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Huddersfield Town v Fulham: Memorable meetings

There are some magnificent memories of Fulham triumphs at Huddersfield in recent years – it was tough to narrow our selection ahead of our first away game of the season down to just three. We have to start with one that Luis Boa Morte still remembers fondly, his late winner against the Terriers’ confirmed promotion in 2001 at the end of a magical season. The incredible backs-to-the-wall win under Kit Symons is certainly worth recalling – that game had absolutely everything – and the masterclass from Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in the 2016/2017 season was a simply sensational awayday. Feel free to add your own recollections in the comments.

Boa Morte clinches promotion

Huddersfield Town 1-2 Fulham (14 April 2001)

It took a late Luis Boa Morte winner, expertly squeezed into the bottom corner after he surged clear down the right flank, to formally confirm Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League after Jean Tigana’s side had put together probably the most magnificent season of football in the club’s storied history. The Portuguese forward poked a finish past Nico Vaesen after the goalkeeper had dashed off his line to try and avert the danger after Boa Morte had linked up impressively with Steve Finnan.

Louis Saha’s 28th goal of an incredible campaign came from the penalty spot after Boa Morte had been clumsily felled by Chris Lucketti, but the celebrations at the end of an incredible week that included Sean Davis’ dramatic winner at Blackburn looked like being deferred when Delroy Facey fired in an excellent equaliser after bursting away from Kit Symons. But that reckoned without Boa Morte’s brilliant finish, which ensured Fulham were not left ruing a succession of missed chances in the second half.

Tigana and his heroes were serenaded by the travelling fans in emotional scenes following the final whistle, which also included the players discreetly passing around the bottles of champagne provided by the sponsors as they briefly beat the French maestro’s ban on alcohol!

Fofana seals surreal win

Huddersfield Town 0-2 Fulham (21 March 2015)

This game quite literally had everything. Fulham scored direct from a corner, Huddersfield missed two penalties and there was a case of mistaken identity as the referee got Cauley Woodrow and Shaun Hutchinson mixed up. Right at the death, with Kit Symons’ side somehow surviving yet more home pressure, Seko Fofana sprinted half the length of the pitch to seal Fulham’s first away win in eight matches – tucking home at the second attempt after he had appeared to miss a much simpler opportunity. It was quite simply exhilirating.

Alex Kacaniklic got the crazy afternoon off to a surreal start when his right-wing corner went straight in, having somehow crept past both goalkeeper Alex Smithies and former Fulham defender Mark Hudson at the near post. Huddersfield laid siege to the Fulham goal but couldn’t score. As well as Nakhi Wells’ two failures from twelve yards, Ishmael Miller twice hit the post and Jack Butterfield rattled the bar from 20 yards. Fulham clung on with ten men and made sure of all three points in stoppage time when Fofana finished off a fine counter-attack and sprinted into the travelling support to lift the Whites further away from trouble.

Johansen double caps Fulham fightback

Huddersfield Town 1-4 Fulham (22 April 2017)

This was one of the classic away days under Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham’s flowing football blew our promotion rivals away in the blink of an eye. The visitors weathered an early scare when Chris Lowe crashed home a fourth minute penalty after being brought down in the box by Floyd Ayite. That they fought back with such style was a credit to the confidence the Whites were playing with under Jokanovic, especially as the season was quickly approaching that make-or-break period.

Scott Malone equalised with his sixth goal of a productive campaign from left back, driving home with aplomb after offering an overlap for the adventurous Ayite, who was desperate to make amends for his earlier error. The Togolese winger was then felled in the area and Tom Cairney stepped up to score from twelve yards – a rarity in a season where the Whites missed thirteen spot-kicks. The peerless Stefan Johansen then added two more of his own in the space of nine minutes, firstly following up when Ryan Sessegnon saw a shot blocked and then robbing Jonathan Hogg to give Fulham further breathing space.

