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Fulham fall to Middlesbrough ~ Ch. Match Report MD34

last updated Saturday 27th February 2016, 11:37 PM



Match Report

Fulham (0) 0-2 (2) Middlesbrough

Championship Match Day 34 1516 at Cravan Cottage

Saturday 27th February 2016    KO: 15:00

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)



Slavisa Jokanovic
First Team Head Coach
Slavisa Jokanovic
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Fulham were unable to capitalise on a solid point and performance against Leeds United as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

Albert Adomah headed home at the back post in the second minute and ten minutes later Grant Leadbitter compounded a nightmare start for the Whites in a match where they struggled to get a foothold.

Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic took the familiar decision to bring Captain Scott Parker back into the fold for a weekend match.

The match also saw the return of Richard Stearman in the heart of the Fulham defence with Fernando Amorebieta suspended following his red card against Leeds United.

Jokanovic sprung a surprise by opting to start Ross McCormack upfront on his own and including Ryan Tunnicliffe in a robust midfield unit alongside Chris Baird and Parker.

With the Fulham fans in good voice the Whites started brightly with Ryan Tunnicliffe showing some real bite in the challenge and disrupting any Middlesbrough advances.

Fulham midfielder Chris Baird
Fulham midfielder
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However, the early positivity was eliminated as Stuart Downing played a pinpoint cross from the left wing that found Albert Adomah.

With Andy Lonergan tracking the cross Adomah headed low to his left and sent the travelling fans into raptures.

Fulham didn't let their heads drop and had some half chances in the minutes that followed the goal.

Michael Madl having his header from a McCormack free kick well cleared and McCormack himself flashing a left footed shot wide of the left post from just outside the box.

Things went from bad to worse for the Whites in the 18th minute as Chris Baird clipped David Nugent as he cut in from the left flank.

The Middlesbrough skipper stepped up and calmly slid the penalty in to the bottom left hand corner.

Fulham defender Richard Stearman
Fulham defender
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Shortly after the second goal Jokanovic was forced into a substitution after Ryan Fredericks injured his back challenging for an innocuous high ball.

Rather than opting for a like for like substitution the Head Coach thrust Moussa Dembélé on to partner McCormack.

Fulham sparked to life in the 30th minute when Tom Cairney cut out a cross field ball and surged to the edge of the Boro box.

After laying off to Scott Parker, the skipper opted to play in McCormack rather than having an effort on goal.

Nine minutes later Moussa Dembélé was close to manufacturing a goal from absolutely nothing.

Dan Burn headed a cross down into the Cottage turf and as it was on the up the young Frenchman went airborne and sent a vicious overhead kick towards goal.

Match Stats Fulham Middlesbrough
Goals (0) 0 2 (2)
 
Scorers   Adomah 3
Scorers Leadbitter pen 20
 
Goal attempts 12 13
On target 2 3
Possession 55%  45%
Corners 3 11
Saves 1 2
Fouls 11 11
Offsides 2 2
Yellows 2 0
Reds 1 0
source: Soccernet
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos was on hand to tip over with a good reaction save.

The press from the hosts continued and two minutes later McCormack found Michael Madl unmarked at the back post.

His header back across the face of goal had the beating of Konstantopoulos but this time it was Ritchie De Laet who was the hero for the visitors.

As the referee blew his whistle to bring the first half to a close Fulham were unlucky not to be within one.

The quiet start to the second half ensued with Middlesbrough perfectly content to keep possession.

When the Whites were looking to break through the visitors had every man behind the ball, making it very hard to break down their structure.

Fulham's commitment was on show as Scott Parker prevented an almost certain goal in the 64th minute.

Stewart Downing was slipped in and rounded Andy Longergan but was thwarted by the Fulham skipper as he put his body on the line to block his goal bound shot.

In an attempt to get back into the game Jokanovic made two substitutions, bringing on Zakaria Labyad and Jamie O'Hara for Chris Baird and Ryan Tunnicliffe respectively.

The changes almost made an immediate impact as a drilled cross from the Moroccan was met by Dembélé on the edge of the area.

His powerful effort was blocked yet again by a stoic Boro back line.

The best chance of the game fell to O'Hara after a flick on by Dembélé with ten minutes to go.

At a tight angle and only the keeper to beat the substitute flashed a shot across the face of goal with the Hammersmith end willing it into the net.

As the match drew to a close Richard Stearman saw red for a tackle on Jordan Rhodes.

An unfortunate slip allowed Rhodes in and he looked to surge into an empty Fulham half.

However, before he could do so Stearman brought him down.

After some debate, the referee produced the card and a dejected Stearman trudged off down the tunnel.

Fulham will look to put this match behind them as they head into their encounter against Reading next Saturday at the Madejski Stadium.

Fulham: Lonergan; Fredericks (Dembele 22'), Stearman, Burn, Madl, Garbutt; Cairney, Parker, Baird (Labyad 57'); McCormack, Tunnicliffe (O'Hara 68')
Subs not used: Lewis, Jazz Richards, Kacaniklic, Hyndman

Booked: Burn (71,f), O'Hara (90+5,f)

Sent Off: Stearman (86,f)

Middlesbrough : Konstantopoulos; Nsue, Fry, Gibson, de Laet; Forshaw, Leadbitter; Adomah, Ramírez (Friend 87'), Downing (Stuani 73'); Nugent (Rhodes 79')
Subs not used: Tomás Mejías, Kalas, De Pena, Julien de Sart

Scorers:
Adomah 3 (header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.),
Leadbitter pen 20 (converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner. Penalty conceded by Chris Baird after a foul in the penalty area.)

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

Attendance: 18,862




















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