“We scored direct from a corner and one in the last minute of time added on. In between that, Huddersfield were by far the better team and had by far the better chances.”
That was Kit Symons’ assessment of events at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, and anyone who witnessed the bizarre happenings in the Sky Bet Championship encounter would be inclined to agree with the Fulham Manager’s decree.
Against Leeds United three days earlier the Whites dominated proceedings with no reward, but we were the ones delivering the sucker-punches this time around as the boys in black left West Yorkshire with a smash-and-grab victory.
After the visitors scored with the first attack of the game when Alexander Kačaniklić’s corner sailed in, the Terriers were in control of the match and had an impressive 31 attempts on goal – 21 more than Fulham.
They found the target with 13 of those, but Marcus Bettinelli was equal to everything they threw at him. Of course, their best chances to equalise came from a penalty, but again Bettinelli denied Nahki Wells, before the Huddersfield striker saw his second spot-kick strike the right-hand post.
He had already hit the woodwork in the first half when he got on the end of an Ishmael Miller cross, while the frame of the goal was shaking late on, too, when Bettinelli pushed Jacob Butterfield’s scorcher onto the near post.
Despite being second best for the majority of the afternoon, Fulham also found themselves denied by the post when Cauley Woodrow’s low strike rebounded off it. Seko Fofana later thwacked it in exactly the same place, but was on hand to tuck in the follow-up and kill the game.
Unsurprisingly, Town had the majority of possession (68.3 per cent), and during that time they played more than twice as many passes as their opponents – 501 to our 248. A huge proportion of their balls played were considered attacking, too, with their 430 offensive passes equivalent to 85.8 per cent of their distribution.
The home side’s dominance throughout the game is also demonstrated by the fact that Fulham made the equivalent of one clearance for every minute of play (97), and that Bettinelli was his side’s busiest player with 61 touches of the ball. Jack Grimmer was the Whites’ second most-involved individual with 59. Huddersfield midfielders Conor Coady and Butterfield were the busiest men on the pitch, with 94 and 97 touches respectively.