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Wolves 2-2 Fulham pens 3-5 FAC 3r Rply 1415 Express and Star

last updated Wednesday 14th January 2015, 4:34 PM
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Express and Star

Wolves (0) 2-2 (1) Fulham ~ Fulham win on penalties

Roared on by tributes from fans to former club owner Sir Jack Hayward hours after his death was announced, substitute Dave Edwards scored on 71 and 109 minutes.

That looked to have settled a thrilling Cup tie in Wolves' favour for what would have been their first victory in the competition for four years, but it was not to be.

But a controversial penalty in added time within extra time for Fulham's Ross McCormack set up a shoot-out and Matt Doherty's miss from the spot proved costly as the Cottagers triumphed 5-3.

Fans sang 'Jack Hayward's Barmy Army' throughout the second half as Edwards and Rajiv van La Parra scored within three minutes to put Wolves ahead following a poor first-half display.

But Cauley Woodrow, who had fired Fulham ahead on 27 minutes, took the third-round replay into extra-time with his second of the night on 76.

Edwards seemed to have spared Wolves a shoot-out when he completed his double 10 minutes from the end of extra-time.

But Lee Evans was penalised for handball from a free-kick in added time, McCormack scored from the spot and the London side triumphed in the shoot-out.

The players had observed a minute's silence after Wolves had played stirring music by Elgar before the game in tribute to Sir Jack, but even loud tributes from fans later on could not quite carry the home side to victory.

Fulham made the early running and Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme was called into action twice in the opening exchanges.

His first save was an acrobatic effort as he flew high to his left to palm away a powerful long-range drive from Ross McCormack.

The save left Ikeme needing treatment in his six-yard box after an awkward landing but, despite understudy Tomasz Kuszczak being stripped and ready for action, the Wolves No.1 declared himself ready and willing to continue.

His second save, moments after play resumed, was more routine as he caught a drive from Cauley Woodrow from just outside the area.

And he then watched as a shot from McCormack flew narrowly over the crossbar after a neat move from Fulham exposed Wolves down their right flank.

Wolves had been forced to defend for much of the opening 25 minutes but they threatened after a rare break involving Matt Doherty and Liam McAlinden down the left.

Doherty eventually squared for Rajiv van La Parra, who was deployed as Kenny Jackett's loan striker, but his 15-yard effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.

That gave Wolves a little extra impetus and Lee Evans, who was operating in the space behind Van La Parra, tried his luck from 25 yards but his dipping, right-footed effort flew comfortably over.

However, Fulham had earned the right to lead and the opening goal arrived on 27 minutes when the visitors once more found some joy down the Wolves right.

Left-back Kostas Stafylidis delivered a decent cross from the left and Woodrow met it 12 yards out with an inch-perfect header that looped over Ikeme and nestled in the net.

Wolves won a corner on the right just after the half-hour and it was met at the far post by Danny Batth, whose header was saved comfortably by goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

But it was the Cottagers who continued to hold sway and they went close again when Moussa Dembele weaved his way past two defenders before curling a 20-yard effort a fraction wide.

And Dembele had another chance moments later when he burst into the box at the end of a slick Fulham move but he was forced wide by Batth and eventually missed the target with his shot.

The remainder of the first half was a scrappy affair with both sides squandering possession too cheaply and unable to carve out clear chances.

Wolves made a double change at half-time in a bid to turn the tide with Dave Edwards and Nouha Dicko stepping off the bench.

And they might have made a breakthrough 17 minutes after the restart when Dominic Iorfa galloped down the right flank and pulled back a cross for Dicko, but his poorly hit shot was blocked on the line by by Stafylidis.

Moments later they went even closer when Doherty met a right-wing corner at the far post and his header thudded against the woodwork with his follow-up effort striking a crowd of players on the line.

And, with the South Bank now in full voice in their tributes to Sir Jack, the woodwork came to Fulham's rescue again when Dicko darted across the edge of the box to create space and crashed a 20-yard shot against the bar.

So it was no surprise when the hosts drew level on 71 minutes when Iorfa burst powerfully down the right touchline and pulled the ball back for the late-arriving Edwards, who slid in to find the net.

And just three minutes later the game had been turned on its head as Kevin McDonald slid a superb pass into Van La Parra, who beat Bettinelli with a sublime chip.

However, the lead lasted just two minutes before Dembele burst into the Wolves box and his cross-shot was turned in by Woodrow.

And substitute Hugo Rodallega could have stolen a victory in normal time for the Cottagers but he snatched at a shot from the edge of the area and Ikeme made a comfortable save.

It was all-action early in extra-time as first Iorfa jinked his way to the edge of the six-yard box before firing too close to Bettinelli before Woodrow screwed a shot wide as his went for his hat-trick.

Then Bettinelli made a smart, flying save to keep out a long-range, curling effort from McDonald.

And five minutes into the second period of extra-time, Batth strode forward from inside his own half and crossed for Edwards, who arrived at the near post to force the ball home.

However, stoppage-time in extra-time brought fresh drama when McCormack's free-kick thudded into the Wolves wall, referee David Coote penalised Evans for handball and McCormack blasted home the spot-kick to set up a shoot-out.

Edwards, Evans and substitute Leon Clarke all converted for Wolves but Doherty missed and Fulham converted all five of their penalties to go through.

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