Cardiff City slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, with second-half strikes from Scott Parker and Emerson Hyndman securing a home win after Lex Immers' earlier effort.
THE EARLY RUNNING
The Bluebirds lined up with Tom Lawrence partnering Lex Immers in attack, and the Welsh international had a couple of early opportunities blocked by the Fulham defence. Bruno Manga also went close for City early on, heading over from Peter Whittingham’s corner.
At the other end, Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembélé were looking lively, but young American midfielder Emerson Hyndman was first to test David Marshall, forcing him to palm his goal-bound effort over the bar. Just five minutes later, Marshall had to be on hand once again for the Bluebirds, doing superbly to keep out the free-kick of his former teammate, McCormack.
STRIKES BOTH SIDES OF THE BREAK
However, before the interval, City upped the ante and went close through Ralls before the defining moment of the first half. In the forty-first minute, Aron Gunnarsson ghosted into space on the left flank and dinked the ball into the box for Immers to head home the opener, to the delight of the travelling support.
City couldn’t have come much closer to making it two before the referee blew the half time whistle, as Whittingham’s pin-point corner was met by the towering Sean Morrison, who saw his header bounce back off the inside of the post.
Unfortunately for City, their excellent work in the opening period was undone within a minute of the second though, as the ball was chipped over the defensive line and Scott Parker raced onto it to smash home an equaliser just after the restart.
FULHAM SNATCH THE POINTS
The goal put the wind in Fulham’s sails, and they really should have gone ahead soon after as Fredericks broke down the right. The ball eventually found its way to Dembele just six yards out, but Lee Peltier got back incredibly to block his goal-bound effort wide.
As the match wore on, it became an even contest with chances at both ends of Craven Cottage. Fulham again went close through Fernando Amorebieta’s header from a corner, while City saw their best chances fall to Malone and Kenneth Zohore.
It looked as though City would have to settle for a point in South West London, only for final minute heartbreak to strike deep into added time, as Hyndman slid the ball into the corner of the net to snatch the points for Fulham.
FINAL SCORE: FULHAM 2-1 CARDIFF CITY
Fulham: Bettinelli, Garbutt, Stearman, Parker (C) (Baird 77), Madl (Fredericks 46), Tunnicliffe (Christensen 67), Dembélé, Hyndman, Ince, McCormack, Amorebieta.
Subs not used: Lonergan, Smith, Woodrow, Burn.
Cardiff City: Marshall (C), Peltier, Morrison, Manga, Whittingham, Ralls, Noone, Gunnarsson (Saadi 82), Immers, Malone, Lawrence (Zohore 65).
Subs not used: Moore, Fábio, Dikgacoi, Connolly, O'Keefe.