It was a commanding display that hinted at what was to come from Jokanovic’s side and stunned the home crowd into bemused silence. They did brilliantly join in with the away fans’ chant of ‘Leeds are falling apart again’ on a sunkissed afternoon that will live long in the memory.

Symons astonished after incredible win

Kit Symons described Fulham’s 2-0 victory at Huddersfield – a match which included a red-card controversy, a goal scored from a corner and two missed penalties – as “probably the most bizarre game I have ever been involved in”.

Nahki Wells missed two penalties and he and Jacob Butterfield hit the post as Huddersfield did everything but score. Alex Kacaniklic gave Fulham the lead straight from a corner after just 66 seconds but Huddersfield were on top from then on.

Fulham, who also hit the woodwork through Cauley Woodrow, only made the points safe in the sixth minute of stoppage time when sub Seko Fofana broke clear and slotted home the rebound after his first effort came back off the post.

There was chaos around the hour mark when Fulham skipper Shaun Hutchinson handled on the line to keep out Ishmael Miller’s shot – only for referee Richard Clark to brandish the red card at Woodrow.

Fulham players protested and Clark consulted his assistant and changed his mind, sending off Hutchinson instead.

After a three-minute wait Wells stepped up only for Marcus Bettinelli to pull off a great save. In the 72nd minute Ashley Richards brought down Sean Scannell and Wells, back after five matches out with a shoulder injury, volunteered again only to smash his spot-kick against the upright.

Symons said: “It was probably the most bizarre game I have ever been involved in. Against Leeds on Wednesday we played 10 times better, had 28 shots, but were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.

“In this one we scored at the beginning and at the end and in between Huddersfield were by far the better side.

“Marcus made some great saves and we had some good defending and some poor defending. We had a man sent off – the wrong one to start with – and the six minutes at the end felt like an eternity.

“But the important thing is we got there by hook or by crook and showed real character. When you do that you sometimes get all the luck, and we’ve not had much of that lately.”

Fofana seals remarkable Fulham win

Fulham recorded a quite incredible win at Huddersfield Town this afternoon to further ease their relegation fears, despite being reduced to ten men.

Kit Symons’ side climbed above Rotherham to twentieth in the Championship table after scoring at both the beginning and end of a breathless encounter in west Yorkshire. The drama began in the second minute when Swedish winger Alex Kacaniklic swung a corner straight in from the right-flank, with his delivery outwitting both goalkeeper Alex Smithies and former Fulham defender Mark Hudson as Matt Smith caused problems at the near post.

Huddersfield, themselves seeking points in their own battle against the drop, mounted an immediate response when Sean Scannell headed into Marcus Bettinelli’s arms from a cross from Tommy Smith. The Fulham goalkeeper then produced another instinctive stop to prevent Shaun Hutchinson from putting into his own net and also fielded a header from Ishmael Miller as the Terriers’ stepped the pressure. Jacob Butterfield tried his luck from range but Bettinelli kept hold of his low shot as it came through the crowd and then pushed Miller’s header onto the far post as the visitors somehow went in at half time ahead.

Scannell served notice of the hosts’ intentions six minutes after the break when he skipped away from two challengers to send the perfect ball across the face of goal, but there was no-one in a Town shirt in the middle to convert what would have been a simple chance. Bettinelli made another smart save to keep out another Butterfield piledriver, before referee Richard Clark took centre stage. He gave a spot-kick for handball on the line – which looked contentious to the naked eye – and initially sent off a disbelieving Cauley Woodrow before being persuaded to consult his fourth official and instead showing the red card to Shaun Hutchinson.

There was a long delay before the penalty area was cleared and Nakhi Wells stepped forward, but Bettinelli made a superb sprawling save. Symons sent on Nikolay Bodurov as the ten men reorganised at the heart of their defence and a resolute rearguard tried to cling on despite their numerical disadvantage. Woodrow almost snaffled a second out of nothing, when he latched onto Tim Hoogland’s through ball and rounded Smithies only to rattle the near post with an attempted finish from an acute angle.

