Rickie Lambert's late spot-kick secured a deserved point for Southampton against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The home side took the lead early in the first half through striker Dimitar Berbatov, who hooked home after Kelvin Davis could only parry a cross.

It was all Southampton from then on, though, with Jason Puncheon and Lambert both close to equalising.

But they were not to be denied, and Lambert emphatically converted his penalty after Chris Baird's handball.

Brede Hangeland could have snatched all three points for the hosts with a header that drifted agonisingly wide in injury time, but that would have been harsh on the Saints.

Jol blames 'stupid' handball

With only one victory from their last 11 games, Fulham were markedly better than they were last time out, when Martin Jol's side were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool.

Steve Sidwell produced a resolute display in the middle of the park, tenacious in the tackle - something badly absent against the Reds - and Berbatov showed his class with his catalogue of touches, tricks and flicks.

After shipping 24 goals in their opening eight league matches this season, Nigel Adkins has shored up the Saints defence considerably.

The last five games have seen them concede only four goals, and this has coincided with them inching away from the relegation zone.

Boxing Day Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov scored his fifth Boxing Day Premier League goal. None of his peers can beat him, but Jermain Defoe and Frank Lampard are level with him.

Missing the drive of skipper Adam Lallana in midfield, big-money summer signing Gaston Ramirez was unable to find any real cohesion with the lone front-man Lambert.

Fulham started much the brighter, with Sidwell flashing a shot narrowly wide, before they took the lead when goalkeeper Davis failed to deal with Sascha Riether's cross and Berbatov bundled home his sixth league goal of the season.

Saints responded well though, and their confidence was boosted when Jack Cork forced a neat save from goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a rasping drive.

Adkins cites Southampton continuity

Puncheon fizzed a low effort just wide and former Fulham man Steven Davis headed off target, as the visitors foraged for an equaliser.

The best opening fell to Lambert in the second half. The Englishman swung a left foot at Jose Fonte's flick-on, but saw his volley fly agonisingly over the crossbar.

And the pressure finally told as Baird deliberately handled in the box and Lambert smashed in the resulting spot-kick.

Sidwell came close in the dying minutes, as did Hangeland, but the Saints went home with a worthy draw.

Fulham manager Martin Jol:

"I am like a thunderstorm, I am very angry. Sometimes with myself and sometimes you can do something about it.

"Against Liverpool, I was angry because we didn't have the weapons to play with and that's even more frustrating.

"Today I thought if we played in the way we could play, we could make a difficult for them.

"We could have scored again as we had a couple of chances, but it is not enough. You will never hear me say it was enough to earn three points today because it wasn't."

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins:

"Any point picked up in the Premier League is an important one especially after going behind and we put the ball in good areas.

"We tried to get in good areas and go home with something. If you look at the second half I think we've had a good amount of possession, a few opportunities.

"We have good character in the team and good resolve, playing football in the right manner.

"We came with the mind-set of getting three points today and Kelvin Davis was very quiet in the second half and we looked like the team who would get anything.

Match Stats

Shots

10 7

On target

2 3

Corners

3 5

Fouls

14 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:20 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +4:18

Nathaniel Clyne concedes a free kick for a foul on Kerim Frei. A cross is delivered by John Arne Riise, Header from close range by Brede Hangeland misses to the right of the goal.

90:00 +3:14

Free kick taken by Jose Fonte.

90:00 +3:14 Substitution

Substitution Guly Do Prado is brought on as a substitute for Gaston Ramirez.

90:00 +3:14

John Arne Riise gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez.

90:00 +0:13

Steve Sidwell has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

88:12

Gaston Ramirez takes a outswinging corner.

87:44

Shot by Gaston Ramirez from 25 yards. Save by Mark Schwarzer.

87:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rickie Lambert on Chris Baird. Direct free kick taken by Giorgos Karagounis.

86:18

Pass corner from right by-line taken by Bryan Ruiz to short.

84:29

The assist for the goal came from Gaston Ramirez.

84:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Rickie Lambert - Fulham 1 - 1 Southamp'n Rickie Lambert scores a power penalty. Fulham 1-1 Southampton.

84:13 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Philippe Senderos for unsporting behaviour.

83:06

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Gaston Ramirez. The referee penalises Chris Baird for handball.

81:48

Rickie Lambert is caught offside. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.

80:19

Unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez by Steve Sidwell results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gaston Ramirez.

79:45

Rickie Lambert gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Philippe Senderos. Mark Schwarzer restarts play with the free kick.

78:41

Steve Sidwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Jose Fonte. Morgan Schneiderlin takes the direct free kick.

77:32 Substitution

Substitution Giorgos Karagounis on for Hugo Rodallega.

77:17 Substitution

Substitution Steven Davis goes off and Jay Rodriguez comes on.

