Fulham v Bournemouth encounters are normally feisty affairs and this was no exception.
Fulham had lost their last two games whilst the Cherries – after a 9-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool – sacked Scott Parker, previously at Fulham.
They were undefeated in their last five matches under new boss Gary O’Neil.
Last season, when both sides achieved automatic promotion, Bournemouth in the fixture at the Cottage scored directly from the kick-off in a rehearsed move.
Yesterday they again caught Fulham unawares early doors with a fluid movement which Dominic Solanke completed.
Fulham gave late fitness tests to Harrison Reed and Alec Mitrovic but the latter looked like he was still carrying an injury.
Issa Diop came in for Tosin and it was the new boy who scored from a corner to equalise.
He is a big gangly unit but this header was more a glancing than towering one.
Bournemouth took the lead again through Jefferson Lehman when the Fulham marking might have been tighter.
In the second half a Mitrovic penalty (to a rather similar foul as the one last week against West Ham) put us on level terms and that is how the score (2-2) stayed.
The only point worth making about the last 20 minutes is that Bournemouth employed dubious time-wasting tactics such as players going down requiring lengthy treatment and then making a miraculous recovery.
They also dragged out the time to take off substitutes.
Tactically they exploited the spatial weakness of Decordova-Reid who is a forward and looked vulnerable at left back.
Had the away side been more attacking in the second half one point might have become three.
The new stand now finished looks magnificent and I’m told the views over London are something to behold.
It was one of those games where it was hard to identify a Fulham man of the match.
Tim Ream was outstanding at the heart of a Fulham defence albeit one that has not kept a clean sheet all season so I could not bestow that honour on him.
When Tom Cairney came on he looked back to his imperious best but – for his tackling and overall presence – Joao Pahlinha was my man of the match.
Fulham, now with 12 points and in 10th position, have a cycle of winnable games starting with Aston Villa on Thursday at home, then Leeds away and Everton at home occupying 14th, 15th and 16th positions respectively.
The two November games against the Manchester teams before the World Cup break look tough so it’s vital to garner enough points in October to maintain a position of safety.