Facing a relegation candidate Barnsley at home, Fulham had an excellent chance to leapfrog Leeds United and make the second automatic promotion spot their own.
The last placed visitors were not star-struck against the third placed last season’s Premier League club and showed no mercy in utilizing their chances to completely stun their hosts. Fulham manager Scott Parker had no chance but to apologize for his team’s lackluster effort in a game they should’ve won comfortably in front of their Craven Cottage faithful. With all due respect to Barnsley’s fantastic and candid effort, Fulham’s performance was far from the best and far from what should be expected from a promotion candidate.
Barnsley’s bright spot of the otherwise terrible season has been the former Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow, who has banged in 13 goals in the Championship this season. Woodrow was a pain in his former club’s side on Saturday as well, causing constant problems for Fulham defense. He was the first player to get on the score sheet as well, after scoring from a penalty conceded by Fulham keeper Marek Rodak on 24th minute to take the visitors 0-1 and setting the pace for things to come. It didn’t look good for the home team, who kept control but failed to make anything happen in the offensive end. The determination showed by the visitors was admirable though and it would be no surprise if they find their way out of the relegation zone sooner rather than later.
Fulham got a hang of it in the second half and started to perform marginally better. It was Barnsley who struck though, as Jacob Brown took the visitors two goals ahead early in the second half. This time Woodrow marked an assist to the 51st minute goal. Being 0-2 down, Fulham made a couple of changes to claw their way back to the game. Bobby Reid, Harry Arter and Alvin Kamara all took the field before the 65th minute, to a little avail. Barnsley were adamant not leave empty handed from Fulham and Cauley Woodrow nailed his second of the night to make it certain on 79th minute.
Fulham manager Scott Parker was apologizing for his team’s effort, but gave full acknowledgement to their opponents by stating that the better team won as they should. It’s an uphill climb for Fulham to try and catch Leeds again, after their win over Bristol City took the 2nd place three points away. Fulham will travel to Derby on 21st of February to close the gap once again.