Verdict: Fulham continue to show spirit – but the lack of goals is a serious worry

The record will show neither Fulham nor Brighton scored a goal in their two meetings this season.

However, it was the visitors to the Amex Stadium holding on for grim death in the last 20 minutes – Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s late chance aside.

That man Alphonse Areola was tasked by Scott Parker to keep his side in games and, boy, did he do that in this one.

Neal Maupay thought he had won it for the Seagulls until the Frenchman got a block from five yards, and before that Leandro Trossard thought he also had the better of Areola, only to rue his luck as he found a keeper in form.

But the gap from Albion in the first safety spot to Fulham remains five points, and the Whites will stay there unless they can find goals.

The paucity of their attack was laid bare from start to almost finish.

Right at the death, Loftus-Cheek got a rare sniff of goal only to find Lewis Dunk throwing himself at the ball to clear.

Before that, Brighton decided the best way to nullify Fulham’s midfield was to bypass it as much as possible.

By the time birthday boy Harrison Reed made way for Mario Lemina, the Albion press had done its job in a way few sides have this season on the Whites in the centre of the park.

The first half betrayed Fulham anxiety.

For a side that boasts excellent possession rates, they were chasing an awful lot of ball.

You could probably count on one hand the number of passes that normally go astray.

This time, the ball flew backwards and forwards between blue and white shirts.

Albion did a number on Ola Aina in trying to pin the right-sided defender in that right-hand corner.

It says much for the progress of the defender this term he was considered a threat, although he had a more productive second period.

Quiz question: how many shots did Fulham have on target all night? One: the aforementioned one from Loftus-Cheek in the dying seconds.

If you’re picky, you could say Aleksandar Mitrovic’s glancing header was on target just before, but your auntie could have scooped that up with her shopping bag.

Quiz question two: When was the last time Mitrovic started and finished a Premier League game?

Answer: seven games ago, against West Ham on November 7.

That was the 1-1 draw when Ademola Lookman made a hash of a Panenka penalty after Mitrovic declined to step up having missed one earlier against Sheffield United.

When Brighton stepped up a gear there was frankly no outlet.

Lookman did his best to little avail, Ivan Cavaleiro got nowhere and was substituted, and Loftus-Cheek was well shackled until the dying seconds.

Parker has made plain his need for a new striker, and just as candidly reckons he doesn’t fancy his chances with the money available.

Still, four points out of six will be a decent return if Fulham get all three at recently shell-shocked West Brom on Saturday – but that’s easier said than done for a team with just 15 goals in 19 games.