Championship
Fulham2Derby0

Fulham 2-0 Derby County

Nikolay Bodurov gives Fulham the lead against Derby County at Craven Cottage
Nikolay Bodurov's strike against Derby was his first goal in 39 appearances for Fulham

Fulham earned a first win in seven Championship games to ease their relegation concerns in impressive fashion against leaders Derby County.

Nikolay Bodurov's first Whites goal broke the deadlock, the Bulgarian shooting home from a tight angle.

And it was 2-0 before half-time when a swift break instigated by the excellent Scott Parker allowed Ross McCormack to pick out Cauley Woodrow to head in.

Derby stay top thanks to Sheffield Wednesday's win over Middlesbrough.

But they will rue a missed opportunity to extend their lead to five points after a below-par performance in west London.

Fulham had not won since beating Nottingham Forest 3-2 on 21 January but did not seem like a side shorn of confidence in the first half.

Missing Martin and replacing Rodallega
Fulham coped without injured striker Hugo Rodallega, who is their joint-top scorer in the league with 10 goals. But Derby struggled in attack without their injured top scorer Chris Martin, who has 16 Championship goals. The next nearest league goalscorers are Jonny Russell and Jeff Hendrick who have six apiece.

Darren Bent had a couple of sights on goal for the visitors, heading one effort just wide and seeing another strike deflected past the post.

But Fulham were sharper in the challenge, quick to deny the league leaders time and space, and brighter with the ball.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Symons on Fulham v Derby

Scott Parker led the way in midfield while McCormack provided the focal point in attack, orchestrating play and using the pace of trickery of Woodrow and Bryan Ruiz to good effect.

After a lengthy spell of pressure and a few decent chances, Fulham deservedly went ahead when Bodurov found the top corner with a fine 31st-minute strike after a Ruiz shot was blocked.

The hosts continued to have the better of things and the second goal arrived when some indecisive defending ended with Woodrow heading home McCormack's excellent cross after Parker had robbed Will Hughes of possession in midfield.

Derby, still missing injured top scorer Chris Martin, lacked a cutting edge although they did improve after half-time.

Ryan Shotton headed over from a corner when he should have done better and Bent missed an excellent headed chance from another corner.

Thomas Ince provided some hope for the Rams in the latter stages, notably with a superb long-range strike that was deflected over.

But Fulham remained threatening and looked the more likely to add to their lead.

Fulham fight back
Derby had beaten Fulham 5-2 in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season and also thumped the Rams 5-1 in the league in August.

Craig Forsyth had to clear on his own line and goalkeeper Lee Grant almost scored a calamitous own goal after a testing backpass.

McCormack also wasted a great one-on-one chance on the break and Moussa Dembele's left-footed shot hit the post in the final minute.

Fulham manager Kit Symons:

"It's always nice to get a win, especially against the team at the top of the table, and the manner in which we got it.

"It's only three points but it's a big three points given who it was against and how we did it.

"We scored two goals, we could have scored more and we kept a clean sheet, so it's very pleasing."

Derby County head coach Steve McClaren:

"It's a long season and we have been playing at a high level for the majority of it, that is why we are where we are.

"But we came up against a Fulham team who looked at their league position and knew they needed a result. What were they, fifth from bottom, with the quality they have?

"They are a Premier League side - just come down - with Premier League players. They defended for their lives and credit to them. They deserved to win and we would not have scored if played until Tuesday.

"We'll have one or two more bad days at the office, I can guarantee that, but the key thing is we just shake it off and go again. We've missed an opportunity, but there will be others and we have to make sure we take them."

Fulham's players celebrate their opening goal against Derby
Fulham's players celebrate their opening goal against Derby, just their fourth league goal in six league games
Steve McClaren
Derby failed to show the form which had seen them win five of their last seven games under head coach Steve McClaren
Fulham in action against Derby County at Craven Cottage
Fulham were sharper and brighter than Derby at Craven Cottage and deservedly led at the break

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 40Bettinelli
  • 29Richards
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 6Bodurov
  • 3Stafylidis
  • 8ParkerSubstituted forHooglandat 79'minutes
  • 21ChristensenSubstituted forKavanaghat 43'minutes
  • 19TunnicliffeBooked at 11mins
  • 10Ruiz
  • 44McCormack
  • 16WoodrowSubstituted forDembeleat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Kiraly
  • 2Hoogland
  • 11Kacaniklic
  • 12Fofana
  • 25Dembele
  • 32Kavanagh
  • 33Burn

Derby

  • 1Grant
  • 2ChristieSubstituted forBuxtonat 45'minutes
  • 6Keogh
  • 32Shotton
  • 3Forsyth
  • 8Hendrick
  • 33Mascarell
  • 19Hughes
  • 23Ince
  • 39BentSubstituted forBrysonat 64'minutes
  • 16LingardSubstituted forRussellat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Bryson
  • 5Buxton
  • 7Dawkins
  • 10Ward
  • 11Russell
  • 21Roos
  • 36Albentosa
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
20,242

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamDerby
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home18
Away14
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 2, Derby County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Derby County 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Fulham) right footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Tunnicliffe with a cross.

  4. Booking

    Johnny Russell (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Johnny Russell (Derby County).

  6. Post update

    Konstantinos Stafylidis (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Moussa Dembele (Fulham) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Tim Hoogland.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Craig Forsyth (Derby County).

  9. Post update

    Ross McCormack (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Moussa Dembele (Fulham).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Moussa Dembele replaces Cauley Woodrow.

  13. Post update

    Richard Keogh (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ross McCormack (Fulham).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Richard Keogh (Derby County).

  16. Post update

    Cauley Woodrow (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ryan Shotton.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tom Ince (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Craig Bryson (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Fulham).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Derby34198766353165
2Middlesbrough34189750242663
3Watford341951069422762
4Bournemouth34179867373060
5Ipswich33179754342060
6Norwich33178864372759
7Brentford34184125344958
8Wolves3416994740757
9Nottm Forest341311105648850
10Sheff Wed341113103032-246
11Blackburn341112114344-145
12Charlton34915103743-642
13Birmingham341012123950-1142
14Huddersfield34119144456-1242
15Cardiff341011133945-641
16Leeds34118153645-941
17Bolton34117164253-1140
18Reading34117163652-1640
19Fulham34116174658-1239
20Brighton34813133843-537
21Rotherham34813133450-1637
22Millwall34710173053-2331
23Wigan34610183147-1628
24Blackpool34410202968-3922
View full Championship table

Top Stories