A second half brace from Jay Stansfield helped Fulham’s under 23s cruise past Southampton at Motspur Park and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
The eighteen year-old forward, deployed in a number ten role tonight, had a hand in all three of Fulham’s goals as Steve Wigley’s first shaded a tight first half and then put clear water between themselves and their visitors after the break. Stansfield, who scored a sensational first senior goal on his full debut for the Whites at Birmingham in the League Cup, supplied the opening goal for Kieron Bowie with a low cross and then scored twice in the space of three second half minutes to put the contest beyond Saints.
Stansfield produced a terrific finish to convert Marlon Fossey’s inviting cross six minutes after the interval and then repeated the trick shortly afterwards as the American full-back galloped forward once again to mark a poignant personal night on what would have been his late father Adam’s 43rd birthday. The teenager’s brilliant start to this campaign has showcased both his predatory instincts and maturity, but this was an excellent all-round performance, slotting seamlessly into an unfamiliar position, and playing several incisive passes.
Fulham were indebted to goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond for keeping the scores level before half-time. The England youth international produced three excellent saves as Saints flexed their muscles. He kept out Kazeem Olagibe’s low free-kick that appeared to be heading for the bottom corner before denying Ramello Mitchell as the forward shot from an acute angle and fielded a long-range effort from Kegs Chauke. The hosts might have been in front well before Bowie’s tap in had Irish midfielder Ollie O’Neill added the finishing touch after rounding Jack Bycroft in the Southampton goal, but he somehow shot wide. Idris Odutayo headed narrowly wide from a corner and Bowie’s fierce drive from distance was too close to Bycroft.
Stansfield’s quickfire double effectively ended the game as a contest. Fulham played some silky football in the second period but couldn’t find a fourth to underline their superiority. Steven Sessegnon, featuring on the left side of the back four, came the closest but his curler from outside the box rattled the post with the keeper grasping at thin air. Odutayo was denied when Bycroft brilliantly stretched to keep out another header. This emphatic victory keeps the Whites on top of the early Premier League 2 Division table, with ten points from four games, a point ahead of Norwich City.
FULHAM UNDER 23s (4-2-3-1): T. Ashby-Hammond, Fossey (Larkeche 79), S. Sessegnon, Odutayo, McAvoy; Francois (Harris 45), Pajaziti; O’Neill, Hilton, Stansfield; Bowie. Subs (not used): McNally, McCoy-Splatt.
Marlon Fossey is back at Fulham after failing to earn a loan move to Rotherham United following his trial, according to the Athletic’s Peter Rutzler.
The American defender, who has endured two years of injury hell, played in Rotherham’s pre-season friendly defeat by Middlesbrough last Friday night but manager Paul Warne has decided against keeping the full back in south Yorkshire on loan.
The 22 year-old, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier this summer, has returned to Motspur Park and Fulham will continue alternative options for Fossey, who had his loan spell at Shrewsbury cut short by injury last season, to get the regular football he needs.
Fulham full back Marlon Fossey is set to join Rotherham United on trial with a view to a loan move, according to reports this evening.
The American defender signed a new two-year contract at Craven Cottage last month but is desperate to play regular football after being desperately unlucky with injuries over the past couple of years. The 22 year-old right back saw his loan spell at Shrewsbury ended by a serious knee injury and only returned for Fulham’s under 23s at the end very end of last season.
Fossey is likely to feature in Rotherham’s friendly against Middlesbrough on Friday.
The 22 year-old has endured a couple of horrendously injury-ravaged seasons and his impressive start to life on loan with Shrewsbury earlier this term was cut short by a knee problem. Fossey did return to the under-23 set up at the end of the season, playing in their 1-0 win over West Brom, and was delighted to commit his future to Fulham.
He told the club’s official website:
“I’m really appreciative that they have confidence in me and I’m grateful that I’m going to be around people and players for the next two years that I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from. I aim to work as hard as I can to better myself as a player.
It was difficult because no footballer wants to spend the majority of the season on the sidelines. I learnt a lot from it in terms of how to look after my body better and function better. I’m going to do everything within my power to make sure I put my body in a good position to play a full season.
The attacking right back, who won eleven caps for America’s under-20 side, is now setting his sights on forcing his way into Scott Parker’s plans.
“Every young player has the aim of playing for the first team, and I’m going to put myself in the best position to get to that point as soon as possible”
Fulham right back Marlon Fossey has signed for Shrewsbury Town on a season-long loan, the club confirmed this evening.
The American defender heads to Shropshire in search of first-team football after enduring an injury-ravaged couple of years that has hindered his development as one of the most eye-catching members of the Fulham academy. The 21 year-old, who has recently been training with Scott Parker’s senior squad, joins Sam Ricketts’ side, who finished fifteenth in League One last season.