Friday 16 August 2013, 7:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Fulham FC
Fulham U21s
Brister 53'
Middlesbrough U21s

53' Goal

Alex Brister
Assist by Muamer Tankovic

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Cauley Woodrow
Off:Muamer Tankovic

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ronny Minkwitz
Off:Chris David

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dino Islamovic
Off:Marcello Trotta

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wilson Kneeshaw
Off:Matthew Waters

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jordan Jones
Off:Luke Williams

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andre Bennett
Off:Bryn Morris

Alex Brister’s sublime strike earned Fulham Under-21s a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Friday evening.

Alex Brister’s sublime strike earned Fulham Under-21s a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Friday evening.

Following an even first half, Boro came close after the interval when they hit the woodwork, but Brister’s wonderful effort shortly after was worthy of winning any game.

It took six minutes for either side to threaten the goal and the chance went the way of the visitors as Ryan Brobbel beat Jack Grimmer to a clever through ball, only to see Marcus Bettinelli rush out quickly to smother the angle and make a comfortable save.

Two minutes later and Fulham went closer following a corner kick. The set-piece was sent in by Sean Kavanagh and Josh Passley met Lasse Vigen Christensen’s nod back with a downward header from close range, only for Luke Coddington to make a fantastic reaction stop.

Some lovely play in the area by Muamer Tankovic on 24 minutes saw him turn his man with ease before cutting the ball back for Tom Richards on the six yard line. The winger got his shot away but the covering Boro defender bravely got in the way of the shot.

That chance seemed to bring the visitors to life as they immediately went up the other end with a quick move that culminated in Luke Williams going through one-on-one, but Bettinelli was there again to make a fine save.

A neat chipped ball over the top from Kavanagh on 28 minutes almost found the run of Vigen Christensen but the Dane couldn’t get a foot around it. The vocal home support appealed that the covering defender shepherded it back to his ‘keeper with his hand, but the referee was having none of it.

In what was a fragmented game, it wasn’t until the 41st minute that another chance was mustered and it was speculative at best as Chris David bent one wide from 35 yards.

Fulham were caught flat footed following a stoppage time corner as three Middlesbrough forwards countered with just Brister back. Thankfully the Whites right-back read the situation maturely and his positioning tempted Brobbel into a difficult shot which he bent over the angle of post and crossbar.

Kit Symons’ side started the second period the stronger but the Teesiders went close to breaking the deadlock on 48 minutes when Andrew Halliday wobbled Bettinelli’s crossbar with a thumping effort from distance.

But it was the Whites who took the lead through a world class strike from Brister when a long ball over the top found him at a tight angle just inside the penalty area. He allowed time to steady himself before unleashing an incredible first time effort with the outside of his right foot that bent inside and kissed the far post before nestling in the back of the net.

The goal gave the home side confidence and a Brister cross found Marcello Trotta in the box on 57 minutes. The Italian controlled well before hitting a shot on the swivel that Coddington parried to safety.

A minute later and Boro backs were against the walls once more, this time to deflect Trotta’s fierce effort from Vigen Christensen’s cross over the bar.

With 20 minutes remaining, Andrew Halliday tested Bettinelli once more with a firm shot on the turn, but he found the Fulham stopper to be alert as he claimed the effort with minimal fuss.

The game was becoming quite stretched as Boro tried to turn the screw, and they came within a whisker of finding an equaliser on 83 minutes when substitute Jordan Jones found space in the area before lashing narrowly wide with Bettinelli beaten.

Andrew Halliday was next to try his luck two minutes later but his header from Jonathan Burn’s cross sailed well over the bar.

Matthew Dolan sent a free-kick the wrong side of the post for Boro and Fulham sub Dino Islamovic crashed an effort wide in the closing stages, but no further goals were forthcoming as the Whites held on for a solid win.

Fulham: 1. Bettinelli, 2. Brister, 3. Kavanagh, 4. Vigen Christensen, 5. Arthurworrey, 6. Grimmer (C), 7. Passley, 8. David (16. Minkwitz, 77 mins), 9. Trotta (15. Islamovic, 81 mins), 10. Tankovic (14. Woodrow, 62 mins), 11. Richards

Subs: 12. Joronen, 14. Woodrow, 15. Islamovic, 16. Minkwitz, 17. Buatu

Middlesbrough: 1. Coddington, 2. B Halliday, 3. Burn, 4. Jackson (C), 5. Meling, 6. Dolan, 7. Brobbel, 8. Morris (15. Bennet, 84 mins), 9. Williams (16. Jones, 76 mins), 10. Waters (12. Kneeshaw, 62 mins), 11. A Halliday

Subs: 21. Fryer, 12. Kneeshaw, 14. Weledji, 15. Bennet, 16. Jones

Match Information

Competition: Barclays U21 Premier League

Date: Friday 16 August 2013
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London

Fulham U21s

Line-up: Bettinelli; Brister, Grimmer, Arthurworrey, Kavanagh; Christensen, David (Minkwitz 77'); Passley, Tankovic (Woodrow 63'), Richards; Trotta (Islamovic 81')

Unused substitutes: Joronen, Buatu-Mananga

Manager: Kit Symons

Middlesbrough U21s

Line-up: Coddington; Halliday, Burn, Jackson, Meling; Morris (Bennett 84'), Dolan, Waters (Kneeshaw 62'); Halliday, Williams (Jones 76'), Brobbel

Fulham U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Marcus Bettinelli
  • 2Alex Brister
  • 6Jack Grimmer
  • 5Stephen Arthurworrey
  • 3Sean Kavanagh
  • 4Lasse Vigen Christensen
  • 8Chris David
  • 7Joshua Passley
  • 10Muamer Tankovic
  • 11Tom Richards
  • 9Marcello Trotta
  • 12Jesse Joronen
  • 15Dino Islamovic
  • 16Ronny Minkwitz
  • 17Jonathan Buatu-Mananga
  • 14Cauley Woodrow
  • Kit Symons
Middlesbrough U21s (4-3-3)
  • 1Luke Coddington
  • 2Brad Halliday
  • 3John Burn
  • 4Adam Jackson
  • 5Birger Meling
  • 8Bryn Morris
  • 6Matthew Dolan
  • 10Matthew Waters
  • 11Andrew Halliday
  • 9Luke Williams
  • 7Ryan Brobbel
  • 15Andre Bennett
  • 16Jordan Jones
  • 12Wilson Kneeshaw