Hugo Rodallega scored his first Fulham goal to settle the Whites’ penultimate pre-season friendly at Milton Keynes in the Premier League side’s favour. The Colombian forward, signed from Wigan Athletic on a free transfer earlier this summer, converted a cross from Zdenek Grygera to seal a late win after the hosts had missed a penalty through Shaun Williams.

Martin Jol’s side were under pressure from the first whistle with Dan Burn and Chris Baird having to block goalbound efforts before Jay O’Shea shot wildly over when well placed with just three minutes on the clock. Fulham’s first attack of note came after a quarter of an hour when a lovely bit of combination play between Baird and Marcello Trotta created space for Steve Sidwell to shoot from 25 yards but his shot was deflected behind.

Rodallega guided a header from Kerim Frei’s corner fractionally wide whilst Milton Keynes threatened at the other end as Luke Chadwick extended David Stockdale. A strong period of Fulham possession saw Mesca skip away from Dean Lewington and set up Trotta, who drove wide after turning encouragingly inside the area.

Fulham continued to probe patiently in the second period with Pajtim Kasami firing over from just outside the box and Rodallega being denied by a smart save. Matthew Briggs then went on a barnstorming run down the left, breezing past Adam Chicksen but shooting straight at the goalkeeper from an acute angle. The visitors were now committing numbers forward and putting Milton Keynes under pressure, but the hosts hit them on the break very effectively.

Ryan Lowe lifted a lovely ball over a high Fulham defensive line which allowed Luke Chadwick to run on into the penalty area and draw a foul from Stockdale. Williams lashed his spot-kick high over the crossbar in what was a real let off for the Londoners. The Premier League side pushed for a late winner with Ronnie Minkwitz almost finding the far corner after a fine run and Alex Kacaniklic driving an effort straight at the goalkeeper.

The decisive moment arrived eight minutes from time when a short corner from Kacaniklic gave Zdenek Grygera a shooting angle, but after the ball was blocked in the box, Rodallega reacted quickest to force home the rebound. There was still time for the home side to come close to an equaliser with Dean Bowditch clipping the crossbar with a drive from Lowe’s cross but Fulham held on for the win.

MILTON KEYNES FRANCHISE (4-4-2): Martin; Chicksen, Lewington, Williams, Mackenzie; O’Shea, Chadwick, Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch, McDonald. Subs: McLoughlin, Hickford, Lobjot, Smith, Lowe.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Stockdale; Kelly (Grygera 78), Briggs, Baird, Burn; Sidwell, Kasami, Frei (Minkwitz 45), Mesca; Trotta (Kacaniklic 80), Rodallega. Subs (not used): Somogyi, Kavanagh, Brister.

GOAL: Rodallega (82).

REFEREE: Pat Miller.