Fulham steal late victory
Bullard and Murphy score late on to save the day
Last Updated: August 27, 2008 10:50pm
Bullard: Great strike
Fulham avoided a huge upset as they scrapped past League One Leicester 3-2 in their second round Carling Cup clash at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers looked like they would be joining Premier League rivals Bolton, Hull and West Brom in being dumped out of the League Cup as they were 2-1 down with less than ten minutes left.
But a rasping drive from Jimmy Bullard and last-minute effort from Danny Murphy spared the blushes of manager Roy Hodgson.
Fulham had shown their commitment to the competition by making just one change to the team that defeated Arsenal as Fredrik Stoor came in at right-back for John Pantsil.
Although the Fulham opener after 31 minutes was lucky, the build-up was sharp, with the Bobby Zamora managing to lay the ball off from Stoor's lofted pass despite the attention of two defenders, before Zoltan Gera struck the ball home.
But after having the edge in an entertaining first-half battle, they were
stunned by Leicester's sheer exuberance and fire which produced two goals within four minutes of the restart.
Veteran Paul Dickov, in his second spell at the Midlands club, rammed in an
equaliser in the opening minute of the second half after half-time substitute
Max Gradel had a shot blocked.
Zamora really should have equalised straight away when Fulham forced a corner, but he headed over the bar unchallenged from Simon Davies's corner.
The punishment was severe - with midfielder Andy King taking possession just inside the area and curling a shot beyond Mark Schwarzer.
It looked grim for the Premier League side after Leicester's stunning one-two in the second half, but Bullard, Murphy and luck saved the day late on.