Jason White ruined Fulham’s promotion party as Northampton Town pulled off a surprise victory in front of Craven Cottage’s biggest crowd of the season.
The home fans greeted their Fulham heroes with confetti and ticker tape after Micky Adams’ men clinched promotion with a draw at Mansfield in midweek but the push for the Division Three title was jolted by White’s winner after just seven minutes. The nippy forward latched onto a through ball, skinned Nick Cusack for pace, rounded Mark Walton and tucked a simple finish into the empty net to stun the home crowd into silence.
The Cobblers could easily have had two or three more such was their dominance of the first half. Micky Adams responded by substituting former Northampton defender Terry Angus as well as Matthew Lawrence inside the first half an hour, but any improvement in the home side’s performance is merely marginal. Christer Warren and Mike Conroy went close in the second half but the disappointment of defeat means that Fulham’s lap of honour to celebrate the club’s first promotion in fifteen years was somewhat muted.
FULHAM: Walton; Lawrence (Thomas 19), Watson, Angus (Blake 12), Cullip; Cockerill, Cusack, Carpenter, Scott (Brooker 58); Conroy, Warren.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN: Woodman; Rennie, Sampson, Frain, Warburton, Clarkson; Hunter, Parrish, Cooper (O’Shea 65); White (Lee 83), Gayle. Subs (not used): Gibb.
GOAL: White (7).