REPORT: FULHAM 1 ALBION 2
- Albion return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship
- David Stockdale saves Stefan Johansen’s penalty in the first-half
- Lucas Piazon gave Fulham the lead
- Tomer Hemed’s penalty and Lewis Dunk’s header earn Albion all three points
Brighton & Hove Albion returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table after battling to a superb 2-1 victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Tomer Hemed’s penalty and a header from Lewis Dunk overturned a 1-0 deficit as the Seagulls moved two points clear of Newcastle United with a game in hand.
Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat Queens Park Rangers six days ago, with Jiri Skalak replacing Solly March in the starting line-up.
Albion created their first opening when Dale Stephens threaded a pass towards Sam Baldock, but the striker's shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Stefan Johansen had Fulham’s first opportunity, but he blazed a shot over the bar from the edge of the box after David Stockdale had pushed away a cross.
Fulham were then awarded a penalty when Bruno handled inside the box but Johansen saw his spot-kick kept out thanks to Stockdale’s fine save.
The Cottagers had two quickfire chances to take the lead, with Scott Malone miscuing his effort inside the box before Sone Aluko delivered a tantalising cross towards Matt Smith, who failed to convert.
The Seagulls then broke forward through Baldock; he in turn picked out Anthony Knockaert, whose cross just failed to reach the onrushing Glenn Murray.
Fulham took the lead ten minutes after the re-start through Lucas Piazon, who curled a low shot from the edge of the box past Stockdale and into the far corner.
Knockaert came close to equalising after linking up Murray, but he lashed his left-footed strike over the bar.
Piazon then had a chance to get his second of the game, but saw his glancing header saved by Stockdale.
Baldock then attempted to lob David Button, but the Fulham keeper pushed the ball behind for a corner.
Hughton freshened up Albion’s attack with 25 minutes remaining, as March replaced Skalak.
The England under-21 international had an immediate impact after Bruno found him deep inside the box, but he fired his shot over the bar.
Albion got themselves back on level terms in the 73rd minute when Knockaert was brought down inside the box and sub Hemed stepped up to coolly roll home the spot kick.
With the momentum in their favour, the Seagulls then scored a second just two minutes later through Dunk, who scored a header on the rebound after Knockaert’s initial strike was saved by Button.
It could’ve been 3-1 when Stephens played in March, but Button was equal to the winger’s shot.
Brighton had to survive a late Fulham siege to hold onto all three points, but Hemed capped a memorable display from the bench by helping out in defence to ensure the visitors took all three points.