• Fulham manager says ‘clear as day’ that goal was offside
• Preston and Bristol City both win to stay in play-off chase
Fulham left the Den with a point, but Scott Parker was unhappy after Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s goal was allowed to stand. “It was clear as day that they had two players offside,” Parker said afterwards. “Who [the pass] comes off is perhaps in question, but anyone would think it’s a little bit unjust to think that a goal was given when there’s clearly an advantage from two of their players standing in an offside position.”
Bodvarsson’s seventh-minute goal cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s third-minute opener, and Jed Wallace blazed a penalty over the bar for Millwall before the interval. “I think our reaction after the goal was pretty poor, and in the first half we turned the game into what Millwall wanted it to be,” Parker added.
“In the second half we got a grip on the game. We stamped our mark on it, which I asked for at half-time because we needed to be braver. The pitch and the conditions were tough to deal with, but that’s the way I want my team to play – we have to take the sting out of the game. Overall I think we’re happy with a point, and we’re six games unbeaten now.”
It could have been three but Neeskens Kebano hit the crossbar with a header in injury time which would have taken them into second place. The draw puts Fulham back level with second-placed Leeds but out of the automatic promotion places on goal difference, while Millwall are now seven points off the play-off pace.
Alex Neil’s first visit to the Bet365 Stadium since spurning Stoke’s advances earlier in the season proved to be a positive one as his Preston side closed the gap on the automatic places to three points with a 2-0 win. Stoke were dominant for the first hour but North End went ahead with their first shot on target, after 58 minutes, when a corner ricocheted off Ben Davies and Alan Browne reacted fastest to poke home from inside the six-yard box. And Tom Barkhuizen doubled their lead 15 minutes from time, with Davies nodding down Paul Gallagher’s cross for the former Morecambe forward to stroke home.
““We showed different strengths from what we normally do. We showed great resolve, great grit and did the basics really well. That was certainly one of our poorest performances in quite a while but we got the job done,” Neil said. “We’re three points off second – we just need to get across the line. It wasn’t pretty – nobody’s talking about this game in a week’s time.”
Bristol City kept up the pressure on Preston and the playoff places with a 3-2 win over Derby, who scored their goals through Martyn Waghorn and Chris Martin in the last half‑hour and made for a nervous finish at Ashton Gate. The hosts took a 38th-minute lead when Niclas Eliasson’s deep cross from the right was volleyed back across goal by Jay Dasilva for Nakhi Wells to mark his first start for the club with a powerful header. It was 2-0 just before the interval as Derby were again found wanting in the air. Famara Diedhiou’s header from a corner was blocked, but Filip Benkovic pounced to nod home.
The Rams did not learn their lesson either, and Ashley Williams headed down another Eliasson cross for Diedhiou to volley home a third after 58 minutes. Three minutes later Waghorn dived to head home and spark a spell of intense pressure.Luton lifted themselves off the bottom with a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, James Collins scoring in the 23rd minute to take his side to within seven points of safety and condemn the Owls to their sixth defeat in nine league games.
Cardiff won 3-0 at relegation-threatened Huddersfield, first-half goals from Josh Murphy and Will Vaulks doing the bulk of the damage as the Bluebirds climbed two places to maintain their push for a play-off place. And Callum Paterson bagged a 69th-minute third to put the contest out of reach as City extended their impressive league run to just one defeat from their last 11 matches.
“We’re on a good run of form,” said their manager, Neil Harris. “We’re getting into a nice position but you have to keep doing it at this level. We have a chance of the play-offs but it’s just about winning games. A lot of those lads have won promotion before and want to do it again, but that’s a long way off.”