Goalkeeper Antti Niemi suffered a horrible neck injury which soured Fulham's entertaining goalless draw against
The Fulham goalkeeper fell awkwardly on his neck in a challenge with Golden Boys substitute, Darius Henderson and team-mate Carlos Bocanegra.
The drama was relentless at Craven Cottage, as former
Helguson, still held in high regard by the majority of the travelling support massed at the Putney end, thought he had given Fulham the led in only the seventh minute when he headed home from Liam Rosenior's cross.
However, as the Icelandic striker wheeled away to celebrate, he was pulled back by referee Steve Bennett who ruled the goal out for offside.
At the other end, Anthony McNamee missed a glorious chance to put
But it was Fulham who dominated after that. Bocanegra was first denied by Ben Foster who saved well down to his left when the American was allowed a free shot at goal from Wayne Routledge's corner.
Tomasz Radzinski was then marginally off target with his lob after latching on to Bocanegra's pass. Soon after,
The pressure from Fulham did not ease off with Moritz Volz, Radzinski and Routledge surged forward at an alarming rate.
The one-way traffic appeared to have finally taken its toll on
But with Smith missing two half-chances it is easy to see just why a goal-scorer is top of
After the restart it was Fulham who again looked likely to break the deadlock through McBride and Helguson, although it was
However, the lively match took a sour turn when Niemi suffered a horrible neck injury.
The goalkeeper climbed up to head the ball clear by was upended in the challenge with Bocanegra and Henderson. He landed head first and needed seven minutes of attention before being carried from the ground in a neck brace.
Coleman introduced the talented Luis Boa Morte just over the hour mark and he almost made an instant impact. His inviting cross was perfect for Helguson and McBride but neither could not supply the finish from four yards out.
Fulham continued to threaten and Radzinski was denied from close range by Foster at the far post.
Collins John then somehow squandered a glorious chance in injury time. The Dutchman rounded Foster but planted his shot wide, despite having an open goal.
At the other end the drama would not let up as
Golden Boys man of the match: Ben Foster, just ahead of substitute, Malky Mackay. An outstanding and commanding display from the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper.