Fulham 2 Barnsley 0: Reds unbeaten run brought to halt at Craven Cottage

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom
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Barnsley’s five-game unbeaten run came to an end as they were beaten 2-0 by a highly impressive Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Chris Martin tucked away a penalty on the dot of half-time and Scott Malone fired in after the break to condemn the visitors to a resounding defeat.

The Reds found themselves up against it from the opening stages. Marc Roberts was forced into a rushed clearance from a testing cross before Adam Davies made a regulation save by Tom Cairney.

As they gradually warmed to their task, the Tykes came within a whisker of taking the lead in the 37th minute. Adam Hammill’s diagonal dribble ended in his powerful drive flicking off the crossbar and behind with David Button beaten. Minutes later Tom Bradshaw headed just wide from a Conor Hourihane free-kick as the visitors gained a foothold.

They would go in to half-time behind, though, as the referee pointed to the spot to punish Angus MacDonald’s grapple with Kevin McDonald. Chris Martin, on his return from strike action, stepped up and sent Davies the wrong way with his spot-kick.

The hosts came out in an imperious mood after the break and doubled their lead through Scott Malone, who was left unmarked at the back post to arrow a powerful left-footed shot into the far corner.

Adam Davies somehow contrived to keep Paul Heckingbottom’ side in the game with a string of outstanding saves. The Welsh international parried a Sone Aluko shot past the post and then denied Martin after he had brushed Roberts off.

Heckingbottom made a tripe substitution in the 70th minute to try and turn the tide, a move that sparked a slight improvement as Conor Hourihane’s deflected strike tested Button in the home goal. The pattern of rampant Fulham attacking was not altered however as Piazon had an effort cleared off the line and Cairney was once again denied by Davies.