Saturday 23 December 2017, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Sky Bet Championship
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
Floyd Ayité 54'; Sheyi Ojo 72'
Barnsley
1
Bradshaw 68'

54' Goal

Floyd Ayité
Assist by Tom Cairney

72' Goal

Sheyi Ojo
Assist by Stefan Johansen

28' Yellow Card

Sheyi Ojo

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Neeskens Kebano
Off:Floyd Ayité

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Rui Fonte
Off:Aboubakar Kamara

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Oliver Norwood
Off:Sheyi Ojo

68' Goal

Tom Bradshaw
Assist by Andy Yiadom

4' Yellow Card

Andy Yiadom Card was given for a foul

14' Yellow Card

Gary Gardner Card was given for a foul

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Adam Hammill
Off:George Moncur

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Lloyd Isgrove
Off:Mamadou Thiam

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ike Ugbo
Off:Harvey Barnes

0
15
30
45
60
75
90
Second half goals from Floyd Ayité and Sheyi Ojo earned Fulham victory over Barnsley in our final match before Christmas.

Fulham’s final home match of 2017 ended in victory as Barnsley were seen off 2-1 at the Cottage.

Floyd Ayité opened the scoring for the Whites in the 54th minute, before Tom Bradshaw equalised for Barnsley in the 68th. But Sheyi Ojo responded rapidly three minutes later to ensure that Fulham came away with maximum points.

Slaviša Jokanović made several changes to his starting line-up, with Aboubakar Kamara coming in to lead the line for his sixth start of the season and Ayité returning to the pitch after four weeks out injured. To accommodate these tweaks, Rui Fonte and Oliver Norwood dropped to the bench.

The kick-off atmosphere at Craven Cottage was buoyant and festive. All around the ground fans were sporting Santa hats and holiday jumpers, pushing their beloved Whites to give them three points to take home as an early Christmas present.

The home team started the game well, controlling the ball in the early minutes as Barnsley seemed confused about how to best respond to the possession-orientated approach Fulham prefer. Within five minutes the home team had fashioned two goal scoring chances from free-kicks.

The first chance came when Ayité whipped in a delivery from the left after Ojo had been tugged back in the second minute. A muffled Barnsley clearance fell to Tomas Kalas in the box, but the bounce was awkward and the defender wasn’t able to get any solid contact on it before it was hacked clear.

The second came after Andy Yiadom received a yellow card in the fourth minute for a late challenge on Kamara. Adam Davies spilled Stefan Johansen’s low drive and Ream raced in to follow up — only to be thwarted at the last second by a cluster of Barnsley players.

The attackers didn’t have to wait long to get in on the act themselves. Ojo, with very little backlift, looked to curl a shot in from 25 yards in the ninth minute. Davies tipped it just over. Then Ayité played a quick one-two with Ream in the Barnsley box and the American laid it off for an onrushing Tom Cairney. The skipper’s shot rocketed over the bar, but there was no doubt that Fulham were ratcheting up the pressure, searching tooth and nail to find the opening goal.

Barnsley struggled to deal with Fulham’s quick, cutting interplay. Gary Gardner became the second Reds player to go in the referee’s book when, in the 14th minute, he received a yellow for scything down Johansen in the middle of the park. Only a quarter of an hour had been played, but the Whites were already setting the tempo, running hard and fast at the Barnsley backline, forcing them to scramble and backpedal at every opportunity.

In the 28th minute Ojo was shown a yellow for apparent simulation.

The left flank was where Fulham were getting all of their joy. Ojo, Kamara, and Ryan Sessegnon would take turns haring down the touchline, while the other two would dart inside. The three of them were hunting together, each in tune with the others’ movements, and when seen in motion they looked like three interlocking gears humming with power, pace, and poise.

But for all of Fulham’s early dominance, it was Barnsley who almost scored the opening goal in the 30th minute. Bettinelli’s miscued throw fell straight to Harvey Barnes, with the Fulham ‘keeper sprinting to get back on his line. The Barnsley winger attempted the chip, and was nearly successful too, but Bettinelli sprung into the air and was able — after a bit more gymnastics — to get it away to safety.

