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Fulham 2-5 Derby LCup 04 1415 Daily Mail

last updated Wednesday 29th October 2014, 11:14 PM
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Jack Gaughan at Daily Mail

Fulham (2) 2-5 (1) Derby

It was risk with very little reward. Kit Symons is so confident of becoming Fulham's new manager that his team selection dictated that they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup with a clear eye on more pressing matters.

The truth is that he may look back on Derby's astonishing comeback - including five goals in 19 minutes - and wonder whether they should have really attacked the competition with more vigour.

The caretaker, who had won five of his eight games in charge before this, is still expected to be announced as Felix Magath's successor on Thursday and Moussa Dembele's double before half-time had looked to put the Cottagers through to the last eight.

But they were shocked by promotion-hunting Derby who turned the tie on its head in blistering fashion.

'It was very disappointing,' Symons reflected. 'We became disjointed. It's a very harsh lesson for the young players. There was always the chance that would've been the case with a young side out. I put a team out I expected to win the game. I don't regret it.

'Maybe 90 minutes was a bit too long at that level for some of them. I'd hope we would've done better.

'One result doesn't hamper my chances.'

A stunning goal flurry showed just why Steve McClaren's side top the second tier and are everyone's tip to be plying their trade in the Premier League this time next year.

It was patently obvious that Fulham weren't overly bothered either way if they managed to progress into the quarter-finals - even though a maximum of six top flight teams will be in the hat after this week's fourth round ties. There were eight home changes here, including a debut for 20-year-old academy product Stephen Arthurworrey.

Even Gabor Kiraly - with those trademark grey jogging bottoms - was given an outing. The goalkeeper had conceded five in his last game - Magath's final hurrah at Nottingham Forest- and it so happened that the fate would befall him again, making it 13 to fly in his net in just three games for the club.

The hosts had set about creating the same sort of tempo with which they have excelled since Symons took over Magath's disjointed mess last month, as Dembele bent a wicked effort straight into Roos' midriff before being brilliant foiled when clean through.

Dembele wasn't to be denied for long however; the striker, who hadn't scored this season, intercepted Craig Forsyth's ludicrously lapse back pass to round Roos and slip home the opener in the 27th minute. More confusion at the back for Derby - Omar Mascarell the culprit - allowed Dembele to comfortably slot in his second.

Johnny Russell was excellently thwarted by Kiraly's legs as they tried to prevent consecutive defeats for the first time this season. That they did, and in some style.

Tim Hoogland's reckless handball set the ball rolling, meaning Chris Martin emphatically halved the deficit from the spot.

The inexperience of Fulham's youthful side told seconds after the restart as Simon Dawkins' pull-back from the byline was diverted into Russell's path and he hammered an equaliser past Kiraly in front of 3,000 travelling fans.

That healthy contingent went wild nine minutes later when Dawkins sauntered in from the left and smashed beyond the Hungarian to complete an astonishing comeback.

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