Cottagers book place in third round thanks to Mitrovic header
Town exited the Carabao Cup at the second round stage after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Premier League Fulham at Portman Road.
Summer recruit Oli Hawkins was handed his full debut by Paul Lambert.
Aleksandar Mitrovic netted the winner in the first half with a powerful header and the Serbian could have put his side 2-0 up just before the half-time whistle - but he was denied at close range by Town shot-stopper David Cornell.
Fulham didn’t take long to get into the groove, in the first minute of the game, Anthony Knockaert blazed over from 12 yards out after Neeskens Kebano had teed him up. The visitors continued to search for an opener, this time Frank Anguissa saw a well-struck volley from the edge of the area skim just wide of the mark.
Town were trying to get a foothold in the game as Gwion Edwards spun his marker and got in behind the Cottagers backline, the Welshman’s cross found Hawkins who got a toe to the ball, but he saw his effort trickle wide.
Blues’ resolve was broken on 38 minutes as Mitrovic opened the scoring, heading in from a fine Kenny Tete cross. The Serbian almost doubled his tally on the stroke of half-time but Cornell produced a low save for Town.
Flynn Downes replaced Andre Dozzell on 58 minutes. A minute later, Cornell kept the deficit to one with a magnificent double save from close range. First the Welshman turned away a Mitrovic header before standing strong to deny Bobby De Cordova-Reid from two yards out.
Paul Lambert introduced James Norwood and Alan Judge to the game before Cornell was called into action again, this time beating away a fierce strike from Tom Cairney, who came on for the visitors just after the hour mark. Chances continued to come for Fulham with Frenchman Kebano inches away from curling home a free-kick from 25 yards out.
Town pressed for an equaliser to force a penalty shootout. Gwion Edwards' left-footed strike in the 90th minute was saved comfortably by PSG loanee Alphonse Areola and Fulham held strong to book their place in round three against Sheffield Wednesday.
Town: Cornell, Donacien, Nsiala (C), Wilson, Kenlock, Nolan (Judge 69), Dozzell (Downes 58), Huws, Dobra, Hawkins (Norwood 69), Edwards.
Subs: Holy, Chambers, Bishop, Sears.
Fulham: Areola, Tete, Odoi, Kebano, Mitrovic (C), Knockaert, De Cordova-Reid, Lemina (Cairney 63), Le Merchand, Anguissa (Reed 69), Robinson.
Subs: Fabri, Hector, Bryan, Cairney, Francois, Cavaleiro.