Honours even with Fulham

Frederic Piquionne's third goal in as many matches helped extend West Ham United's unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions courtesy of a 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Fulham.

The summer capture from Portsmouth rose high to head Victor Obinna's inch-perfect cross past a helpless Mark Schwarzer six minutes after the interval, cancelling out Clint Dempsey's 33rd-minute opener.

A point apiece was as much as West Ham could hope for after the Cottagers had the better of the opening 45 minutes at the Boleyn Ground. A half-time tactical switch from Hammers manager Avram Grant brought about the desired upturn in performance, but the hosts failed to build on Piquionne's equaliser.

Indeed, Fulham could have left east London with all three points had it not been for England goalkeeper Robert Green and a woeful late finish from substitute Diomansy Kamara.

West Ham actually started the better of the two sides, with Piquionne almost repeating his trick against Tottenham Hotspur a week previously, only for left-back Carlos Salcido to clear his header from Mark Noble's left-wing corner off the line.

While the Hammers worked hard to find their passing rhythm, it was Fulham who settled the quicker of the two teams and it was no surprise when Dempsey put them ahead in slightly fortuitous circumstances.

The American, who had already been heavily involved as the victim of challenges that saw Danny Gabbidon and Scott Parker harshly booked, made the breakthrough when Simon Davies' attempted cross hit Luis Boa Morte and looped into his path. Dempsey controlled before poking a shot beyond Green into the top right-hand corner.

Having seen his players fail to create a meaningful opportunity in the closing moments of the first half, Grant made an effective tactical change at the break, moving Pablo Barrera to the left and switching from a 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 formation.

The decision paid dividends immediately, but not before Dempsey had seen his shot kiss the top of the crossbar on the way over the top.

Minutes later, Boa Morte intercepted Brede Hangeland's clearance before feeding Obinna, whose first-time cross landed square on the head of the in-form Piquionne, who made no mistake from six yards.

Unfortunately, despite the introduction of Carlton Cole, West Ham could not keep up the momentum and it was Fulham who finished the stronger.

Green had to be alert to push Davies' skidding drive around the post before making an even better stop to keep out Dickson Etuhu's downward header with his left hand.

Into the first minute of added time and the goalkeeper was forced to watch in horror as the unmarked Kamara raced through and shot over his head, only to clear the crossbar by a couple of yards.

Afterwards, man of the match Noble admitted the Hammers had been slightly fortunate not to lose.

"I think we've got mixed emotions - we wanted to win but obviously Fulham are a tough team, a well-organised team and they play well together and have been together for a couple of years as a team and they play like that. In a way, it was a good point but we wanted more out of the game.

"I think we came back well. If we'd gone one down two or three weeks ago, we would have crumbled but we aren't doing that now. We're playing together and we're sticking together as a team and that's what we're going to need.

"I think it's just a case of players getting to know each other and getting to know how the manager wants us to play, the systems the manager wants us to play and we've gelled. We're looking forward every week to the games because we know we can win them."