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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:52 14th February 2010

Fulham 4-0 Notts County

Top-flight Fulham finally ended a determined Notts County's FA Cup journey in convincing style at Craven Cottage. Simon Davies broke the deadlock on 22 minutes, squeezing the ball into the corner. This was followed by a powerful Bobby Zamora drive before the break. A promising start to the second half saw County work hard to salvage something from the game. This went unrewarded when Damien Duff found the corner of the net with a stinging strike. Substitute Stefano Okaka netted next, when he raced free on goal, demonstrating the lethal Premiership quality that ultimately condemned Notts to a 4-0 loss. Fans crammed into the away end in a boisterous FA Cup mood, singing their hearts out well before a ball was even kicked. They knew that a win would make history, sending the Magpies into the quarter final for the first time in 18 years. A full strength Fulham team stood in their way, the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Danny Murphy and Duff populating their starting line-up. But, with a giant killing under their belts already this campaign, the Magpies went into the match with the belief that they could claim another scalp, especially with the travelling supporters spurring them on. They could have been silenced inside two minutes, when Chris Baird Picked out a forward run by Zamora inside the box. Holding off Jamie Clapham, the powerful front-man fired low across goal, narrowly wide of the far post. Fulham were enjoying the better of the early exchanges but Notts were standing up well to their offence. David Elm did manage to find space inside the area, though, and would have scored if Kasper Schmeichel hadn't raced sharply off his line to block. Craig Westcarr had County's first effort of the afternoon after good work from Lee Hughes freed up some space in the final third. Neal Bishop nipped in to prod towards Westcarr, who dragged his shot off target. Ben Davies didn't fail to test Schwarzer, when he roamed infield to strike from 30-yards out. The Cottagers' stopper leapt acrobatically to flick the bending effort over the bar. From the resulting corner, Notts had another chance to open the scoring. Jamie Clapham's drive deflected its way to Hughes, though he couldn't get the ball out of his feet and failed to test Schwarzer. It was a spell of pressure that was abruptly halted by Fulham's Davies, when Murphy's weighted pass found his feet perfectly. Shielding from John Thompson, the advancing midfielder squirmed his off-balance strike through the defender's legs, into the far corner. Stephen Hunt headed over at the other end before Duff nearly doubled the home side's lead. Schmeichel was called into action again, reacting down to his right to push away. Westcarr forced Schwarzer into a much more testing save, following some close-knit twisting and turning. Eventually making space, he struck firmly towards the far corner, only for the goalkeeper to flick around his post at full reach. The importance of the stop was highlighted minutes later, as Zamora doubled Fulham's lead. Controlling Elm's improvised flick into his stride with his chest, he slammed into the bottom corner, leaving Schmeichel with no chance whatsoever. Hughes almost pulled one back just before the half time whistle, breaking free of his marker to head Davies' corner high of the target. This left Notts needing to strike twice, for the sixth cup game running, to at least take the tie back to Meadow Lane. Davies almost found the net for Dave Kevan's team inside five minutes of the restart. Pouncing on a loose ball, he ran at goal, prior to unleashing a grounded effort that bounced inches wide. It was an encouraging opening to the second period and Davies was becoming increasingly involved. He looked to find the net again, when he opened up his body to hit cleanly with his left boot, but the ball flew to the left of the goal, into the stands. Anticipation could be sensed in the away end when Davies had a free-kick in a similar spot to the last two rounds. However, he was unable to recreate the stunning goals against Forest Green and Wigan, as Schwarzer gathered with ease to his right. Any chance of a comeback was wiped out when Zomora fed Duff into the channel. First toying with Johnnie Jackson, he struck authoritatively between his legs, inside the sprawling Schmeichel's near post. The chants of the home support were almost drowned out, as the County faithful continued to back their team. Even when substitute Okaka capitalised on Hunt's missed clearance to fire Fulham's fourth, the support continued in fine voice, paying tribute to the club's best FA Cup run in nearly two decades. Attendance: 16,132 Man of the Match: Ben Davies Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Stephen Hunt, Johnnie Jackson, Jamie Clapham (Rodgers 62), Craig Westcarr (Hamshaw 85), Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill, Ben Davies, Lee Hughes (Hawley 85). Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Graeme Lee, Matt Hamshaw, Ben Fairclough, Karl Hawley, Luke Rodgers, Ade Akinbiyi. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): None Fulham: Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Danny Murphy (Jonathan Greening 70), Damien Duff (Helge Riise 75), Aaron Hughes, Dickson Etuhu, Bobby Zamora (Okaka 75), Simon Davies, David Elm. Substitutes: Pascal Zuberbuhler, Stefano Okaka, Erik Nevland, Bjorn Helge Riise, Fredrik Stoor, Chris Smalling, Jonathan Greening. Scorer(s): Davies 22, Zamora 41, Duff 74, Okoka 79 Yellow Card(s): None Report by Dane Vincent
    Data provided by Press Association

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