Both teams caught their breath in the next 10 minutes. There was a break in play in the 35th minute as Kevin McDonald remained on the ground after a nasty 50-50 challenge. When play resumed a few minutes later, Ayité whistled the resulting free kick slightly wide of Davies’ near post.

It was Ayité who had the next, and Fulham’s best, first-half chance in the 43rd minute. Sessegnon pitched a hanging cross in and, while Ayité rose masterfully to meet it, he was unable to get enough leverage on the header to direct it on frame.

The home crowd applauded the effort, a few had thought it was a certain goal, and were still clapping two minutes later when James Linington blew for half time — encouraged by the attacking show on display, but urging the lads to find that ever elusive cutting edge.

Five minutes after the restart Fulham came as close to breaking the deadlock as possible without actually scoring. Sessegnon drilled a low cross across the Barnsley box that just needed the tiniest of touches to go in. It had somehow evaded Kamara and Ojo, but Ayité was sprinting in to nudge it home. As he started to slide in, Yiadom twisted himself and lunged at the ball, barely lofting it clear in time.

If Ayité was frustrated he didn’t let it show. Because four minutes later, in the 54th minute, he was the one who finally opened the scoring for the Whites when he slammed home Cairney’s layoff from outside the box.

It was a clean, pure hit — always spiralling into the bottom corner — and it must have felt especially sweet after the month he had just spent on the treatment table. As Ayité ran to the Hammersmith End to celebrate, one could feel the tension in the stands evaporate as the entire stadium exalted in Fulham going up 1-0.

The mood was understandably less cheery on the Barnsley bench. Seeking some way back into the match, Paul Heckingbottom made a double substitution in the 60th minute, bringing Lloyd Isgrove on for Mamadou Thiam and Adam Hammill on for George Moncur.

The changes must have breathed new life into the away team because they found themselves level just eight minutes later.

It was Bradshaw who got the goal. He nodded Yiadom’s cross past a despairing Bettinelli in the 68th minute. It was a goal that came out of nowhere and the Barnsley fans responded by belting out a few joyous Christmas carols in the away end.

Jokanović immediately made his first change of the game. The Head Coach brought off the goal-scorer Ayité and put Neeskens Kebano on in his place.

Fulham could have easily retreated into their shell, feeling upset and disjointed. But the opposite proved to be the case and in the 71st minute Ojo hauled the home side back in front when his looping shot found the back of the net from a tight angle.

It was a lovely goal — arcing high over Davies and clipping the back post on its way in — that was all the lovelier for its timeliness in restoring the Whites’ lead. The home team could breathe again, and all of Craven Cottage exhaled with them.

The goal prompted the final Barnsley substitution of the match, Heckingbottom bringing on the teenager Ike Ugbo to replace a tiring Barnes.

The end of the game was a seesawing affair that saw both sides try to find a goal before the final whistle. Sensing the match might be getting a little too open, Jokanović sought to impose some order with his final two substitutions; Fonte for Kamara in the 80th minute and Norwood for Ojo in the 85th.

Deep into the four minutes of stoppage time, Cairney was dragged down in the box but the referee waved away the Fulham appeals. The crowd had little time to fixate on it as, moments later, Linington blew for full time and a very merry Craven Cottage headed towards the exit with three points to put under the tree. 

Match Information

Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Date: Saturday 23 December 2017
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 17,308

Referee: James Linington

Fulham

Line-up: Bettinelli; Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Ryan Sessegnon; Johansen, McDonald, Cairney; Sheyi Ojo (Norwood 87'), Kamara (Rui Fonte 81'), Floyd Ayité (Kebano 70')

Unused substitutes: Button, Djalo, Lucas Piazon, De La Torre

Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic

Barnsley

Line-up: Davies; McCarthy, Pinnock, Lindsay, Yiadom; Moncur (Hammill 61'), Gary Gardner, Williams, Barnes (Ugbo 78'); Thiam (Isgrove 61'), Bradshaw

