Fulham’s Tom Cairney in action with Sheffield Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson

Jokanovic can feel happy with seven points from nine

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Fulham’s Tom Cairney in action with Sheffield Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson. PICTURE: ACTION IMAGES

Morgan Phillips
Morgan Phillips

By Morgan Phillips

I summed up the Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton matches by writing that ‘Fulham played some good football but lapses of concentration and the lack of a regular goal scorer have undermined the performances’.

This left me unprepared for the goal feast (and the defensive clean sheet) against Reading. The whole team played well with Chris Martin and Sone Aluko vying for the role of regular goal scorers.

Fulham’s next match involved a visit to Molyneux. Wolves, for a team that had lost its previous four home games, started brightly and took an early lead. Then Fulham took control with three classy goals (Johansen, Ayite and Cairney) in 11 minutes. Two of these resulted from pinpoint crosses by Ryan Fredericks.

The Birmingham Mail reporter noticed some desolate home supporters already heading for the exits. As for Fulham what could possibly go wrong? Surely the visitors’ much improved rear-guard could defend a two-goal lead for the whole of the second half?

For the first 20 minutes all went smoothly. Fulham nearly scored again, but Wolves’ keeper Harry Burgoyne, a debutant and last-minute choice, saved brilliantly from Cairney and then Aluko. Almost immediately Matt Doherty scored and then enabled Cavaleiro to thump the ball past Button and put the teams level.

The tension extended beyond Wolverhampton – or in our household, at any rate. The Fulham website froze and Gentleman Jim could be heard no more.

Hastily I switched to Radio 5’s broadcast of some trivial Premier League match only to hear a newsflash that Edwards had scored (from the proverbially impossible angle) in the 90th minute.

Wolves must have thought they had achieved their long-awaited victory. Fortunately there was still time for Ayite to save a point with his second headed goal of a remarkable match.

There was nothing remarkable about the Fulham-Rotherham game three days later. A scrappy first half was illuminated by two pleasing goals. Once again Fulham conceded early on (Joe Newell); Stefan Johamsen equalised.

After the interval Fulham finally got in front (Ayite again), and should have sealed the victory when awarded a penalty.

Chris Martin failed to deceive Rotherham’s keeper Lewis Price, who looked worthy of a better side. Despite the home side’s dominance, it was a relief to hear the final whistle.

Jokanovic can feel happy with seven points from nine.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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