This tight contest was in the balance until seven minutes late in the second half decisively turned the tide Fulham’s way. Kit Symons’ side looked as if they were strolling to a fifth consecutive league win when Hugo Rodallega opened the scoring from a fine Fulham break in the first half, but a spell of serious Huddersfield pressure was eventually rewarded by Joel Lynch’s far post header. It was left to Danish midfielder Lasse Vigen Christensen – who Symons has promoted so successfully from Fulham’s youth team – to restore Fulham’s advantage within sixty seconds with a magnificent mazy dribble and Ross McCormack, whose ingenuity created the first goal, rounded off the victory with a drive through the rain from distance as time ticked away.
Chris Powell’s visitors made a strong start to the contest. Former Fulham defender Mark Hudson went close to marking his return to Craven Cottage with a goal but saw his header scrambled off the line by Elsad Zverotic and Harry Bunn, who might have won a penalty after a crazy lunge by Nikolay Bodurov in the area, shot wide when one-on-one with Marcus Bettinelli. It was Fulham who took the lead when McCormack’s sense of adventure saw him carry the ball nearly 70 yards and produce the perfect cross for Rodallega to roll home his sixth goal of the season.
The goal seemed to spark Fulham into life. They might have been out of sight by the break. Scott Parker played a lovely ball through the Terriers’ back line but George Williams shot into the side netting as he surged through on Alex Smithies. A fine counter-attack after Bodurov had blocked an effort from Grant Holt saw McCormack and Williams inject pass into Fulham’s attack and Christensen crossed brilliantly for Rodallega only for the Colombian forward to head over from six yards out.
The visitors laid siege to the Fulham goal after the break. Jacob Butterfield blasted a free-kick into the side netting, Bunn screwed an effort disappointing wide after darting in from the right, Jonathan Hogg volleyed off target and Holt lifted an effort over the bar. Smithies made a fine reaction save to deny Rodallega a second and Town deservedly levelled with a quarter of an hour to play. Substitute Nakhi Wells won a free-kick in a dangerous area and Lynch rose highest to head home at the back post.
But the setback only served to stir something in Christensen, who drove towards the Huddersfield penalty area when receiving the ball in centre midfield moments after the restart. The Danish youngster played a smart one-two with Rodallega, nutmegged Hudson and kept his cool as Smithies came rushing out, lifting a clever finish over the advantage goalkeeper to the delight of the Hammersmith End. It was a moment of brilliance that restored Fulham’s belief.
Moussa Dembele and Bryan Ruiz then linked up to fashion a chance for Rodallega, who skied his finish horribly, and Fulham were indebted to Bettinelli, who raced from his goal to avert another defensive disaster at the other end, before McCormack put the seal on the victory. The Scottish forward crashed home a finish from outside the area after being found by Rodallega to make sure of the points that lifted Fulham five places up the Championship table.
FULHAM (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Zverotic, Stafylidis, Bodurov, Burn; Parker; Christensen, Williams (Dembele 71); Ruiz (Eisfeld 85); McCormack, Rodallega. Subs (not used): Kiraly, Hutchinson, Hyndman, Roberts.
BOOKED: Christensen, Burn, Zverotic.
GOALS: Rodallega (19), Christensen (77), McCormack (84).
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3): Smithies; Smith, Dixon (Ward 83), Hudson, Lynch; Hogg (Wells 71), Coady, Butterfield; Scannell, Bunn, Holt. Subs (not used): Murphy, Wallace, Peltier, Robinson.
GOAL: Lynch (75).
REFEREE: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).