AKINS IS MAN ON SPOT FOR ALBION
BURTON Albion boss Nigel Clough joked that he had forgotten who his side’s penalty taker was in their entertaining win over Fulham.
Lucas Akins’ second-half spotkick was enough to earn the Brewers three points after Oliver Norwood had cancelled out Stephen Warnock’s first goal in three years.
And Albion manager Clough said it was nice to have ended another long run without being awarded a penalty.
“It’s very rare so it’s nice to get one,” said Clough. “It was something like two in 100 games before today. That’s the problem, with us getting so few we forget who takes them with Boycey [Liam Boyce] injured.
“Last season, Fulham came and absolutely dominated us. We had more shots in the first five minutes than we had in the whole game last season.
“In the last 15 or 20 minutes you’re going to be pegged back but even then we had our chances; Jamie Allen had a shot.
“Everybody did their jobs. Kyle McFadzean had his best game of the season.”
Fulham had the first chance of the game as Ryan Fredericks’ cross was volleyed goalwards by Ryan Sessegnon but the left-back’s volley was deflected into the arms of Stephen Bywater.
The visitors, as expected, dominated the possession and territory but Burton took the lead within the opening quarter of an hour.
Marvin Sordell was tackled just as he looked to get a shot off in the box but the loose ball fell to Warnock, who had the simple task of passing into an empty net.
Norwood should have levelled less than five minutes later but he skied his effort over the bar after Stefan Johansen’s pull-back.
The Fulham midfielder atoned for his miss with the equaliser just after the half-hour as his effort from 20yards found the bottom corner.
Jamie Allen was inches away from regaining Burton’s lead instantly as his low drive rebounded off the post.
Sean Scannell had a powerful effort denied by the feet of David Button early in the second half.
Burton retook the lead moments later however as Sessegnon was adjudged to have brought down McFadzean and Akins slotted the spot-kick despite Button getting a hand to it.
It was then Fulham’s turn to be denied by the woodwork as Sheyi Ojo smashed a shot onto the crossbar despite being unmarked at the back post.
Johansen then couldn’t keep his half-volley down from the middle of the box after being teed up by Floyd Ayite.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic bemoaned the decision to award the match-winning penalty for Burton but insisted his side have to improve should they wish to challenge for promotion this season.
“It’s cheap goals,” said Jokanovic. “The penalty was strange. We had a similar situation in the opposite box, one was a penalty and the other wasn’t.
“I don’t want to complain about it or talk about it too much but it’s a strange attitude from the referees.
“We give them two chances for the two advantages and in this game it’s not always easy to score at the other end. At this moment, we are not at a good enough level.
“We tried, we moved and we created the chances. After this advantage we gave them, what we deserve or do not deserve is not specifically important.”
PARTY TIME: Stephen Warnock and Jake Buxton celebrate, goal inset