief after a drive came back off the inside of the post.

Boro were dominant after the interval but after Tuncay's header was kept out by Schwarzer, who threw himself to his right to palm the effort away. The closest they came to a breakthrough was when they had a 79th-minute penalty appeal turned down after a Stewart Downing shot struck Dickson Etuhu on the hand.

Before that, Schwarzer had twice been called upon to make crucial saves, tipping a drive from Downing over the bar before turning away Tony McMahon's cross-cum-shot.