A Chris Wood penalty condemned Fulham to their second pre-season defeat as the Whites were beaten by Burnley on the Algarve this evening.
The New Zealand striker notched the winning goal twenty minutes from time – beating Fabri from twelve yards – after a rash Cyrus Christie challenge on Ben Mee inside the box. Wood had the chance to put a more convincing gloss on the scoreline with time running out but he rattled the crossbar with a firm header from a corner.
A strong Burnley side that included former Fulham academy graduate Johann Berg Gudmundsson had the better of the early exchanges. Jay Rodriguez thought he had started his second stint with Sean Dyche’s side in the finest possible manner but his powerful header from Robbie Brady’s free-kick was ruled out for offside. Fulham operated mostly on the counter attack, but Mee had to be alert to deny rampaging left back Joe Bryan after the Whites’ most fluent passage of play.
American midfielder Luca da le Torre had Fulham’s other clear opening of note but Nick Pope made a smart save. Scott Parker opted to mark only three substitutes at half-time, saving most of his alterations for just after the hour mark as he sought to build up Fulham’s fitness levels, whilst Dyche made ten half-time changes.
Fulham fashioned the first opportunity of the second period with former England goalkeeper Joe Hart reacting quickly to keep out a low drive from Neeskens Kebano. The winger then whipped in a teasing cross for Fonte, who could only head harmlessly over the bar. In a tight contest, the Clarets gradually began to pose more of a threat with a blistering Jack Cork wide flying wide courtesy of a deflection.
Parker’s side finish their pre-season tour of Portugal with a tough test against Porto on Tuesday night.
BURNLEY (4-5-1): Pope (Hart 45); Bardsley (Lowton 45) Pieters (Dunne 45), Mee (Tarkowski 45), Long (Gibson 45); Westwood (Cork 45), Benson (Vydra 65), Hendrick (McNeill 45), Gudmundsson (Barnes 45), Brady (Lennon 45); Rodriguez (Wood 45).
GOAL: Wood (pen 70).
FULHAM (4-3-3): Bettinelli (Fabri 63), S. Sessegnon (Christie 63), Bryan (Mundle-Smith 66) Mawson (Odoi 63), Le Marchand (Opoku 63); McDonald (O’Riley 45), de la Torre (Johansen 45), Cairney (Edun 63); Kebano (Francois 63), Kamara (Ayité 45), Fonte (Mitrovic 63).
Oh well. We always lose most of our pre-season games anyway! Some big signings on the cards though. COYW
Thought o’ Riley was the standout for both teams
Interesting to see if they have the guts to play him!!