The Reserves couldn’t keep up their fine unbeaten run until the very end of the season as they went down to a late goal at Aston Villa tonight. There was no shame in that, though, as Villa are the reigning Premier League South reserve champions and put out a side brimming with young talent.

Perhaps with the demands of Saturday’s tricky trip to Middlesbrough and the prospect of a physical contest at the Cottage against Stoke at the weekend, Billy McKinlay fielded a much weaker side that the one we saw against Chelsea earlier in the month. Only Elliot Omozusi had first team expeience and there was a start up front for young Dutch striker Danny Hoesen. Both players had chances to give Fulham a first half lead but it was the home side who finished the stronger.

The Whites did well to remain on terms for 70 minutes, nitl a foul on Marc Albrighton gave away a dangerous free-kick. Substitute Gary Gardner stepped up and curled an impressive free-kick beyond Wes Foderingham. Fulham snatched an equaliser five minutes later when Michael Uwezu, who has been hot on the goal trail for the reserves in recent weeks, raced onto a hopeful clearance and showed great composure to beat the goalkeeper.

Fulham couldn’t hold out for a point, however, as Jonathan Hogg sealed the win for Villa with a long-range strike with ten minutes left.

FULHAM RESERVES: Foderingham; Laribi, Smith, Omozusi, Smalling; Saunders, Marsh-Brown, Moscatiallo, Harris; Hoesen (Thomas 62), Uwezu.