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Fulham 2-3 Burnley Cham 36 1516- Burnley Express

last updated Wednesday 09th March 2016, 7:01 PM

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Burnley Express

Fulham (2) 2-3 (1) Burnley

Two goals from Sam Vokes along with Andre Gray's 22nd goal of the campaign saw the Clarets claim a 3-2 victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

A sensational second half fightback saw the league leaders recover from a half-time deficit to stretch their advantage at the top of the Championship after Middlesbrough were beaten by Rotherham while Brighton were held at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

The visitors were forced to soak up some early pressure when Ross McCormack, found by Moussa Dembele on the overlap, tested Tom Heaton at his near post from an acute angle before Michael Keane threw himself at the feet of Ryan Tunnicliffe to thwart the midfielder.

And that resolves was rewarded in the ninth minute when the Clarets took the lead. Scott Arfield, foiled by Ryan Fredericks after breaking in to the area, supplied the corner in the absence of David Jones and Sam Vokes rose above Dan Burn to nod the ball in to the corner.

Sean Dyche's side almost doubled their advantage moments later when - after Michael Madl had upended Andre Gray 20 yards from goal - Joey Barton's majestically executed set-piece whistled past the post with Lonergan at full stretch.

However, Fulham are the second highest scorers in the division and it didn't take long for their leading marksman to level proceedings.

The Scotsman latched on to Dembele's incisive pass, after Tunnicliffe had claimed possession in the centre of the park, and thumped the ball in to the roof of the net.

The equaliser swung the momentum in the home side's favour and midway through the half they were in front.

There was minimal pressure applied on Luke Garbutt when the left back provided the delivery and there was even less monitoring of Dembele as the Frenchman nonchalantly helped the ball over the line at the back post once the ball dropped beyond Ben Mee.

The Clarets almost responded instantly when Fredrik Ulvestad's attempt arrowed over the bar and then Gray saw his strike wiped out by referee Dean Whitestone.

The Championship's stand out forward turned Burn from Stephen Ward's centre and picked out the bottom corner but the £6m man was adjudged to have used his hand to control the ball.

Fulham rallied in the latter stages of the half and crafted numerous openings that threatened to take the game away from the Clarets.

Tom Cairney went close when shaping the ball towards the corner from 30 yards out, Heaton held McCormack's free-kick from a similar distance while Keane blocked Dembele's shot from close range.

Fulham's best chance, though, fell right at the end of the half. Tunnicliffe sparked the counter when dispossessing Ulvestad, the one-time Manchester United trainee found McCormack to his right, the striker squared and Cairney was denied by an outstanding save from Heaton low to his right when the former Rovers man looked odds on to score.

The away side started the second half with urgency, looking to get back on track, and they only had to wait a matter of minutes.

Arfield fed the ball in to the box from the right hand side, Gray touched the ball on and Barton was grounded in the penalty area by Cairney.

Whitestone pointed to the spot, after George Boyd had steered the loose ball in to the stands, and Vokes took responsibility.

The Welshman stepped up and coolly grabbed his second of the evening, guiding the ball down the middle as Lonergan shifted to his right.

Gray and McCormack, battling for superiority at the toip of the goalscoring charts, fizzed efforts wide of the upright at opposite ends as the fixture continued to twist and turn.

Garbutt then drew a fine stop from Heaton as the ball broke kindly for him inside the box from Tunnicliffe's deflected strike while McCormack drilled over the bar after cleverly finding a route beyond Mee.

But the hero of the hour was Gray who arguably eclipsed his goal against Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium with a simply stunning strike.

Burnley's record signing rolled Madl on the edge of the penalty area from substutute Dean Marney's header and hammered a thunderous drive past Lonergan and in to the bottom corner to make it 3-2.

Fulham pressed at the end as Vokes flicked Garbutt's effort over the bar and Heaton grasped on to substitute Matt Smith's header on his line from the resulting corner.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side couldn't find another way past their resolute opposition though and the Clarets defended admirably to secure a vital three points.

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