Fulham picked up their first three away points of the season after grinding out a 1-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A second half Aleksandar Mitrović penalty was enough to see the Whites return to London with their first away three points of the season.
Scott Parker made two changes to the side that defeated Everton a week previous at Craven Cottage. Timothy Fosu-Mensah has returned to parent Club Manchester United to receive treatment on a knee ligament injury and was replaced in the starting XI by Denis Odoi. The only other change saw Tom Cairney miss the match as his partner was expecting the birth of their first child. With the absence Jean Michaël Seri started in his stead.
As the referee got the match underway on the south coast there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. A positively beautiful day, the travelling Fulham fans in fine voice in the away end.
The hosts started brightly and came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute. A dangerous corner was met by the head of Nathan Ake at the near post following a melee in the box. Sergio Rico reacted quickly to the danger and rushed off his line to smother the ball and clear.
After weathering the early pressure, the Whites began to enjoy some time in possession, and in the 17th minute we were unlucky not to take the lead against the run of play. A superb whipped corner from Joe Bryan was met firmly by the head of Chambers in a sea of Bournemouth players. With Boruc beaten the strong header was cleared off the line by an alert Ake. With the Cherries defenders all at sea a poor backwards header was met by Mitrović 4 yards from goal. With only the keeper to beat the commanding Serbian blasted a volley over the bar.
Moments later the pendulum of what was developing into an end to end encounter swung rapidly into the favour of Bournemouth. A positive and direct run from Ryan Fraser saw the midfielder surge into the Fulham box and unleash a rasping shot destined for the bottom corner. Rico was on hand to parry the effort behind for a corner.
In the 31st minute it was the Whites who came close to opening the scoring. A free flowing move from one flank to the other in the blink of an eye culminated in Ryan Sessegnon flashing a right-footed strike across the face of goal. The young winger showed great skill to beat his defender with ease before getting his shot off.
7 minutes later another well worked set-piece resulted in yet another chance for Fulham. Ryan Babel this time bending in a cross to the front post. Denis Odoi, who had peeled off his man directed a low header on target, which Boruc did well to palm clear of danger.
As the referee brought the first half to a close the Whites were unfortunate to not be leading after a flurry of near misses. A positive showing from a Fulham side that kept their shape and looked dangerous on the counter throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Fulham picked up where they left off at the start of the second half. A controlled attacking move resulted in Seri being allowed time and space on the edge of the cherries box. The Ivorian picked his spot and curled in a nice ball which Babel headed over from 7 yards out.
In the 53rd minute we got our just rewards for a composed display. After more tidy build-up Seri slalomed along the box before slipping a nice ball into the feet of Mitro in the box. The Serbian striker cleverly tipped the ball clear of the onrushing defender and was clipped as the ball moved away from his body. Jack Simpson making enough contact for the referee to point to the spot.
Mitro made no mistake, slotting home into the bottom left hand corner. The away fans were in raptures as the Fulham team made their way over to them to celebrate the opener.
The team visibly were full of confidence and looked to hammer home their superiority, Sessegnon coming close before Rico was forced into a fine one on one save. Fraser who had been a lively presence for the hosts was unmarked at the back post, but the Spaniard was quickly off his line to make a superb save.
The tempo of the game shifted immensely as the home fans grew frustrated. This discontent reached a crescendo when in the 76th minute they were baying for a red card to be dished out to Mitrovic for a challenge on Ake. However, the referee made the right call and brandished a yellow card for the robust tackle.
As the time ticked down Fulham kept their cool on a hot afternoon on the south coast to see out six minutes of added on time. A disciplined and excellent performance from the lads.