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Fulham 1-2 Ipswich Cham 21 1516 - GetWestLondon

last updated Wednesday 16th December 2015, 2:55 PM

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Dimitri Kondonis at GetWestLondon

Fulham (1) 1-2 (1) Ipswich

A thunderous Ross McCormack free-kick proved in vain as Fulham fell to defeat at Craven Cottage.

McCormack's effort from 30 yards dipped over the wall and flew into the bottom left of the goal, beyond the despairing dive of Dean Gerken.

But it ultimately proved fruitless as Brett Pitman added to Freddie Sears' opener inside the opening minute to hand the visitors the win.

The Whites had not won seven previous games and were looking bereft of confidence when Sears raced onto a ball forward and slotted beyond the grasp of Andy Lonergan.

Sears' strike sent the Fulham faithful into a rage as they witnessed yet another defensive error as one of the league's leakiest defences breached again.

Their woes may have increased had the visitors taken advantage of some nervy defending from a centre-back partnership of Richard Stearman and Dan Burn.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, on loan from Arsenal, nearly doubled the Tractor Boys' lead when he smashed an effort from the edge of the box against the crossbar.

But Fulham found themselves back level after 14 minutes when a free-kick from 30 yards was dispatched with aplomb by McCormack.

The surprise goal gave the hosts a way back into the match which had previously seemed unlikely, and after changing to a 4-4-2 formation, started to make the most of Luke Garbutt's pace down the left side of the pitch.

Ipswich were at their resilient best, however, and Mick McCarthy's men were out to hit the Cottagers on the break as they so efficiently did last season.

Maitland-Niles and Cole Skuse both came close before the interval, but could only fire straight at Lonergan.

Fulham came flying out for the second-half, and were disappointed not to score after McCormack's backheel sent Alex Kacaniklic flying forward, but Moussa Dembele could not finish a wonderful counter-attack.

And they were made to rue that missed opportunity just minutes later, when Sears burst into space down the left and fired a low cross towards the near post, which Pitman tucked beyond the keeper.

Substitute Matt Smith came close for the hosts, firing a header just wide from 16 yards, before Sears once more dispossessed Burn and whipped a wicked effort just inches wide of the far top corner.

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