Championship
Fulham3Preston1

Fulham 3-1 Preston North End

Sone Aluko
Sone Aluko opened the scoring with his fifth Championship goal of the season

Fulham ended Preston North End's five-game unbeaten run to boost their hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs.

Sone Aluko fired in from Neeskens Kebano's cutback to open the scoring before Chris Martin found the bottom corner to double the hosts' lead.

Tom Barkhuizen made it 2-1 on the break, but Kebano pounced to end Preston's hopes with a calm finish.

Fulham stay seventh, five points off the play-off places, with Preston still ninth, nine points adrift.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side have now won four of their last five Championship games, but Reading's 2-1 victory over Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday's 5-1 thrashing of Norwich meant they did not gain any ground.

The home side, who have a game in hand on their rivals, enjoyed 70% of possession and went ahead after 22 minutes through Aluko's well-taken finish and could have widened the deficit at the break had Tomas Kalas made the most of two chances from corners.

Kebano then struck the crossbar from a narrow angle, but goalkeeper David Button had to be alert to keep out Daryl Horgan's strike at the other end.

Martin's 10th league goal of the season, created by Ryan Fredericks' pace and vision, finally gave the dominant Cottagers a two-goal lead.

Barkuizen guided the ball underneath the onrushing Button from Aiden McGeady's clever through ball on his full debut to give Simon Grayson's side hope.

But Kebano slotted into the bottom corner from Aluko's pass to round off an outstanding personal performance and ensure that Fulham have now scored 13 goals in their last five league matches.

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic:

"We are around the top six and we now want to close the gap to the top six. This is our target and we are still in position to be fighting to play after the first week in May.

"We have taken 13 points from the last five games and my team plays with confidence.

"In general where we are now, we can be relatively satisfied."

Preston assistant manager Glynn Snodin:

"We've come up against a good side today. I felt they were different class, a step above us.

"To be fair to our players they kept going and got back in it at 2-1. They have got belief as a unit and always believe we can get something from a game.

"But Fulham are a good counter-attacking side with good footballing brains. And that's what we've been undone by today."

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 27Button
  • 2Fredericks
  • 26Kalas
  • 13Ream
  • 30Sessegnon
  • 10Cairney
  • 6McDonald
  • 14JohansenSubstituted forParkerat 80'minutes
  • 24AlukoSubstituted forOdoiat 88'minutes
  • 25MartinSubstituted forCyriacat 84'minutes
  • 7Kebano

Substitutes

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 3Malone
  • 4Odoi
  • 8Parker
  • 9Cyriac
  • 15Madl
  • 17Sigurdsson

Preston

  • 22Maxwell
  • 3CunninghamBooked at 90mins
  • 5Clarke
  • 23Huntington
  • 17Spurr
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 8BrowneSubstituted forPearsonat 57'minutesBooked at 80mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 7HorganSubstituted forRobinsonat 57'minutes
  • 14McGeady
  • 25HugillSubstituted forMayat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lindegaard
  • 4Pearson
  • 9Makienok
  • 12Gallagher
  • 21May
  • 24Boyle
  • 37Robinson
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
20,205

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home15
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Fulham 3, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Fulham 3, Preston North End 1.

Booking

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Denis Odoi (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Preston North End).

Foul by Tom Cairney (Fulham).

Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Denis Odoi replaces Sone Aluko.

Offside, Fulham. Scott Parker tries a through ball, but Neeskens Kebano is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Sone Aluko (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cyriac.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Cyriac replaces Chris Martin.

Offside, Preston North End. Tom Clarke tries a through ball, but Stevie May is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Sone Aluko (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Scott Parker replaces Stefan Johansen.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Stevie May replaces Jordan Hugill.

Booking

Ben Pearson (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Pearson (Preston North End).

Goal!

Goal! Fulham 3, Preston North End 1. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sone Aluko.

Attempt missed. Callum Robinson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Greg Cunningham.

Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).

Foul by Kevin McDonald (Fulham).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom Clarke (Preston North End).

Goal!

Goal! Fulham 2, Preston North End 1. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aiden McGeady with a through ball.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Tom Barkhuizen.

Goal!

Goal! Fulham 2, Preston North End 0. Chris Martin (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Fredericks.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Ben Pearson replaces Alan Browne.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Callum Robinson replaces Daryl Horgan.

Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Daniel Johnson.

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

Attempt blocked. Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Barkhuizen.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by David Button.

Attempt saved. Daryl Horgan (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Aiden McGeady.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Paul Huntington.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Chris Maxwell.

Attempt saved. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Sone Aluko.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Newcastle35244769294076
2Brighton35218658312771
3Huddersfield3420594539665
4Leeds352041149351464
5Reading35196104946363
6Sheff Wed351871047341361
7Fulham341511859401956
8Norwich35157136053752
9Preston351410114744352
10Derby35149123832651
11Barnsley35148135350350
12Cardiff35137154851-346
13Aston Villa351112123538-345
14Brentford34128145149244
15Ipswich351013123643-743
16QPR35127163949-1043
17Birmingham351110143752-1543
18Nottm Forest35117174958-940
19Burton35910163447-1337
20Blackburn3499163950-1136
21Wolves3398164046-635
22Bristol City3597194452-834
23Wigan35710183041-1131
24Rotherham3545263279-4717
View full Championship table

Top Stories