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Fulham 1 Burnley 1 - Match report

last updated Sunday 16th February 2003, 8:40 PM
Fulham (1) 1 Burnley (1) 1
Steed Malbranque was Fulham's scoring hero again at Loftus Road as he saved Jean Tigana from FA Cup embarrassment against First Division Burnley.

The French midfielder scored a 44th-minute volley to earn a 1-1 draw and a replay of this fifth-round tie at Turf Moor a week on Wednesday.

Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque
Steed Malbranque Stories
Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque saves Fulham with his 12th goal of the season
All but one of the eight goals the Cottagers have notched in their last five games have been scored by the £4.5million man, who is the club's top scorer with a dozen strikes this season.

In the third minute, Alan Moore had danced through the Fulham back line to beat Maik Taylor and give the Clarets hope of a cup shock.

Tigana's side hit back strongly in this full-blooded contest and equalised through Malbranque - but Stan Ternent's men then held firm and deserved to go into the hat for the quarter-final draw.

But the big talking point at Loftus Road was the pitiful attendance - just 13,069, including 3,000 from Lancashire, and embarrassingly 632 fewer than the crowd for QPR's 4-0 win against Port Vale in the Second Division.

Burnley made a barnstorming start and roared into the lead with just three minutes on the clock.

And Fulham's Sean Davis, in the midweek England squad, was the villain with a sloppy pass which gifted the Clarets possession.

Moore nipped in ahead of Steve Finnan, leaving Andy Melville for dead and slotting the ball under Taylor from eight yards.

Facundo Sava tried to hit back but could not hook his volley goalwards after Louis Saha's flick on.

The Premiership side continued to pose the greater threat in front of goal and could have equalised twice around the halfway point in the first period.

Saha attempted a flash finish from Sava's looping header, firing over the top when a simple side-foot effort looked far easier to execute.

Sava then won a towering header but sent his attempt a yard wide.

Davis attempted to make amends for his early error but sliced across the face of goal from 18 yards.

Davis then teamed up with Malbranque for a neat one-two and as Davis tumbled under Graham Branch's challenge in the area referee Graham Poll blew his whistle.

However, after a dramatic pause by the official, he awarded a free-kick to the Clarets, rather than a spot-kick to the Cottagers.

Just before the interval Burnley right-back Dean West was booked for taking out Malbranque and tested Poll's patience by starting a shoving match with Jon Harley.

Malbranque made his mark in much more effective fashion in the 44th minute, scoring a spectacular equaliser.

Match Stats Fulham Burnley
Goal attempts 13 4
On Target 2 2
Woodwork 0 0
Offsides 0 4
Corners 4 3
Fouls 10 16
Yellows 0 1
Reds 0 0
source: www.sportinglife.com
He controlled Ian Cox's half-clearance and dispatched an angled volley beyond Marlon Beresford's dive and into the right side of the net.

Fulham keeper Taylor got himself into a muddle at the start of the second half and was grateful to Melville, who cleared when Alan Moore shot past him.

Referee Poll showed excellent common-sense after a spat between Fulham midfielder Davis and Burnley's Tony Grant in the 49th minute.

Grant pushed Davis in the head but Poll intervened and told the pair to calm down, rather than dish out yellow cards.

Clarets midfielder Ian Moore and Fulham forward Saha exchanged shots, with Moore testing Taylor and Saha spooning into row Z.

Davis showed his class on the hour, delivering a raking 50-yard pass to sub Steve Marlet, who squared for Saha. His shot was blocked.

Marlet, operating as a right winger rather than his usual role up front, had a decent opening after 68 minutes but blasted into the side-netting from close range.

Marlet moved into attack when Junichi Inamoto came off the bench with 18 minutes left.

Tigana's positional switch almost produced immediate dividends, with Marlet connecting with Malbranque's cross and forcing Beresford into action.

Davis thundered a drive a yard wide after a powerful surge through midfield.

Burnley centre-back Cox escaped unpunished after a clumsy challenge on Saha late on - and Malbranque shot wide from distance with Beresford out of position.

Fulham Taylor, Finnan, Goma, Melville, Harley, Goldbaek (Marlet 45), Sean Davis, Djetou, Malbranque, Sava (Inamoto 72), Saha.

Subs Not Used: Herrera, Ouaddou, Wome.

Goals: Malbranque 45.

Burnley Beresford, West, Diallo, Cox, Branch, Ian Moore, Grant, Cook (McGregor 82), Briscoe, Alan Moore (Weller 77), Taylor.

Subs Not Used: Michopoulos, Blake, Papadopoulos.

Booked: West.

Goals: Alan Moore 4.

Att: 13,062

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire)
Source PA Sport by Alistair Grant
Since 1998
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