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Fulham 4 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Tuesday, 2nd January 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Fulham 4-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 2nd Jan 2018 22:01

Four goals in seven minutes after Town defender Jordan Spence had been red-carded saw Fulham come from behind to beat the Blues 4-1 at Craven Cottage. Joe Garner gave Town the lead a minute before the break but the match turned on Spence’s dismissal for an off-the-ball barge on Aboubakar Kamara in the 54th minute with Ryan Sessegnon equalising on 69, Kamara securing the lead on 72 and then the pair each scoring again on 74 and 76.

Cole Skuse and Tommy Smith returned to the Town line-up for Kevin Bru, who dropped to the bench, and Adam Webster, who was ruled out due to the achilles injury which forced him off at the weekend. Skuse, back after his ankle injury, took up his usual role in the Blues midfield.

Centre-half Smith was making his first Town appearance since the 3-1 defeat at Cardiff on October 31st having recovered from the calf injury he suffered while on international duty with New Zealand.

Luke Hyam was included on the bench for the first time this season following the knee operation he underwent in September. Hyam’s most recent appearance for Town was at Derby on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign. David McGoldrick was again among the subs.

Adam McDonnell, who has been on the bench in recent matches, missed out as he was unwell.

For Fulham, Ollie Norwood and Kamara started with Tomas Kalas and Kevin McDonald dropping to the bench.

In the opening minute Celina, who initially appeared to be in a central role behind strike pair Garner and Martyn Waghorn before moving to the left of a 4-4-2 system, sent in a Blues freekick from the left which the home defence headed clear.

In windy and rainy conditions, the Cottagers created their first opening a minute later, Ryan Fredericks cutting a low ball across the area from the right but just too far in front of Kamara, scorer of both the West Londoners’ goals in their 2-2 draw at Hull City on Saturday. On six, Stefan Johansen shot just over from 25 yards.

Jordan Spence diverted a dangerous Floyd Ayité cross from the right over in the eighth minute with the Whites started to dominate as they did in their 2-0 defeat of the Blues at Portman Road in August.

Bialkowski was forced into his first save of the game in the 12th minute, palming away a Kamara shot from the right of the area. A minute later the Frenchman hit an effort over.

Fulham continued to dominate, although Town pressure led to the home side surrendering possession on the right on 17 but Waghorn was crowded out as he cut into the box.

Three minutes later, Johansen shot wide from not too far outside the area but referee Keith Stroud awarded a corner.

The Fulham pressure continued with Sheyi Ojo hitting a low shot wide from the edge of the box, then Norwood hit a 25-yard freekick over.

With the rain continuing to fall heavily and the swirling wind making high balls and long passes difficult to deal with, Town pressured the Whites into a 28th minute mistake which might have yielded a goal.

Norwood was forced to make a risky pass across his area which Celina read ahead of Denis Odoi but the Kosovan international was unable to get the ball under control in the sodden conditions.

Having withstood the spell under the cosh the Blues started to see more of the ball and just after the half hour Waghorn struck a shot on the turn well over from distance.

Moments later, the former Rangers man was fed in on the left of the box but Tim Ream saw the ball through to his keeper. On 34 Ayité was replaced by Neeskens Kebano.

As the half moved into its final 10 minutes Fulham turned the screw once again and the Cottagers should have scored on 39 when sub Kebano cut the ball back from the left without the outside of his right boot but Kamara was unable to add the final touch at the far post.

A minute before the break the Blues were forced into a change when Ward, who had undergone treatment a couple of times during the half, was replaced by Freddie Sears as Town prepared to take a freekick.

And from the set piece, the Blues took the lead. Waghorn’s earlier freekicks had all been hampered by the wind, but on this occasion Town’s 10-goal top scorer whipped it in from the right and Garner headed his eighth goal of the season into the net.

Whites keeper Marcus Bettinelli had arrived late and collided with the Town scorer as he nodded home but after treatment was able to continue.

