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Lads pay penalty

Posted on 30 January 2011  - 12:00

A four-goal deficit at half-time sealed our exit from this season's FA Cup at Craven Cottage.

Lads pay penalty

A four-goal deficit at half-time sealed our exit from this season's FA Cup at Craven Cottage.

The odds against progress began stacking up after 10 minutes and extended shortly after as Fulham capitalised on defensive errors to put the tie beyond reach.

After five minutes of early sizing up by the two teams, punctuated by two headed opportunities from Clint Dempsey, came a chaotic few minutes that resulted in two penalties and a red card.

Michael Dawson lost possession 25 yards out and Dempsey took advantage by speeding through to the right of the area where it was deemed he was felled by Alan Hutton. Referee Mr Dowd pointed to the spot and Danny Murphy picked out the top right hand corner of the net, giving the restored Heurelho Gomes no chance.

Just two minutes later Dawson was dispossessed by Mousa Dembele before proceeding to clearly tug the shirt of the striker, who carried on regardless. Gomes pulled off a fine save, but Mr Dowd awarded a penalty and sent the skipper to the dressing room. Murphy again, this time to the other side, made no mistake from the spot.

Sandro dropped back into central defence before William Gallas was introduced to try and stabilise events, but matters did not improve in the 23rd minute when a Damien Duff corner was flicked on by Johnson to the back post where Brede Hangeland was waiting to add his name to the scoresheet.

Fulham were not letting up as the half progressed, keeping defenders on the backfoot and forcing Gomes to dive at feet to thwart further attacking intent.

Luka Modric drilled a shot wide as the team attempted to mount a response then Rafael van der Vaart tried one from the half way line after Modric was tripped and goalkeeper David Stockdale was off his line.

In first half stoppage time it was four, Dembele embarking on a mazy run from deep before dispatching a low shot past Gomes.

Peter Crouch was the half time change in place of Jermain Defoe, which led to an early improvement as the rest of the side had a focal point around which add variety to their play.

The next shot of note, however, came from Dempsey on the edge of the area, forcing Gomes to stretch and save with the Fulham fans among a crowd of 21,829 willing a fifth to rattle the net.

Jermaine Jenas took to the field on 66 minutes, replacing van der Vaart and adding a layer to midfield and eight minutes later dispatching a thumping volley that flew a couple of feet too high.

Fulham could have added another in the closing stages when Hughes header came back off the woodwork and Jenas cleared the follow up off the line from Hangeland. Gomes was then forced into a block to deny Zoltan Gera.

All in all, it was not an FA Cup year that will live long in the memory for the right reasons.

Fulham: Stockdale; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Duff, Sidwell, Murphy (Greening, 74), Dembele (Davies, 80), Dempsey; Johnson (Gera, 68). Unused subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Baird, Dikgacoi.

Spurs: Gomes; Hutton, Bassong, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto; Van der Vaart (Jenas, 67), Modric, Sandro (Gallas, 12), Pienaar, Lennon; Defoe (Crouch, 46). Unused subs: Cudicini, Corluka, Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko.

Goals: Fulham - Murphy pens 11, 14, Hangeland 23, Dembele 45.

Attendance: 21,829.

Referee: Mr P Dowd.