Fulham 1-2 Bristol City: Bristol City steal late win at Craven Cottage
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/03/16 6:23pm
Lee Tomlin's last-gasp free-kick earned Bristol City a 2-1 comeback win on Saturday to do little to ease Fulham's lingering relegation fears in the Sky Bet Championship.
Fulham - who are now just one point off the relegation zone - were punished for failing to capitalise on Ross McCormack's early opener.
Fellow strugglers Bristol City hit back via Marlon Pack's first goal of the season before Tomlin's 25-yard strike snatched the win late on.
Fulham have had no problem scoring goals, but it has been a different matter at the other end and their leaky defence was almost exposed inside the opening minute as Joe Bryan's low shot was kept out by goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.
That early save was crucial as Fulham went up the other end to draw first blood via McCormack in the second minute.
The Scottish striker took down Michael Madl's long pass before his exquisite lob from a tight angle left visiting goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell helpless.
It was McCormack's 21st league goal this season and was the perfect start for Slavisa Jokanovic's side, who were clearly buoyed by that early strike.
Scott Parker forced O'Donnell into a routine save while Tom Cairney also called the Robins stopper into action.
The away side, besides Bryan's early attempt, rarely threatened before the break and their best hope appeared to lie in set-pieces.
Aden Flint headed Adam Matthews' long throw wide while Cottagers defender Luke Garbutt was on hand to clear a free-kick from near his own line.
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson made two half-time substitutions to inject some life into his side. The decision almost reaped immediate rewards as Tomlin, moved from the wing to a central position, forced Lonergan into a full-stretch save in the 47th minute.
Peter Odemwingie, who has joined on loan from Stoke, was also introduced and suddenly it was a new Robins side who were pushing the dominant hosts back.
But Fulham squandered a golden chance in the 55th minute to extend their lead through Moussa Dembele, only for the striker's control to let him down as he was crowded out.
Nerves were beginning to jangle and it was no surprise to see Pack drive home from 25 yards out to break his duck for the season. Fulham were guilty of losing possession in a dangerous area and Pack did the rest as beat Lonergan from distance with 69 minutes on the clock.
The hosts, rocked by that setback, suddenly looked like a side devoid of confidence as they struggled to put two passes together.
McCormack saw a low effort pushed out by O'Donnell late on before Tomlin curled home in the 90th minute to stun Craven Cottage.