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Bristol City 1-4 Fulham Cham 14 1516 - Bristol Post

last updated Monday 02nd November 2015, 12:44 PM

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A Stockhausen at Bristol Post

Bristol City (0) 1-4 (4) Fulham

Bristol City were on the wrong end of a Halloween horror show as they suffered their biggest defeat of the season at home to Fulham today.

Beaten 4-1 in front of their own fans at Ashton Gate, Steve Cotterill's Robins were taught a harsh lesson and will want to forget this game in a hurry.

Things went wrong for the home side almost from the start, Moussa Dembele firing the Londoners in front after just two minutes.

The teenage striker added a second 16 minutes later and Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ross McCormack scored in the 33rd and 36th minutes respectively to render the outcome of this one-sided contest a foregone conclusion before half time.

Jonathan Kodjia netted his seventh goal of the season in time added on to restore a vaneer of respectability, but City finished well beaten.

City only had themselves to blame as the mistakes which bedevilled them earlier in the season returned in profusion, effectively handing Fulham victory on a plate.

The Robins have an opportunity to put things right when they host Wolves on Tuesday night, but manager Cotterill will need to work hard to lift his players before then.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this chastening defeat was that no-one saw it coming. Buoyed by encouraging performances against leaders Brighton and play-off contenders Cardiff, the Robins came into the game in good form and with confidence high.

But self-belief was undermined almost immediately as City's habit of shooting themselves in the foot returned to haunt them. Less than two minutes were on the clock when Luke Ayling lost a tackle on the touchline and James Husband burst into space behind him before picking out Dembele, whose crisp finish from 10 yards out was too good for keeper Frank Fielding.

Stung into action, City came close to levelling matters, Aden Flint reacting to Joe Bryan's whipped free kick, only to steer his near-post volley high and wide with Fulham's defence utterly exposed.

Having survived that scare, Fulham profited from another elementary error as City again proved their own worst enemies. With time and space in which to pick a pass from the edge of his own 18 yard box, Flint inexplicably gave the ball straight to McCormack.

Clinical in the extreme, the visitors punished the Robins, McCormack finding Tom Cairney, whose low cross was turned in by the unmarked Dembele for his fourth goal in two games.

Worse followed when Husband split City's defence asunder with a brilliant through ball which invited the surging Tunnicliffe to lift his shot over Fielding and put the Londoners out of sight.

Riven by anxiety and scared of making a mistake, the home side imploded once more three minutes later, Luke Freeman hauling down Husbands and collecting a yellow card after Ayling had lost the ball higher up the pitch.

McCormack aimed his free kick towards the near post and appeared as surprised as everyone else inside the stadium when it flew in without anyone getting a touch.

Things could have been even worse for the home side had Fielding not palmed away a goal-bound shot from Cairney and the cross bar not kept out a curling shot from former City player Ryan Fredericks, who enjoyed his return to Ashton Gate.

French striker Jonathan Kodjia's performance provided City with a silver lining of sorts and the former Anger man at least caused the visitors problems with his pace, trickery and willingness to run at defenders.

He had City's best chance of the game when seizing upon a miss-placed pass and bearing down on goal, but Cottagers keeper Andy Lonergan stood his ground and saved with his legs.

City boss Cotterill sent on loan signing Simon Cox for his debut in a bid to turn the tide, but the home side made little headway against opponents who kept things tight.

Those City fans who remained until the end were at least given something to cheer when KOdjia turned in a cross from Cox to register his seventh goal of the season, albeit in a losing cause.

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