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Fulham march on in pursuit of the top flight

GIFTED: Ryan Sessegnon

THERE IS a feeling around Craven Cottage that this is their time and make a return to the top flight. That feeling increased after a 1-0 win over Reading as they extended their unbeaten run to 20 games (April 10).

Stefan Johansen scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, for his eighth of the season. Admittedly the home side were the overwhelming favourites against a Royals team who are in transition since Jaap Stam was replaced by Paul Clement.

Although the visitors tried to attack in the early stages of the game, Johansen’s 25th minute strike neutered Clement’s side. After that there was a sense that the floodgates may open, but despite several simple chances Aleksandar Mitrovic was unable to score his tenth league goal of the season since joining from Newcastle in the January transfer window. That said, the aggressive front man did enough to keep the Berkshire side’s defence on their toes.

The hosts ended the evening in second place in the Championship, one point ahead of Cardiff City. Although the Welsh side have a game in hand, the momentum is definitely with the Londoners. As Sir Alex Ferguson once remarked ‘its points on the board that count’.

With an exciting talent like Ryan Sessegnon in the team, it is no surprise to see them terrify opponents but the supporting cast match the teenager's obvious skills.

Once again their captain Tom Cairney showed how much easier life can be on the pitch when your man in the middle has the ability to spray passes. It was his ball to Sessegnon that started the goal. It was also a reminder to the club that failure to gain promotion could see their best two players heading to the Premier League without them, with the gifted duo being courted by top flight clubs.

They have just four games left to achieve their target which includes two London derbies - starting with a home fixture with Brentford on Saturday before they travel to Millwall next Friday. Then they face relegation candidates Sunderland at Craven Cottage before ending their campaign in the Midlands at Birmingham City.

On a night when the club applauded the life of legendary footballer Ray Wilkins, Fulham showed the commitment that the midfielder was known and loved for. And what better way to honour their former manager than by returning to the top flight with automatic promotion this season.

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