Fulham succeeded where several more famous names have failed as Roy Hodgson's side earned a gritty 0-0 draw at Stoke on Saturday. The Cottagers are still waiting for their first away win this season but they will be happy enough with a point at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke have already won five times this season and taken the scalps of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham. Fulham remained in mid-table after their fourth successive draw. Stoke, also unbeaten in four matches, are also well clear of the bottom three.
Stoke suffered an early blow when Mali international Mamady Sidibe was carried off on a stretcher with barely a minute gone. Hodgson's team threatened for the first time when Andy Johnson tumbled into the box after contact with Glenn Whelan on the 18-yard line but referee Stuart Attwell waved to play on. Attwell, infamous for awarding a "phantom goal" at Watford earlier this season, failed to get an early grip and the crowd were soon on his back.
Abdoulaye Faye had Stoke's first serious effort at goal from a corner but his header was blocked by one of his own team-mates. Richard Cresswell wasted the best chance of the first half six minutes before the interval after linking well with Ricardo Fuller. The Jamaica international turned on the edge of the area and slipped in a fine ball but Cresswell somehow scooped over from 10 yards.
Jimmy Bullard had the first chance of the second half but the Fulham midfielder shot weakly at Thomas Sorensen after breaking into the box. Fulham carved out a good chance moments later when Johnson pulled the ball back from the byline but Clint Dempsey missed the target from six yards. Stoke substitute Vincent Pericard broke clear soon after but wasted the opportunity by shooting early and wide. The hosts, finishing strongly, appealed for a penalty late on after Fuller went down after contact with Danny Murphy but again Attwell waved away their protests.