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Fulham 2-3 Burnley Cham 36 1516 - Daily Mail

last updated Wednesday 09th March 2016, 5:08 PM


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James Andrew at Daily Mail


Fulham (2) 2-3 (1) Burnley


Burnley put themselves in pole position for an automatic return to the Premier League after grinding out a hard-fought three points at Fulham.

Sean Dyche's men were forced to come from behind but goals from Andre Gray and a double from Sam Vokes coupled with Middlesbrough's slip up at Rotherham helped Burnley extend their lead at the top of the Championship to four points.

Despite their positions at the opposite end of the league table, it was Fulham who had the first chance of the match when Ross McCormack played a low cross for Ryan Tunnicliffe and Tom Heaton just managed to get a hand to the ball to get it away.

But it did not take long for order to be resumed as Burnley took the lead after just nine minutes when an unmarked Vokes rose highest to head home his 11th goal of the season from a Scott Arfield corner.

Joey Barton nearly doubled Burnley's advantage minutes later but his free-kick just crept wide of Andrew Longergan's left hand post.

And they were made to pay for that miss as minutes later when Moussa Dembele played in strike partner McCormack who fired past Heaton from 10 yards.

Fulham were clearly buoyed by the goal and minutes later were ahead when Everton-loanee Luke Garrbutt's inch perfect cross allowed Demeble just to guide the ball over the line with his chest.

Burnley, keen to extend their lead at the top of the Championship, were pushed for an equaliser when first Fredrik Ulvestad fired over inside a crowded penalty area and then Andre Gray thought he had levelled only for his goal to be ruled out for handball.

Fulham had chances to extend their lead before the break when first Tom Cairney went close with a fierce shot from outside of the area and then Dembele fluffed a shot from six yards out.

Then Heaton produced an excellent save to deny Cairney from close range after an driving run from his own half by Tunnicliffe.

And Fulham were made to rue that missed opportunity straight after the break when Vokes scored his second of the game from the penalty spot.

Cairney brought down Joey Barton in the box and Vokes sent Lonergan the wrong way with his spot kick.

And then Gray put Burnley back ahead as he held off Michael Madl before turning and unleashing a fierce shot from the edge of the box that gave Lonergan no chance.

Fulham pressed for an equaliser as results have left them looking nervously over their shoulder but were unable to breach the Burnley backline.

Burnley boss Dyche was encouraged by his team's performance, he said: 'It gives me belief in how we operate. You can't guarantee the outcome of every game. It started very well, then they were the better side. Then Tom makes a really good save.

'At half time I reminded the players of where we are and reminded them that Fulham do conceded goals.

'It was a fantastic strike from Andre and he looks a threat in every game.

'Consistency is difficult to find. I expected a lot of my players but they are human. To deliver constant high-level performances is difficult.'

The result leaves Fulham just two points above the relegation zone and manager Slavisa Jokanovic wants his players to be braver.

He said: 'We are under more pressure than a few weeks ago and we need to be men and be prepared to fight.

'It is always difficult for us if we leave ourselves needing to score three or four goals to win a game.

'We needed to be more solid than we were to compete in this league.'























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