- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, December 7th 2019
- Craven Cottage
James Crawley reports from Craven Cottage
Report: Fulham 1-2 Bristol City
Saturday, December 7th 2019
A resilient display from City helped them secure a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage, with goals in either half from Josh Brownhill and Famara Diédhiou.
The Robins had not lost on Fulham turf since 1997, so certainly history was on their side, as they faced Scott Parker’s team who were on a four-game winning run.
However, that came crashing down when Brownhill headed home from Niclas Eliasson’s cross, the winger’s eighth assist of the campaign.
The Whites controlled much of the game in the second half, dominating the chances, but City were resolute.
There was a feeling that the next goal would decide the game it would give City some daylight with Diédhiou tucking in from close range to double the lead.
Fulham substitute Aboubakar Kamara halved the scores with five minutes to go before the woodwork denied them a late equaliser but the visitors would return to BS3 with all three points and go level on points with their opponents in the Sky Bet Championship.
Lee Johnson named an unchanged side for the afternoon’s test at Craven Cottage, one week on after that emphatic 5-2 win at home to Huddersfield Town.
It meant Niclas Eliasson kept his place in Lee Johnson’s starting XI after his Man of the Match display.
There had been plenty of emotions heading into this fixture, following the passing of Benik Afobe’s daughter Amora, and a round of applause two minutes into the game saw fans and staff pay their respects to the Afobe family at this sad time.
As the match developed the first notable chance fell to Diédhiou but the striker spurned his chance after latching on to Fulham captain Tom Cairney’s misplaced pass, only to glide a low effort wide.
Fulham threatened at the other end when Ivan Cavaleiro’s broke away to meet Stefan Johansen’s lofted pass. He bore down on goal but arguably took too long as Dan Bentley and Jack Hunt looked to put him off, with the right-back eventually clearing the ball from in front of the goal line.
Another glorious opportunity would go with the way of Diédhiou when he was found by Niclas Eliasson’s perfect cross, only the striker’s header was placed straight into the hands of Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.
The match fizzled into a quiet period with both sides still working hard with City looking particularly disciplined off the ball.
But they broke deadlock on 26 minutes with the Fulham keeper helpless to Brownhill’s header. City created an attack down the right only for Jack Hunt’s cross to be overhit. However, it fell to the feet of Eliasson on the far side, whose cross back into the box was tucked home by City’s on-field skipper.
City held on to their lead at the break would always need to be wary of Fulham, who were now chasing the game.
And Bentley made a vital one-on-one save to deny Anthony Knockeart, before Aleksandar Mitrovic headed over and fired a shot off target as the hosts came out the traps quickly.The Robins would have their fair share of defending to do as the hosts made life uncomfortable. Captain Cairney would test Bentley with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area, before Knockaert’s in-swinging cross was inches away from the sliding Mitrovic.
But for all their pressure, Fulham fell to a poacher’s finish from Diédhiou as City hit the home side on the counter attack. Brownhill’s quick-thinking saw his backheel find the forward run of Ádám Nagy, who held off Tim Ream, squaring a pass across the face of goal where Diédhiou was perfectly placed to tap home 15 minutes from the end.
On came Callum O’Dowda and Korey Smith to replace Eliasson and Nagy respectively, but with the game nearing its end, Parker’s team eventually found a way through when Bentley saved Neeskens Kebano’s initial shot but Kamara was on hand to convert the rebound.
There would be drama in added time when Fulham had appeals for a penalty turned down, before Kebano’s header hit the crossbar but City would hold on and wrap up the win to climb to fourth in the Championship.
They return to Ashton Gate to face Millwall on Tuesday night (December 10th, 7.45pm KO).
- Kamara (86')
- Denis Odoi, Josh Onomah, Ivan Cavaleiro
- Brownhill (26') , Diédhiou (76')
- Jack Hunt, Niclas Eliasson, Ádám Nagy