Fulham’s Under-23s travelled to Southend United on a hot Saturday morning for a 10.30am kick off. The Whites lost 2-1 in a tight game which saw them fall short at the end despite pressing hard for an equaliser.
Neither side made an early impression in the match. Cameron Thompson found his way into the box after sensational ball forward from Jayden Harris, but he wasn’t able to get his feet sorted.
Tayo Edun was impressive in midfield for Fulham, regaining possession on a number of occasions.
The first big chance of the match dropped to Thompson half an hour into the game. Zico Asare’s cross into the box got a deflection from a Southend defender’s leg.
Thompson was able to read it well. He attempted to nod the ball over the on-rushing keeper, but the ball fell inches wide.
Southend responded, their left winger let fly from the edge of the area. Luca Ashby-Hammond read it and safely took the shot into his hands.
In the 37th minute Southend broke the deadlock. They took a free kick quickly as Aron Davies handed them the ball back.
Southend chipped the ball over Davies’ head for the number 9 who ran onto a one-on-one with Ashby-Hammond. The Fulham shot stopper made a good save but the ball rebounded to the striker who slotted with his second attempt.
Hilton made a good run straight from the reset, the keeper came off his line but he ran out of pitch and could only hook his effort into the side netting.
Southend made it 2-0 from a corner in the 55th minute. From a corner, the ball flew to the back post and was slotted as Ashby-Hammond came out for the ball. Thompson almost kept the effort out.
An hour in and Rob Atkinson went close after a storming run, shooting across goal but just wide of the mark.
With 20 minutes left in the match the Whites were denied a goal. A mazy run from Asare started off the move, he slipped a ball of Sylvester Jasper and he fired past the keeper, however, the linesman raised his flag.
Five minutes later Atkinson skipped past the right back and pulled a ball back to Fabio Carvalho on the 6-yard line. He spun and rifled a shot at goal, and the Southend centre-back cleared off the line to deny him.
In the 77th minute the Whites got on the score sheet. Cody Drameh whipped a fantastic ball to Jasper who was charging into the box. He took it on the volley and fired into the back of the net.
Fulham started an onslaught of chances, Carvalho was denied by a fantastic save as his effort sailed towards the top corner.
With 7 minutes on the clock, Hilton did fantastically to created a chance down the right, again he pulled the ball for Carvalho. With no sight on goal, he struck and his shot flew inches over the bar.
The match finished 2-1 to the hosts as Fulham's Academy kick started their pre-season.
Fulham U23s Line up: L. Ashby-Hammond, Asare (62’ Drameh), Davis, Garrido, Atkinson, Harris (64’ De Havilland), Edun (56’ Davis), Hilton, Thompson (64’ Carvalho) , Kelly (60’ Jasper), Woodrow. (57’ Trialist)
Photos courtesy of @SUFCYouth.