Fulham Under-21s were unable to build on the victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in their previous outing, as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Monday.
Despite the testing conditions, both sides made a bright start to proceedings, with Cauley Woodrow creating the first of the afternoon’s chances with a clever piece of skill. However, the young striker’s low strike was easily held by Jayson Leutwiler.
At the other end, Adam Reach and Luke Williams both saw opportunities come and go, with David Stockdale making an impressive save to deny the latter.
Woodrow then drew another save from the Boro ‘keeper, before seeing his next effort cleared off the line by a defender as Fulham threatened to open the scoring.
But it would be the home side that broke the deadlock, when Williams made the most of some defensive hesitancy and, after stealing the ball, was subsequently tripped in the box. Andy Halliday stepped up and finished confidently from the penalty spot.
Early in the second half, Boro went close to doubling their advantage when Ryan Brobbel fired wide. In response, Kit Symons’ side pushed forward and almost levelled only to see Josh Pritchard’s stinging strike from distance rattle the woodwork.
Stockdale pulled off another brilliant stop moments later, denying Cameron Park’s powerful shot as the hosts looked for a second.
Unfortunately for Fulham, that goal came within minutes when Williams headed beyond the reach of Stockdale following some intelligent play from Reach and Andre Bennett.
Symons told fulhamfc.com: “I actually thought this was an evenly matched game, and had we made more of our early chances then perhaps we could have had something to show.
“We had a very young side out today, in what were very difficult conditions. But that’s not an excuse, because as the result suggests we just weren’t good enough. That said, there were positives to be taken and it was good experience for them.
“I thought we played some good football in patches, it’s just a shame that we didn’t make the most of that. No one likes losing, so we’ll have to move on and make sure we bounce back.”
Fulham U21: Stockdale; Brister, Musa, Arthurworrey, Grimmer; Pritchard, Minkwitz, Banya (Della Verde 70), Altman; Islamovic (Tankovic 60), Woodrow