Championship
Fulham1Birmingham0

Fulham 1-0 Birmingham City: Josh Onomah scores late to give Cottagers victory

Josh Onomah scores Fulham's winner
Josh Onomah slots home Fulham's late winner at Craven Cottage

Josh Onomah's stoppage-time winner kept Fulham in the hunt for the Championship's automatic promotion places as they squeezed past resolute Birmingham City at Craven Cottage.

Onomah swept home from 12 yards in the fifth minute of added time to reward a late Fulham flourish as the Cottagers moved back to within four points of second-placed West Bromwich Albion.

Scott Parker's side, without suspended 23-goal top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, had looked set to register a blank for the third time in four games since the Championship's resumption on 20 June.

It took them more than 85 minutes to truly threaten Blues keeper Lee Camp, who then produced fine saves to deny Joe Bryan, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Onomah before the latter's decisive strike.

Blues had created the better chances to that point and teenager Jude Bellingham, reportedly Borussia Dortmund-bound this summer, could have had a hat-trick in the first 15 minutes.

The 17-year-old fluffed his first opening and was later denied by Cottagers keeper Marek Rodak and the woodwork as Fulham escaped unpunished for a string of sloppy early defensive errors.

Tough run ahead for Fulham

Onomah's late goal keeps Fulham in contention for a top-two spot but after defeats to promotion rivals Brentford and Leeds in their first two post-lockdown games, they can afford no more slip-ups.

They now face a definitive run of three games in a week against other sides in the top six - the visit of Cardiff on Friday sandwiched in between midweek trips to Nottingham Forest and West Brom.

While the play-offs still appear their likeliest destination, they will have Mitrovic back - from a three-game ban for elbowing Leeds' Ben White - to face Cardiff and Albion.

They missed him badly against Birmingham, struggling to create any opportunities of note until a dramatic finale that left brave Blues empty-handed.

Camp foiled Onomah's well-struck 30-yarder and made a double save from Bryan and Decordova-Reid's follow-up but was helpless when Harrison Reed fed Onomah to steer home at the death.

Blues still not safe despite dogged display

Jude Bellingham hits the crossbar
Birmingham's Jude Bellingham hit the crossbar with a first-half header and was later shown a yellow card

Birmingham deserved at least a draw in west London, but a tally of 49 points with five games still remaining gives them every chance of ensuring survival.

Pep Clotet's 17th-placed team will be aware, though, that many of the sides below them have been picking up points.

This defeat extended their winless run to nine games and were left to rue Bellingham's early misses, most notably when he latched on to Michael Hector's loose backpass, only to lose possession in trying to round Rodak.

Bellingham then curled another chance straight at Rodak before putting a close-range header on to the crossbar after the keeper parried Jeremie Bela's cross into the air.

Fulham boss Scott Parker:

"There was a sense of relief because the longer the game goes on and you miss a couple of big chances before that, you start wondering whether it's not your day.

"Fair play to my team because in the absence of Mitrovic, we had to find a different way and still be that attacking threat, which I thought we were today - large parts of the game we dominated.

"We needed to be patient, we needed to work our moments and the way they set up it was always going to be a game not full of massive chances.

"It's a massive win for us and with the amount of games still to be played I think there's still going to be many twists and turns. That's back-to-back wins which is massive and we'll keep pushing."

Birmingham head coach Pep Clotet:

"I think the first shot on target for Fulham was in the 65th minute. We created enough chances to take the lead but unfortunately they didn't go in. We should score those chances.

"I think the result is completely unfair and unlucky for our team but that is how the game is. I think it was us who had the clear chances in this game. We deserved a point, maybe more.

"But we completely bounced back from a performance point of view from the last two games and our confidence will be intact after that performance.

"I never look over my shoulder at the table, I always want to look at what is in front of me. It's always about catching the teams above you."

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 12Rodák
  • 22Christie
  • 3Hector
  • 13Ream
  • 4OdoiBooked at 34minsSubstituted forBryanat 45'minutes
  • 18ArterSubstituted forOnomahat 60'minutes
  • 21Reed
  • 10Cairney
  • 24KnockaertSubstituted forJasperat 87'minutes
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 32mins
  • 19CavaleiroSubstituted forKebanoat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 6McDonald
  • 7Kebano
  • 8Johansen
  • 20Le Marchand
  • 23Bryan
  • 25Onomah
  • 43S Sessegnon
  • 58Jasper

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 5Colin
  • 4RobertsBooked at 40mins
  • 14Clarke-SalterBooked at 90mins
  • 3Pedersen
  • 34Sunjic
  • 20GardnerBooked at 30mins
  • 7CrowleySubstituted forDeanat 85'minutes
  • 22BellinghamBooked at 38minsSubstituted forKieftenbeldat 57'minutes
  • 11BelaSubstituted forHardingat 74'minutes
  • 40HoganSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Harding
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 12Dean
  • 27Trueman
  • 44Boyd-Munce
  • 47Stirk
  • 49Reid
  • 50Gordon
Referee:
Keith Stroud

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home77%
Away23%
Shots
Home15
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home9
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 1, Birmingham City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Birmingham City 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Neeskens Kebano (Fulham).

  4. Post update

    Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Fulham 1, Birmingham City 0. Josh Onomah (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harrison Reed.

  6. Booking

    Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Michael Hector (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jake Clarke-Salter.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gary Gardner.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Gary Gardner (Birmingham City).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Sylvester Jasper replaces Anthony Knockaert.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Lee Camp.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Marc Roberts.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds41239963342978
2West Brom402014667382974
3Brentford412191173334072
4Fulham4120101155441170
5Nottm Forest411814954411368
6Cardiff41161695851764
7Derby411613125653361
8Millwall411417104844459
9Preston411610155250258
10Swansea401415115047357
11Blackburn411511155653356
12Bristol City411510165360-755
13Reading411410175348552
14Sheff Wed401410164954-552
15QPR40148185966-750
16Wigan411311174553-850
17Birmingham411213165164-1349
18Stoke41137215461-746
19Charlton411210194655-946
20Huddersfield411210194963-1446
21Hull40129195468-1445
22Middlesbrough401014164052-1244
23Barnsley411011204566-2141
24Luton41117234678-3240
View full Championship table

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