Sky Blues celebrate first away win in 74 years in ‘Jimmy Hill’ derby


Fulham 1 : 3 Coventry City

On April 28, 1948, Coventry City won at Craven Cottage. It has taken 74 years for them to repeat the feat.

Since then, the life and career of Jimmy Hill has connected the clubs.

Between those two Coventry wins, Hill  played 276 times for Fulham, scored 52 goals, became chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), successfully campaigned to have the Football League’s £20 maximum wage scrapped (achieved in January 1961), became manager of Coventry City where he organised the era named “The Sky Blue Revolution”, wrote and presumably sang the theme tune, inaugurated the matchday programme, campaigned for goal difference to replace goal average, hosted Match of the Day, pioneered three points for a win and blocked an attempt to merge Fulham with QPR.

He did all that between Coventry’s last win at Craven Cottage and this one. In that time, the Sky Blues also won four times at Chelsea and Brentford, and 15 at QPR. And the FA Cup.

“Coventry centre half and skipper Dominic Hyam had made Aleksander Mitrovic resemble a child tugging at his father’s trousers looking for relevance and attention.”

Away from the nostalgia, there can be no doubt that City thoroughly merited their win on Sunday. They were the better side throughout.

They led 2-0 at half time courtesy of a splendid glancing header by the outstanding Michael Rose and a second from Viktor Gyokeres whose effort will sadly restart the debate about whether Marek Rodak’s goalkeeping is error-free enough to keep Fulham in the Premier League.

City had played well in every area of the pitch and centre half and skipper Dominic Hyam had made Aleksander Mitrovic resemble a child tugging at his father’s trousers for attention.

How Hyam gets Steve Clarke’s attention is another matter but on this form, he and Michael Rose are worth another scouting trip to keep tabs on their progress, not that Scotland need any reminders how to keep Mitrovic out of a game.

As ever, the Serb took out his frustrations on the referee and it is bewildering how Marco Silva has tolerated this for so long. Above all, Silva will know EPL referees will put up with this less when Fulham are a lower half of the table club and Mitrovic is less of a star.

In addition, Silva desperately needs to take Harry Wilson aside and tell him the Serb is not a behavioural role model. Wilson picked up a booking for a bad foul in the 81st minute but he had been constantly irritating the referee since kick off.

If Silva won’t deal with it, Gareth Bale and Rob Page must so he can have as illustrious a career for Wales as his talent deserves.

There wasn’t a bad player on the City side and as they occasionally wilted in the second half, up stepped Callum O’Hare who worked tirelessly to harass Fulham’s defenders and midfielders when trying to build momentun.

Fulham couldn’t get going and too many passes went astray.

Fabio Carvalho did hit the woodwork twice but the second was practically the last kick of the match. Decordova-Reid pulled one back late on with a very good finish but O’Hare still had time to tap in Coventry’s third and there was no more deserving scorer than the Solihull-born forward.

Fulham fans should not become too nervous though. Bournemouth are not showing the form that would displace them and the chasing pack of Nottingham Forest, Luton and Huddersfield are too inconsistent to make up the ground.

In fact, you could argue that this loss was a big wake-up call to Tony Khan that this side is nowhere near ready for the top tier.

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt 


About Author

Comments are closed.