Coventry stun runaway Championship leaders Fulham

Runaway Championship leaders Fulham were stopped when Coventry won 3-1 at Craven Cottage.

A victory for the Cottagers would have left them in need of one more win to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.

But goals from Michael Rose and Viktor Gyokeres gave Coventry a 2-0 half-time lead and, despite Fulham substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid pulling one back eight minutes from time, Callum O’Hare scored the third in added time.

Coventry, 14th at the start but not entirely out of the play-off picture, were rewarded for showing plenty of attacking ambition, especially in the first half.

Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak was forced to make the first save of the match when Rose found Gustavo Hamer’s free kick with a firm header.

Then Sky Blues captain Dominic Hyam nodded over the bar from another set piece, this time taken by Ian Maatsen.

So it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead after 20 minutes, with Rose’s header from Hamer’s corner down the left appearing to take a touch from Fulham left-back Antonee Robinson on its way into the net.

And Craven Cottage was stunned when Coventry doubled their lead four minutes later.

Gyokeres, whose powerful run kept Fulham’s defense at its peak, cut inside Tosin Adarabioyo and fired hard and low but straight at Rodak. However, the goalie completely misjudged the ball’s bounce when he kicked the grass in front of him and could only help it into the net.

Coventry goalkeeper Simon Moore had to lie to his left to avoid a header from Aleksandr Mitrovic as Fulham looked to strike back.

But he was powerless when Neeskens Kebano hit the bar with a flying volley from a Neco Williams cross.

However, Fulham could count themselves lucky not to concede a third before halftime when Rodak failed to take another corner and Ben Sheaf saw his shot charged by Williams.

Fulham manager Marco Silva sent Decordova-Reid off at half-time and almost immediately his cross was deflected inches from the post by Mitrovic.

Fabio Carvalho then found space from 10 yards out but deflected his header wide of Harry Wilson’s cross.

Williams then risked his arm from 25 yards out only for Moore to grab the ball to safety.

Coventry were not finished as an attacking force and Maatsen’s shot was deflected over the crossbar by Williams, but it was Fulham who scored the third goal after 82 minutes.

Decordova-Reid started and finished, sending fellow substitute Josh Onomah punting down the left and finding his low center with a shot from first through Moore and inside.

Now Cottage found her voice, but Coventry’s defense, excellent throughout, held firm, and in added time Hamer stole from Tim Ream and crossed for O’Hare to convert into the third.

There was still time for Carvalho to shake the crossbar, but even a goal would not have been a consolation.

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