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  • By Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Record-breaking Mitrovic helps Fulham extend their lead at the top

Fulham (1) 2 Mitrovic 28pen, 62

Peterborough United (0) 1 Marriott 89

Aleksandar Mitrovic broke the record for the number of Championship goals in a season as the Whites got back to winning ways.

The Serb drilled in from the spot for goal number 32 of the campaign – improving on the 31 plundered last season by Ivan Toney during Brentford’s march to promotion.

And just past the hour, he volleyed home a Neeskens Kebano cross from 12 yards to seal the deal.

With 14 games to go, the Fulham striker is on course to smash the record to pieces.

Peterborough pulled a goal back a minute from time but could not force a second.

The Whites are not as flush with goals as they were in that crazy recent spell but they do have 81 now – the next highest is QPR on 50 - and they have the small matter of a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Marco Silva’s men will be glad of their swift response to what was only their fifth league defeat of the season at the weekend – Huddersfield making off with the points in a 2-1 win.

Before the opener, some low-key early probing of their beleaguered opponents saw Mitrovic glance a header just wide following a cross from Kebano on the left and a deflected effort from Jean Michael Seri had keeper Steven Benda stretching up to grab the looping ball.

Mitrovic almost teed up an onrushing Harrison Reed, but defender Frankie Kent did just enough to prevent a clear strike from close in.

Then came the breakthrough on 27 minutes. Mitrovic went down in a heap after being clipped by Harrison Burrows and he smashed home the resulting penalty – Benda diving to his left as the ball flew in the opposite direction.

Posh are down among the dead men at the foot of the table – overseen by interim boss Matthew Etherington after the latest exit from Darren Ferguson.

Their case is not yet totally hopeless but they are not far off it and having lost all but two of their away games this season, their pre-match hopes were modest.

They did not trouble the Whites too often, though striker Jonson Clarke-Harris hit a deflected free-kick which fell onto the roof of the net, with Rodak stranded.

But it always looked a matter of time before the home side would increase their lead.

A fine run from Nico Williams paved the way for Bobby Reid to give his namesake a good opening but the final shot was tipped over. Soon after it was 2-0.

Ivan Cavaleiro came on for an eye-catching cameo, which included a cheeky dink from the edge of the area.

Mitrovic almost had another treble to his name when he headed a cross straight at Benda and was denied late on by the keeper’s outstretched left boot after he had chested down a perfect floated pass from Seri to leave the goal at his mercy.

The ever-lively Fabio Carvalho also almost found the net with a left-foot curler arrowing to the top corner after he had cut in from the right.

Posh’s busy stopper was again equal to it and kept his side in it when he repeated the trick to thwart Harry Wilson after another chip had sailed over the last defender.

There was to be one late moment of fret, when a breakaway led to Callum Morton feeding fellow-sub Jack Marriott for a shot across Rodak into the top corner. But there were no late palpitations for the Whites.

Whites: (4-2-3-1) Rodak – N Williams, Tosin, Ream, Robinson – Reed (Wilson 63), Seri – Decordova-Reid (Onomah 83), Carvalho, Kebano (Cavaleiro 63) – Mitrovic. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Tete, Hector, Chalobah

Posh: (3-4-3) Benda – Kent, Knight, Edwards – Szmodics (Jones 76), Brown (Morton 71), Norburn, Burrows – Ward, Clarke-Harris (Marriott 71), Grant. Subs not used: Cornell, Poku, Mumba, Fuchs

Attendance: 17,387


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