Fulham survive Derby scare
By Patrick Goss. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Goals in extra time from Collins John and Claus Jensen handed Fulham a 4-2 victory over Derby County and sealed their progress into the FA Cup Fifth Round.
A penalty at the end of the first half had turned the game in The Cottagers' favour, with Papa Bouba Diop's spot-kick cancelling out an early Grzegorz Rasiak opener, and ending a dominant spell for the visitors.
Man of the match Luis Boa Morte looked to have won the game with an accurate finish early in the second half, but former Fulham star Paul Peschisolido came off the bench to level for Derby and send the game into extra time.
However, Dutch Under-21 international John made it 3-2 with a lovely turn and finish, and Jensen's late strike sealed progression through to the Fifth Round and a clash against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
That Fulham had gone in on level terms at half time was a travesty in itself - with the Championship side taking an early lead and hitting the woodwork twice before the controversial penalty hauled the hosts level.
It had taken no time at all for Derby to show why they are beginning to make waves in The Championship, Tommy Smith racing clear down the flank and picking out Rasiak who easily converted from close range.
It should have been two soon after but the influential Inigo Idiakez fluffed his shot after a fine move had given him a prime shooting chance.
Bad luck and Edwin van der Sar's right hand post prevented Rasiak adding to his tally, his header crashing off the woodwork with the Dutch keeper beaten at his near post.
Fulham looked bewildered at being outplayed by a team a league below them, but a half chance for Boa Morte gave the equally shocked home crowd cause for applause.
Tomas Radzinksi will feel he should have capitalised from the West Londoners' best move of the half - volleying Boa Morte's cross over after a nice combination between the Portuguese winger and Lee Clark down the left.
Morten Bisgaard fired narrowly wide after being given time and space to canter into a shooting position and successive corners saw Idiakez's set piece hit the angle of post and bar and then Radzinski clear Rasiak's header off the line.
But just when it looked as if The Rams were to take a well deserved lead into the break, Johnson was adjudged to have handled in the box as he slid past Bouba Diop. Referee Peter Walton had no doubt about the transgression, and Diop was equally sure with the resultant spot kick.
The Premiership side could not believe their luck and, within five minutes of the restart, they got their noses in front.
Derby failed to clear their lines, and Boa Morte slipped inside his marker before picking out the bottom corner with a well-placed curling effort across the front of Lee Camp.
Van der Sar then ensured that the lead lasted more than a minute, when he got down to block Bisgaard's shot as he was ignored by the entire Cottagers' defence.
Boa Morte's class was beginning to shine through, but the winger should have extended lead as The Premiership side took the upper hand.
Radzinski's cross picked out the unmarked Portuguese international, but Camp saved both his lacklustre downward header and the follow up.
Almost immediately afterwards, Clark was played in by a clever Diop back-heel, but dragged his shot wide of the far post, as the home crowd finally began to compete with the visiting fans in terms of noise.
Derby were not ready to let the game go, and Rasiak should have done better with a header that had van der Sar scrambling across his goal, while Idiakez failed to hit the target when the ball dropped nicely for a volley from outside the box.
It was the arrival of former Fulham favourite Peschisolido that swung the game back for Derby - the diminutive striker on hand to scuff the ball in from close range.
It took only four minutes of extra time for Fulham to get their noses back in front, helped in no small amount by Derby going down to ten men, with all their substitutes used and Johnson stretchered off.
Zat Knight's header on had left Dutchman John with plenty to do, but a fine first touch took him around marker Johnson and his powerful finish left Camp with no chance.
The England Under-21 custodian had to be alert to keep the gap at just a goal when he saved from Liam Rosenior, who should have done better when put through, but there was an inescapable feeling that Derby had already used their get out of jail free card in normal time.
That was confirmed by Jensen, making his first appearance since the end of October, who came off the bench to benefit from Derby's desperate attacking to go clear and smash home to finally settle this tie.
Peschisolido and Rasiak both had decent chances off-target in the understandably muted second half of extra-time - but it was the hosts that will be travelling to Bolton with the hopes of going past the Fifth Round.
|Team Name||Fulham||Derby County|
|Shots On Target||9||12|
|Shots Off Target||5||7|
| || || |