Fulham went looking for an injury time equaliser, Kebano hitting a low shot from outside the box to Bialkowski’s right but the Blues keeper saved confidently and they were unable to threaten again before the break and Town went in a goal in front.

Having repelled everything the dominant home side threw at them, occasionally riding their luck, the Blues once again profited from a brilliant Waghorn set piece and Garner header.

Town needed a repeat of that steadfast defensive performance in the second half if they were to open 2018 with a victory.

With the wind and rain having largely subsided, Ojo turned the first shot of the second period well over three minutes after the restart.

Connolly was shown the game’s first yellow card a minute later after a foul on home skipper Tom Cairney 25 yards out to the right. Johansen’s freekick was hit straight into the wall, then Norwood shot wide.

In the 54th minute the Blues were reduced to 10 men when Spence was shown Town’s first red card of the season.

Kamara had shoved Sears over as the pair had battled for a ball which the Whites striker then passed backwards. The Blues right-back then needlessly clattered into the Fulham man, who was sent flying, although appeared to make as much of the incident as he could.

Referee Stroud, who had failed to issue Sheffield Wednesday’s Glenn Loovens with a card of either colour for his horror challenge on David McGoldrick last month, took the advice of his linesman before dismissing Spence, who was clearly incensed by the Fulham player’s reaction and the decision as he left the field. There was, however, no need for his reaction.

Town quickly swapped Celina for Dominic Iorfa, who went to right-back with Waghorn moving into midfield.

Ream was booked for a foul on Garner, then Kebano was fortunate not to join him for a very late challenge on Connolly inside the Town area.

The Blues had managed to withstand an initial spell of pressure immediately after the sending off, but after a brief lull - in part due to several silly Fulham fouls - the home side began to threaten again.

Match Gallery: 6 photos

Lucas Piazon replaced Ojo on 65 then was immediately booked for a dive inside the Town box.

But the home fans, who claimed they had been denied a penalty in that incident, didn’t have to wait too much longer for an equaliser.

In the 67th minute Kamara crossed from the left to Kebano, who miscued across goal and Sessegnon nodded home.

Three minutes later it was 2-1. Kebano cut across for Norwood, his shot was blocked but fell to Kamara, who turned in from close range.

And a further two minutes later it was 3-1 to the home side. Johansen worked his way to the byline with clever skills on the right of the area and cut across the six-yard box to Sessegnon, who tapped in his second of the evening at the far post.

And the Fulham goal deluge wasn’t over. On 76 Kamara hit a shot from the edge of the box and a deflection wrong-footed Bialkowski.

The Blues had held out for 15 minutes after the red card but then conceded four goals in seven minutes.

The by now buoyant home crowd were calling for a fifth and on 79 Cairney struck a low shot which Bialkowski saved down to his left.

Hyam made his return to action for Connolly, who had undergone treatment for the second time before making way, in the 82nd minute, 19 months after his last first-team appearance.

Knudsen shot wide right-footed when he should have crossed in the 85th minute, then Bialkowski was off his line sharply to block from Kamara after Johansen had played him in. On 88 Sessegnon was replaced by Rafa Soares to a standing ovation.

Late on, Garner was booked for a foul, then Kamara shot wide for the home side. Deep in injury time Waghorn and Kebano were both booked, the former for a foul and the latter for aiming a hand towards the Town striker’s neck in retaliation.

Just before the whistle, skipper Chambers frustratedly slammed the ball and was shown a yellow card, summing up the evening as a whole for Town.

Having got their lead the Blues needed to continue their solid defensive performance after the break.

That they had managed to do until Spence’s needless and uncharacteristic hot-headed reaction to Kamara’s challenge on Sears.

The Blues held out for a quarter of an hour but once the first goal had gone in the floodgates opened with Fulham carving Town apart all too regularly.

