Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


29 December 2018

Match Reports


29 December 2018

Sponsored by

Town rounded off 2018 in the worst possible manner, losing out to a late, late Aleksandar Mitrović strike on the cusp of injury time.

A low-key affair where neither side had many clear-cut chances, but Mitrović took his right at the death, ensuring that Aboubakar Kamara's missed spot-kick several minutes earlier didn't prove costly.

A pleasantly mild afternoon on the banks of the River Thames in West London where David Wagner made three changes to his starting squad. The system matched up with the home side's 3-5-2 wing-back approach; Chris Löwe came in on the left-hand side, Steve Mounié lead the line alongside Alex Pritchard and the final change saw skipper Jonathan Hogg return in the centre of the park. Elias Kachunga, Isaac Mbenza and Laurent Depoitre were the men who dropped to the bench at the Cottage.

Even from the opening blow of Kevin Friend's whistle, Claudio Ranieri's Fulham set their stall out to drop deep and frustrate the Terriers without allowing any space in behind to exploit.

Despite the home side's block, Town still knocked the ball around with purpose to see an opening. Jonathan Hogg's chip found Erik Durm's surge, but the cross resulted in a corner to which nothing would ultimately come to fruition; apart from sensational tenacious work from Alex Pritchard to sprint back and cover his Captain in centre field before Luciano Vietto could race clear.

It was the Red and Black-clad Terriers who'd made the brighter start in the Capital. Home ‘keeper Sergio Rico's blushes were spared as he spilled a Philip Billing piledriver, and with Steve Mounié lurking to pounce, the misdemeanour went unpunished as a lucky break saw the rebound cannon to the feet of Tim Ream who eventually drew a foul from Pritchard.

The hosts took 15 minutes to fashion a chance. Flank to flank, Vietto crossed with a degree of height towards the back stick where right wing-back Cyrus Christie had sneaked in. Fortunately for the Terriers, Irish international Christie couldn't make an adequate connection to force goalwards despite having the better of his marker.

Aleksandar Mitrović has proven himself to be a real physical threat to many defences throughout his stint in English football. The Serb leapt highest to meet Seri's corner, only to see his headed effort fly way over the crossbar.

Arguably the best moment of the came arrived from a neat Fulham move. Denis Odoi's swift turn away from defensive pressure opened up space for a cutting through ball aiming for the barnstorming Tom Cairney. The Scottish home skipper took a loose touch on his clear route to goal which Jonas Lössl was more than agile enough to claim and smother.

Back came Town in the way of a mini period of Whites momentum. Steve Mounié's clever run deceived Alfie Mawson and he headed on target from Jonathan Hogg's accurate delivery, but it failed to force Rico into anything other than a routine save.

Mounié was also proving to be a physical thorn in the Fulham defence's side. The Benin striker won a knockdown for the targets of Pritchard and Hadergjonaj accompanying in the box. As per the pattern of the season and this contest, the ball just wouldn't drop kindly for a shooting chance to occur.

Ranieri made a double substitution at the interval to alter the tempo with which his outfit could get at the Terriers. Although, it was a set-piece that almost caught the HD1 Club napping. Chambers arced a run to beat the offside trap, and Cyrus Christie was inches from sliding home as the downward knockdown skidded off the turf to evade each player in the vicinity.

In truth, Ranieri's changes had inspired the Cottagers. Maxime Le Marchand fired straight at Jonas Lössl to let Town breathe a major sigh of relief having been free at the far post.

And the Fulham pressure continued to mount. That man Mitrović was superbly denied from heading into the bottom corner by the strong wrists of Jonas Lössl, once again being the first to meet a delivery into the area from the left peg of Joe Bryan.

Responding having somewhat weathered a brutal Fulham storm, David Wagner made a double introduction of his own with Laurent Depoitre and Elias Kachunga tasked with providing the extra injection of energy to push on and potentially find a valuable winner.

Half-time sub Kamara contributed a great deal to further pace for the West Londoners. A thunderous half-volley was well held by Lössl, as it became clearer that the Terriers really needed a spark to either hold out or come away from the Cottage with a vital reward.

There had been multiple lay-offs; but the biggest one of them all came 10 minutes from time. After Chris Löwe was adjudged to have handballed in the area, Aboubakar Kamara stepped up to take the resulting penalty following a discussion with Mitrović.

Kamara, however, found his tame penalty saved by Jonas Lössl to keep the deadlock in-tact.

It was going to be a nail-biting final five minutes, as the Town performance hadn't reached the spirited standards of Boxing Day by a reasonable distance.

From the joy of the penalty save to the anguish of a last-minute concession. On a quick counter, Ryan Sessegnon perfectly picked out the run of Aleksandar Mitrović who in turn slotted through the legs of Jonas Lössl to give the hosts the win at the death.

Town look to start the New Year off with victory at home to Burnley next time out (2 January 2019, 7.45pm).

TOWN (3-5-2)

Jonas Lössl; Terence Kongolo, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka; Chris Löwe, Philip Billing, Jonathan Hogg (c), Florent Hadergjonaj, Erik Durm; Alex Pritchard (Elias Kachunga, 65'), Steve Mounié (Laurent Depoitre, 65')


Ben Hamer, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Juninho Bacuna, Adama Diakhaby, Isaac Mbenza

FULHAM (3-4-3)

Sergio Rico; Tim Ream, Alfie Mawson (Maxime Le Marchand, 46'), Denis Odoi; Joe Bryan, Tom Cairney (c), Jean Michaël Seri (Aboubakar Kamara, 46'), Calum Chambers, Cyrus Christie; Luciano Vietto (Ryan Sessegnon, 77'), Aleksandar Mitrović


Marcus Bettinelli, Floyd Ayité, Ibrahima Cisse, André Schürrle


Kevin Friend


24,423 (2,424 Town)

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account