77:05

Effort on goal by Rickie Lambert from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

76:28

Gaston Ramirez takes a inswinging corner.

75:42

The free kick is delivered left-footed by Gaston Ramirez from right wing. Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Morgan Schneiderlin. Jose Fonte takes the free kick.

75:42 Booking

Booking John Arne Riise receives a yellow card.

75:25

Foul by John Arne Riise on Jason Puncheon, free kick awarded.

73:15

Jason Puncheon concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Schwarzer. Mark Schwarzer takes the direct free kick.

70:55

Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Kelvin Davis makes a save.

69:58

Inswinging corner taken by Bryan Ruiz.

68:03

Morgan Schneiderlin concedes a free kick for a foul on Kerim Frei. John Arne Riise crosses the ball, Effort on goal by Dimitar Berbatov from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

66:51 Substitution

Substitution Kerim Frei replaces Ashkan Dejagah.

66:34

Shot by Ashkan Dejagah from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.

59:25

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jason Puncheon. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.

58:35

The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.

57:34

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gaston Ramirez, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

56:03

Morgan Schneiderlin fouled by Dimitar Berbatov, the ref awards a free kick. Kelvin Davis restarts play with the free kick.

54:21

Effort from the edge of the box by Ashkan Dejagah goes wide of the left-hand post.

53:51

Dimitar Berbatov is ruled offside. Morgan Schneiderlin takes the indirect free kick.

52:43

Header by Steven Davis from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

51:58

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez by John Arne Riise. Jose Fonte restarts play with the free kick.

46:39

The ball is crossed by Luke Shaw, clearance made by Brede Hangeland. Shot from just outside the box by Jason Puncheon misses to the right of the target.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Bryan Ruiz is brought on as a substitute for Alex Kacaniklic.

45:00 +1:31 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +0:48

Effort on goal by Alex Kacaniklic from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.

45:00 +0:13

Dimitar Berbatov concedes a free kick for a foul on Jose Fonte. Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.

44:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Puncheon on Ashkan Dejagah. Chris Baird restarts play with the free kick.

41:34

Unfair challenge on Jose Fonte by Dimitar Berbatov results in a free kick. Jose Fonte takes the direct free kick.

41:22

Jason Puncheon delivers the ball, save made by Mark Schwarzer.

37:53

Gaston Ramirez takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.

37:21

A cross is delivered by Rickie Lambert, clearance made by Chris Baird.

34:27

Effort from outside the penalty box by Morgan Schneiderlin goes wide left of the goal.

34:22

The ball is delivered by Nathaniel Clyne, Steve Sidwell manages to make a clearance.

33:49

The ball is swung over by John Arne Riise, save made by Kelvin Davis.

32:08

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin on Dimitar Berbatov, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Chris Baird.

30:12

The ball is sent over by Sascha Riether, clearance by Jose Fonte.

28:58

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dimitar Berbatov by Jose Fonte. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.

26:04

Inswinging corner taken by John Arne Riise, save by Kelvin Davis.

25:28

Steve Sidwell fouled by Jack Cork, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.

24:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Jason Puncheon. Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.

23:42

The ball is swung over by Alex Kacaniklic, blocked by Nathaniel Clyne.

23:09

Hugo Rodallega concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgan Schneiderlin. Morgan Schneiderlin takes the direct free kick.

21:52

Jason Puncheon delivers the ball, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.

20:43

Unfair challenge on John Arne Riise by Nathaniel Clyne results in a free kick. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.

19:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Jack Cork. Direct free kick taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.

19:28

Jack Cork takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.

18:52

Jack Cork fouled by Hugo Rodallega, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jack Cork.

17:35

Alex Kacaniklic crosses the ball, save made by Kelvin Davis.

15:17

Alex Kacaniklic crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Dimitar Berbatov misses to the left of the goal.

14:06

Rickie Lambert is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.

13:37

A cross is delivered by Jason Puncheon, blocked by Brede Hangeland.

10:36

Steven Davis challenges Steve Sidwell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.

9:44

Steve Sidwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jose Fonte. Gaston Ramirez crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel.

9:15

Gaston Ramirez crosses the ball, clearance by Philippe Senderos. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gaston Ramirez played to the near post, clearance made by John Arne Riise.

8:45 Booking

Booking Booking for Dimitar Berbatov for unsporting behaviour.

7:47

Assist by Sascha Riether.

7:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham 1 - 0 Southamp'n Dimitar Berbatov finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Fulham 1-0 Southampton.

5:37

Alex Kacaniklic crosses the ball, Maya Yoshida makes a clearance.

4:15

The ball is swung over by Luke Shaw.

3:08

Unfair challenge on Chris Baird by Rickie Lambert results in a free kick. Philippe Senderos takes the direct free kick.

2:31

Steve Sidwell has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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