A defeat in 2018’s opening game sees the Blues drop to 12th, seven points off the play-offs with a break from Championship action for the FA Cup third round tie against Sheffield United at Portman Road on Saturday.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Sessegnon (Soares 88), Odoi, Johansen, Cairney (c), Ayité (Kebano 34), Ream, Norwood, Ojo (Piazon 65), Kamara. Unused: Button, McDonald, Fonte, Kalas.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), T Smith, Knudsen, Skuse, Connolly (Hyam 82), Celina (Iorfa 57), Waghorn, Ward (Sears 44), Garner. Unused: M Crowe, McGoldrick, Bru, Kenlock. Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).

Photo: Action Images

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bluebudgie added 22:02 - Jan 2
Don't panic,, I think this is all part of Micks great plan for the season ,,,he knows he cant get us up so what better to have another relegation scrap and Mick saves the day again,,keeping all the happy clappers and Mick supporters happy and all of them saying what a great manager he is and telling us the old chestnut "be careful what you wish for " !!!! !!!

cat added 22:04 - Jan 2
This match should have been right up McCarthys street. Complete siege mentally required (Midas style lol) for what was going to be a proper backs to the wall job, with a hard to beat system which needed to be at its ‘pomp’! All was looking sweet until Spence saw red on two occasions with what can only be described as a moment of ‘complete madness’ (what a Wayne Kerr imo), shame someone didn’t tell our stuck in the mud defence and super BART that they had to stay on the pitch for the remaining minutes and not disappear with him. No other complaints from me on this one though, although the stats will do nothing for our future confidence levels, it is ‘simply’ what it is.

Be seeing you!!!👌

jas0999 added 22:06 - Jan 2
Unacceptable. Yet again the first half performance was negative and poor. Typical MM. It worked as we were one up, but boy, Fulham unlucky not to be four up. Hammered us.

Make no mistake, Spence stupidity aside, we deserved nothing from this game. To conceed four goals in seven minutes - ten men or not is a disgrace. How much longer must we put up with this? Evans must invest. MM must go. Otherwise this club will continue to decline quickly. It’s already at a very low point.

Embarrassing. Shameful. Unacceptable.

norfstanda added 22:07 - Jan 2
Concede in 69th, 72nd, 74th and 76th minute?! 4 goals in 7 minutes! Lol!

Esseeja added 22:07 - Jan 2
Great result lads, let's push for relegation now and everyone will wonder how we managed to do so well.

iaintaylorx added 22:08 - Jan 2
Not acceptable!! 4 goals in 7 minutes against any team is embarrassing! Mick has to go now, his time was up long ago and we haven’t moved forward! Get in a new manager, and let him decide on what players to bring in - NOT Mick!!!

runaround added 22:08 - Jan 2
No team at any level of football whatever the circumstances should concede 4 goals in 7 minutes. Totally unacceptable. It was all Mick’s proper blokes out there too! Not good enough

WhoisJimmyJuan added 22:08 - Jan 2
I truly fear the rest of the season now. I foresee a slide toward relegation dogfight and more sniping between fans. MM will go at the end of the season and we trust in Evans and Milne to find someone to do better on loose change.

Swn98 added 22:09 - Jan 2
Another match completely ruined by incompetent officials having said that Spencer was an utter disgrace to do what he did and hand the initiative to Fulham well done to all the travelling fans on a wet windy evening.

alfromcol added 22:09 - Jan 2
Rather than Evans give MM money to spend in the transfer window, it would be a better investment to pay him off and showing him the door NOW.

jjhbruno added 22:09 - Jan 2
Don’t know why I bother going. Knudsen useless, chambers useless, sears.... I don’t even see the point in him anymore. He does absolutely nowt, how can he be so bad from what he was when he got here.,,,and then there’s skuseless, never been a fan, never will. All the above need to move on with that has been in our our dugout. How can we only have one shot on target after 76 minutes. No idea what happened after as I had enough, that’s me done. It’s just pointless purposefully going to watch a game knowing that most of the time I will be bored to tears. 4 goals in 7 minutes shouldn’t happen in any situation. Especially against McCarthy’s favourite world beaters Fulham

martin587 added 22:10 - Jan 2
What a Fiasco! What the Hell was Spence thinking of.Wasted journey,wet and cold and nothing to show for and I'm not very happy.End of story.!

