0 users online

Fulham 0-1 Stoke LgC Rnd 03 1516 - The Guardian

last updated Wednesday 23rd September 2015, 1:58 PM

The Guardian Logo
The Guardian

Fulham (0) 0-1 (1) Stoke

Peter Crouch's first goal of the season was enough to earn Stoke a place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Fulham - and potentially also a regular position in Stoke's first team.

The Potters made eight changes from their weekend draw with Leicester as Crouch started just his second game of the campaign, but they still had enough to see off a Fulham side who were consigned to the Championship following a defeat at the Britannia Stadium 16 months ago.

Having started in the victory, on penalties, over Luton in round two, Crouch scored in the first half after clever link-up play with Peter Odemwingie, another player on the periphery of the team, to seal a 1-0 win - Mark Hughes' first at Craven Cottage since he left the club acrimoniously in 2011.

"Pete struggled in pre-season," Hughes said of Crouch. "He had an operation that didn't go as planned and set him back. Only now he's getting up to speed. It was important he got game time and he did really well.

"It was a good finish and he will start to progress his season from here, I'm sure. He's a player that gives us different options. He's a focal point to the team and a technically good player. He will want to play more but he's got a big role to play.

"He's proved here that if you get him in good positions he's an accomplished player and understands what it take at this level. He is an important player and an important member of the squad more importantly."

Fulham were the first side to create a chance of note as Alex Kacaniklic's cross-shot was kept out by Shay Given before the visitors, who have yet to win in the Premier League this season, took control.

Odemwingie drove a shot just wide of the post before exchanging passes with Crouch, who finished well despite close attention from Richard Stearman.

Fulham missed a golden chance to equalise after the break when their captain, Ross McCormack, failed to make telling contact with Ben Pringle's cross when three yards out. Moussa Dembélé was the next to try his luck but the second-half substitute could not keep his volley down.

Odemwingie was guilty of missing a simple chance to wrap up the win as his attempted deft finish drifted harmlessly behind for a goal-kick. And Stoke were almost made to pay when Given's poor clearance fell to Lasse Vigen Christensen, but the Denmark Under-21 international's speculative looping effort dropped wide of goal.

With the tie still finally balanced, Marko Arnautovic arrowed a late shot wide while Given rolled back the years to make a superb save, diving back across his goal to paw away Christensen's half-volley.

Fulham were not finished and the 6ft 7in defender Dan Burn, thrown up in an attempt to give some height to the attack, hit the crossbar, but Stoke's defence clung on to let them claim a place in the last 16.

"I thought we were excellent second half," said Kit Symons, the Fulham manager. "First half we did OK and were very much in the game, the goal they scored was very fortuitous. There wasn't an awful lot in it but I didn't think we were positive enough and showed them too much respect.

"I thought we were better second half and we ramped it up as it went on and had an abundance of chances at the end but unfortunately we couldn't take one of them. I don't like losing, but if you do, at least we lost having a go."

Source .
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"