Unused substitutes: Townsend, Fryers, Cavare, Bird

Manager: Paul Heckingbottom

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 54
2 Cardiff City 23 47
3 Derby County 23 44
4 Bristol City 23 44
5 Leeds United 23 39
6 Aston Villa 22 37
7 Sheffield United 22 37
8 Preston North End 23 36
9 Middlesbrough 23 35
10 Ipswich Town 23 35
11 Fulham 23 32
12 Brentford 23 31
13 Nottingham Forest 23 31
14 Reading 23 27
15 Sheffield Wednesday 23 27
16 Norwich City 23 27
17 Millwall 23 26
18 Queens Park Rangers 23 26
19 Hull City 23 22
20 Barnsley 23 21
21 Burton Albion 23 20
22 Sunderland 23 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 23 19
24 Birmingham City 23 17
Goals
2
1
Total Shots
19
7
Shots On Target
6
2
Passing Accuracy
83%
72%
Fouls
11
11
Corners
10
4
Offsides
3
2
Bookings
1
2
Sending Offs
0
0
Fulham (4-3-3)
  • 1Marcus Bettinelli
  • 2Ryan Fredericks
  • 26Tomas Kalas
  • 13Tim Ream
  • 3Ryan Sessegnon
  • 8Stefan Johansen
  • 6Kevin McDonald
  • 10Tom Cairney
  • 19Sheyi Ojo
  • 47Aboubakar Kamara
  • 11Floyd Ayité
Substitutes
  • 27David Button
  • 23Marcelo Djalo
  • 7Neeskens Kebano
  • 16Oliver Norwood
  • 20Lucas Piazon
  • 36Luca De La Torre
  • 9Rui Fonte
Manager
  • Slavisa Jokanovic
Barnsley (4-4-2)
  • 1Adam Davies
  • 2Jason McCarthy
  • 16Ethan Pinnock
  • 6Liam Lindsay
  • 17Andy Yiadom
  • 10George Moncur
  • 22Gary Gardner
  • 4Joe Williams
  • 15Harvey Barnes
  • 26Mamadou Thiam
  • 9Tom Bradshaw
Substitutes
  • 13Nick Townsend
  • 3Ezekiel Fryers
  • 12Dimitri Kevin Cavare
  • 7Adam Hammill
  • 11Lloyd Isgrove
  • 37Jared Bird
  • 19Ike Ugbo
Manager
  • Paul Heckingbottom
Goals
0
0
Total shots
0
0
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
0
0
Minutes played by player
0
0
Assists from open play
0
0
Crosses
0
0
Tackles
0
0
Successful aerial duels
0
0
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
0
0
Pass forwards
0
0
Successful dribbles
0
0
Sum of all a players ball events
0
0
Accurate passes
0
0
Key passes
0
0
Player intercepts a pass
0
0
Goalkeeper saves
0
0
Goalkeeper catches a cross
0
0
  • Match ends, Fulham 2, Barnsley 1.
  • 90'+5' Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Barnsley 1.
  • 90'+3' Foul by Stefan Johansen (Fulham).
  • 90'+3' Lloyd Isgrove (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 90'+2' Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 90'+2' Foul by Joe Williams (Barnsley).
  • 90'+1' Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 90'+1' Foul by Andy Yiadom (Barnsley).
  • 89' Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Stefan Johansen following a corner.
  • 88' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Liam Lindsay.
  • 87' Oliver Norwood (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 87' Foul by Ike Ugbo (Barnsley).
  • 87' Substitution, Fulham. Oliver Norwood replaces Sheyi Ojo.
  • 86' Attempt missed. Ryan Fredericks (Fulham) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is too high. Assisted by Sheyi Ojo.
  • 84' Attempt missed. Gary Gardner (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Adam Hammill.
  • 83' Foul by Sheyi Ojo (Fulham).
  • 83' Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 83' Attempt missed. Rui Fonte (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon.
  • 83' Foul by Tom Cairney (Fulham).
  • 83' Joe Williams (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 82' Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.
  • 82' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ethan Pinnock.
  • 81' Substitution, Fulham. Rui Fonte replaces Aboubakar Kamara.
  • 80' Attempt saved. Stefan Johansen (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
  • 80' Attempt blocked. Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
  • 79' Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Kevin McDonald.
  • 78' Substitution, Barnsley. Ike Ugbo replaces Harvey Barnes.
  • 78' Attempt missed. Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lloyd Isgrove.
  • 75' Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).
  • 75' Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 74' Offside, Fulham. Neeskens Kebano tries a through ball, but Aboubakar Kamara is caught offside.
  • 72' Goal! Fulham 2, Barnsley 1. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.
  • 71' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • 70' Substitution, Fulham. Neeskens Kebano replaces Floyd Ayité.
  • 68' Goal! Fulham 1, Barnsley 1. Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andy Yiadom with a cross.
  • 64' Foul by Ryan Fredericks (Fulham).