It looked like Fulham’s brave resistance was about to broken with eighteen minutes left when Jazz Richards wrestled Scannell to the ground in the box. Wells took responsibility from twelve yards again but drilled his effort against the far post – and the away side breathed a huge sigh of relief. Substitute Fofana almost created a matchwinning second when his raking ball from central midfield released Woodrow but the striker’s low cross-cum-shot eluded both Smith and the far corner.

Bodurov bravely blocked an effort from David Edgar and Bettinelli palmed a Butterfield drive onto the post before bravely diving at the feet of Scannell as he seemed destined to score. Butterfield then clipped the top of the crossbar with a rising strike from long range before, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, an audacious attempt to chip Smithies from 35 yards by substitute Hugo Rodallega flew fractionally wide.

After six minutes of added time, Fulham could have been forgiven for simply sitting back and praying for the final whistle. But Fofana seized on the opportunity to grab a decisive second when, with Huddersfield having sent everyone forward in the desperate hunt for an equaliser, first Michael Turner and then Matt Smith won challenges inside the Fulham half. The on-loan Manchester City midfielder carried the ball all the way to the edge of the box and, with only Ryan Tunnicliffe for company, rattled an effort against the base of the post. But Fofana kept his composure to score his first Fulham goal and spark delirious celebrations by running into the travelling contingent.

HUDDERSFIELD (3-5-2): Smithies; Edgar (Charles 87), Hudson, Lynch; Smith (Majewski 75), Scannell, Hogg (Lolley 74), Coady, Butterfield; Miller, Wells. Subs (not used): Murphy, M. Wallace, Carroll, Gobern.

FULHAM (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Grimmer, Richards, Hutchinson, Turner; Tunnicliffe, Hoogland, Kavanagh (Bodurov 61), Kacaniklic (Fofana 67); Smith, Woodrow (Rodallega 88). Subs (not used): Kiraly, Burn, Donnelly, Roberts.

BOOKED: Smith, Kacaniklic, Hoogland, Richards, Bettinelli.

SENT OFF: Hutchinson.

GOALS: Kacanklic (2), Fofana (90+6).

REFEREE: Richard Clark (Northumberland).


Fofana needs to add goals, says Symons

Kit Symons has been delighted with Seko Fofana’s impact during his loan spell from Manchester City, but the Fulham boss wants the young midfielder to add a goal threat to his excellent all round play.

The teenager has slotted seamlessly into the Fulham midfield and hasn’t not looked out of place even in the heat of Championship battle. But Symons is urging the 19 year-old to work more on his attacking approach.

“He’s done well since he’s been here. What he’s done is got himself in brilliant situations as a fantastic athlete. But the next step is to make one of these chances count as a goal. Manchester City are fully aware of that. One of their guys was down the other day, and I was speaking to another on Wednesday. We’ve got really good contact with them. We all think he’s much better, better off having had this Championship experience.”

Symons was quick to rule out the prospect of Fofana moving to Craven Cottage permanently as the prodigious talent is so highly rated at his parent club.

“That’s not been spoken about. He’s their (Man City’s) player and they rate him very highly, and we’re thankful they did the loan deal with us.”

Fofana stays until end of season

Seko Fofana has agreed to remain on loan with Fulham until the end of the season.

The Manchester City midfielder initially arrived at Craven Cottage in November and he has gone on to make 10 appearances for the Championship club.

“I’m delighted to be prolonging my stay at Fulham and I want to continue to help the team win as many games as possible,” the 19-year-old told the club’s official website.

“I have enjoyed my time here so much and gained a lot of experience of playing first team football in the Championship.

“I thank Manchester City for allowing me to extend my stay here and Kit Symons who has shown a lot of faith in me.”

Paris-born Fofana, who joined City in 2013, is yet to find the net in Fulham colours.