Burton 2-1 Fulham: Lucas Akins penalty wins it for Albion
Last Updated: 17/09/17 2:39pm
Lucas Akins' 51st minute penalty proved to be the difference as Burton Albion secured a first-ever victory over Fulham with a 2-1 home win in the Sky Bet Championship.
Akins fired home after defender Kyle McFadzean had been dragged down by Fulham skipper Kevin McDonald and referee Stephen Martin had pointed to the spot. It proved to be the winner despite Fulham dominating most of the second half but finding themselves unable to breach the Burton defence for a second time in the game.
Burton grabbed a 12th minute lead when Stephen Warnock netted his first goal in just over three years. The pace of Sean Scannell got him in behind the Fulham defence and although Marvin Sordell was crowded out, latching onto Scannell's pass the ball fell kindly for Warnock to roll it into the empty net.
Oliver Norwood's equaliser just after the half hour came when the visitors had worked several chances in and around the Burton box, but had failed with the intricate passing route to goal. A deflected pass set the midfielder up for a 25-yard effort that flew into the bottom corner of Stephen Bywater's net.
Fulham started well with Neeskens Kebano and Ryan Sessegnon going close early on until they found themselves behind. Searching for an equaliser, a golden chance went begging when Stefan Johansen set up Norwood who scooped a more than presentable chance over the bar.
Jamie Allen, on his home debut for Burton, saw a 20-yard shot come back off the inside of the post and John Brayford - returning for a third spell at the Pirelli Stadium - tested David Button as Burton looked to go back in front.
Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo thought he had won a penalty as 40 minutes as he went down after knocking the ball past Bywater but referee Martin was not impressed and showed the youngster a yellow card for simulation.
Albion's bright start to the second period was rewarded with the lead via Akins' first league goal of the campaign before Fulham appeals for a spot kick were waved away when Ben Turner was stronger than Floyd Ayite trying to meet a low cross.
Fulham began to dominate as Albion found it hard to generate any real forward momentum with defender Ryan Fredericks denied by a superb tackle from Warnock inside the box.
Desperate for an equaliser, Fulham camped themselves in and around the opposition's box, but the Burton defenders threw themselves at everything. They were powerless though when Sessegnon picked out Ojo and his rising drive came back back off the crossbar.
Burton dealt with all the late pressure from the Cottagers to hang on for three points and move them four points clear of the relegation places.
Nigel Clough: "I thought it was a very good game of football. hey (Fulham) dominated possession but I thought we just about deserved it, for our effort and honesty again. You could tell what sort of game it was going to be in the first five minutes. It could easily have been 2-1 to Fulham after about three minutes. We wanted to be as attacking as possible but we had to do it responsibly and we did cause them problems when we got it forwards.
"It was a very rare penalty for us. We've had something like two in 100 games, so it was nice to get one today. We had actually forgotten who the penalty-taker was meant to be. Lucas grabbed it and it just about made it for us."
Slavisa Jokanovic: "We give them two chances for an advantage which they took and in a game on a smaller pitch it is not always easy to score goals. We tried, we moved the ball and we created the chances, but after we gave them the advantage it was hard and we could not score.
"The goals we conceded were cheap goals. We were not aggressive enough. The penalty is strange. If it is a penalty in one box then it is a penalty on Floyd Ayite in the other box after that, but I don't want to complain about things like that."