BUT for a small pocket of West Londoners who quickly departed the Reebok on a train bound for Euston, the feeling was one of frustration at Wanderers HQ on Saturday evening.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson made his apologies not long after the final whistle, clutching his rail ticket and a barely-earned league point as he quickly exited the stadium.

But it wasn’t before the wily veteran had praised referee Mark Clattenburg for effectively rescuing a result, adding with tongue planted firmly in cheek, that the Tyne and Wear official had made a brave and correct call to disallow Kevin Davies’s late, late goal.

Owen Coyle could only bite his own tongue as he assessed yet more bad luck to come his way. But the Wanderers boss will also know in his heart of hearts that his team should have been comfortably home and dry by the time Davies climbed — legally — above Brede Hangeland to head home in the 90th minute.

Quite how many mirrors the Glaswegian must have cracked, ladders walked under, or black cats that have crossed his path in the month or so he has been in charge of the Whites is a mystery.

But each passing game seems to throw up a major incident that goes against him, and with some of his relegation rivals showing shoots of recovery, that must be a major concern.

In truth, Wanderers should have won the game at a canter. Fulham offered so little going forward that Jussi Jaaskelainen could have read the matchday programme cover to cover, while Zat Knight and Fabrice Muamba in particular did a sterling job in front of him. Both Gary Cahill and Gretar Steinsson had pulled out of the squad on the day of the game, and Andy O’Brien lasted little more than an hour, yet thanks to Sam Ricketts’ versatility and Chris Basham’s gameness on the right, the big Finn was never seriously called into action.

In an attacking sense, however, Wanderers too failed to really get into gear until the introduction of Vladimir Weiss off the bench midway through the second half.

The first 45 minutes was noteable for only one major opportunity, as Mark Davies combined with Kevin Davies to bring an amazing save out of Mark Schwarzer.

The Australian stopper knew little about his block on the line, his legs diverting the ball up and off the crossbar to safety, but the incident at least served to wake the Reebok from its slumber.

Davies also saw a big penalty shout turned down by referee Clattenburg, as his marker Hangeland appeared to ride piggyback in his attempts to clear the ball. That would be a sign of things to come.

The malaise continued into the second half, summing up one of the major obstacles that the manager needs to negotiate. Coyle wants his team to embrace a passing brand of football but at times in the opening hour there were a significant lack of volunteers to take on enough possession to do damage.

Chung-Yong Lee was having one of his quietest afternoons in memory but the South Korea international got a golden chance on 74 minutes when he exchanged passes with Tamir Cohen and attempted to go round Schwarzer, only for the keeper to desperately palm the ball away as he wound up his shot.

When Slovakia international Weiss exploded on to the pitch 17 minutes from the end the touchpaper was well and truly lit.

Within 60 seconds of his arrival, the tricky winger had cut in from the left to drive a shot that looped off Chris Barid and on to the roof of the net.

Fulham then registered their first real shot towards goal as on-loan defender Nicky Shorey drove into Whites territory and hit another deflected shot that looped just over the bar.

The action was all packed into the last quarter of the game, and Muamba had the next opportunity, turning a cross from makeshift full-back Basham just wide of the post.

And the game’s best two chances were yet to come. Johan Elmander has been patiently waiting for his chance since Coyle’s arrival, and might well have been disappointed that the manager decided to stick with a 4-5-1 formation at home, leaving him on the bench.

He again showed some neat touches after coming on for Mark Davies – the man who had effectively partnered his namesake Kevin as furthest midfielder forward — but crucially missed his only clear cut goalscoring opportunity.

Skipper Davies played a deft pass into the Sweden international’s path, and while he took the ball perfectly in his stride and aimed a true shot past Schwarzer, the ball drifted agonisingly wide of the far post.

The £8.2million club record signing might have been fed to the dogs had his strike partner Davies not stolen the headlines on his 500th league appearance.

The captain had played with a puzzled frown etched on his face for most of the afternoon as he was repeatedly penalised by Clattenburg without getting much protection of his own. And his expression didn’t improve much when the referee pulled him up again after scoring what he thought had been the winning goal in the 90th minute.

Davies has been booked on each of his four last meetings with Clattenburg, including a laughable decision to penalise him for diving against Stoke earlier this season.

The cards stayed in the pocket on this occasion, but the Durham whistle blower still managed to get on his wrong side, claiming that he had used two hands to push his marker Hangeland in the back.

With the notable exception of Hodgson, whose backing for the official came with a nod and a wink, no-one else saw a foul, least of all anyone with access to television replays.

Fulham won’t mind, dashing off the field to complete their great train robbery to the sound of furious jeering from the Wanderers support.

For once, it wasn’t aimed at the dugout — although perhaps the Reebok patrons have now found a new villain for the piece.