  • 64' Gary Gardner (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 63' Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 63' Foul by Joe Williams (Barnsley).
  • 61' Substitution, Barnsley. Adam Hammill replaces George Moncur.
  • 61' Substitution, Barnsley. Lloyd Isgrove replaces Mamadou Thiam.
  • 59' Offside, Fulham. Ryan Sessegnon tries a through ball, but Aboubakar Kamara is caught offside.
  • 57' Attempt missed. Tomas Kalas (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
  • 57' Attempt blocked. Kevin McDonald (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sheyi Ojo.
  • 57' Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
  • 56' Attempt blocked. Kevin McDonald (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aboubakar Kamara.
  • 54' Goal! Fulham 1, Barnsley 0. Floyd Ayité (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
  • 50' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • 49' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • Second Half begins Fulham 0, Barnsley 0.
  • 45'+3' First Half ends, Fulham 0, Barnsley 0.
  • 45'+1' Attempt missed. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aboubakar Kamara.
  • 45' Offside, Barnsley. Jason McCarthy tries a through ball, but Tom Bradshaw is caught offside.
  • 43' Attempt missed. Floyd Ayité (Fulham) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon with a cross following a corner.
  • 43' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • 42' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • 41' Attempt missed. George Moncur (Barnsley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Mamadou Thiam.
  • 40' Offside, Fulham. Stefan Johansen tries a through ball, but Aboubakar Kamara is caught offside.
  • 39' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.
  • 36' Attempt missed. Floyd Ayité (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.
  • 36' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 34' Delay in match Kevin McDonald (Fulham) because of an injury.
  • 34' Kevin McDonald (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 34' Foul by Joe Williams (Barnsley).
  • 33' Attempt blocked. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 31' Attempt saved. Harvey Barnes (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
  • 29' Offside, Barnsley. Liam Lindsay tries a through ball, but Mamadou Thiam is caught offside.
  • 28' Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.
  • 28' Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) has gone down, but that's a dive.
  • 21' Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Tomas Kalas.
  • 20' Foul by Kevin McDonald (Fulham).
  • 20' Mamadou Thiam (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 18' Foul by Tomas Kalas (Fulham).
  • 18' Adam Davies (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 18' Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 18' Foul by Harvey Barnes (Barnsley).
  • 14' Gary Gardner (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
  • 14' Stefan Johansen (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 14' Foul by Gary Gardner (Barnsley).
  • 14' Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 14' Foul by Gary Gardner (Barnsley).
  • 13' Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).
  • 13' Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 12' Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Kevin McDonald.
  • 11' Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Tim Ream.
  • 10' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Adam Davies.
  • 10' Attempt saved. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
  • 8' Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 8' Foul by Mamadou Thiam (Barnsley).
  • 7' Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Sheyi Ojo.
  • 7' Attempt blocked. Harvey Barnes (Barnsley) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Moncur.
  • 7' Foul by Ryan Fredericks (Fulham).
  • 7' Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 6' Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).
  • 6' Ethan Pinnock (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 5' Attempt saved. Tim Ream (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.
  • 5' Attempt saved. Stefan Johansen (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
  • 4' Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
  • 4' Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 4' Foul by Andy Yiadom (Barnsley).
  • 4' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gary Gardner.
  • 3' Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 3' Foul by Jason McCarthy (Barnsley).
  • First Half begins.
  • Lineups are announced and players are warming up.