Battyboy added 22:11 - Jan 2
Unless you have players that can keep the ball, then nothing will change. Play the under 23s in the next game, you have nothing to lose!!!

madmouse1959 added 22:12 - Jan 2
At least 80% wants McCARTHY OUT. Wake up Evans and do the right thing.

warktheline added 22:12 - Jan 2
There's 3 maybe 4 teams, in due course will rise above us in league! 14th at best for McCarthy......question is for all Mick backers, still good enough for you?

Bring in Cowley NOW!

Seasider added 22:13 - Jan 2
Well 'Mighty Mick' has a good excuse using Spence as a scapegoat.

Winning only 1 of 27 matches in January,and only 13 wins in 26 games is not Spences fault,and there were 10 other players left including Freddie Sears who is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Now back in mid table (12th) and we have about as much chance of promotion as I have winning the lottery or pools.

Said previously McCarthy had knocked all the enthusiasm out of me after 55 years;so don't go to away matches anymore,but good luck to those who braved the rainy conditions to see Town tonked by a far superior side.

Northstandveteran added 22:13 - Jan 2
As predicted in earlier post.
Was anyone really surprised with this result?
Some dramatic changes need to be made in the summer.

warktheline added 22:14 - Jan 2 always dodging issues when it suits!

markytitfc added 22:14 - Jan 2
Surely we will appeal the red card. couldn't see anything wrong with it!!

BraveDave added 22:15 - Jan 2
Bluebudgie - why don't you shut up. "Happy Clappers" - you idiot! What makes you think that fans who might have a different view to you about McCarthy are any less passionate or any less fed up when we lose like we did tonight?

Gatehouse added 22:18 - Jan 2
All the mick lovers will say he did/does the best he can the sending off was not down to super Mick not his tactics and had we not had spence sent off and hung on to win 1-0 our super manager would have hailed a wonderful victory BUT he does not pay hard earned money to travel up and down the country to continuously watch our opposition dominate games against us. We are devoid of ideas and entertainment having seen most games this season I can't really remember us dominating a team apart from Sunderland who still managed to score 2 goals against us and played half decent football. Under super mick we are so boring so predictable so dull and so negative this of course matters not to our owner and leader to unlike us poor loyal long suffering supporters who pay good money to support their team they take easy money with no care or love for our once great football team. Please go super mick let's get anyone in who believes in entertaining football I really don't care about how results work out just please entertain us

BlueParadigm added 22:18 - Jan 2
Can MM really be blamed for a scenario where an individual totally loses his composure leaving his comrades to capitulate without a fight?

Gezzish added 22:20 - Jan 2
How wonderful that's 3 absolute shockers in a row.

carsey added 22:20 - Jan 2
Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear and McCarthy would have us believe that possession isn't important. If you can keep the ball the opposition can't score even if you only have 10 men on the pitch.
Seems a long time ago now that people were raving about 4 wins on bounce at the start of the season.
Please McCarthy just go away.

blue75 added 22:21 - Jan 2
Stats don’t matter, how we played doesn’t matter, who played were doesn’t, McCarthy’s tactics and subs don’t matter only thing that matters is we have taken 1 point over the Christmas period!! Relegation form and yet McCarthy’s still in his position fortunately we’ve got 36 points only another 15 should secure safety I know we’re only 7 points off the play offs but I think it’ll be easier to close the 12 point gap to the relegation battle than get in the play offs. Hopefully Evans will start to look at the manager situation like a business man would something’s broken and it needs fixing!!

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