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Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fulham 2-1 Swansea

By Peter Shuttleworth

Fulham goal-scorers Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey celebrate
Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey both score rare goals against Swansea

Fulham struck twice in four minutes to knock Championship side Swansea City out of the FA Cup and set up a plum quarter-final with Manchester United.

Jason Scotland's 19th goal of the season gave Swansea the lead when he poked the ball past Mark Schwarzer.

But Clint Dempsey inspired Fulham's comeback as the American headed home Simon Davies' 77th minute corner.

Bobby Zamora completed the fight-back as he headed in his fourth goal of the season from Davies' superb cross.

Swans boss Roberto Martinez hoped to celebrate his two years in charge at the Liberty Stadium by causing another Cup upset after knocking out holders Portsmouth in the previous round.

But Fulham, who have lost just once at Craven Cottage this season, showed why their home is such a fortress by showing resilience to win their fifth-round replay.

Welsh international Davies, whose local team was Swansea, played a key role in this win against the side from his home-land.

Jason Scotland
Jason Scotland scored his 14th goal in 15 games to show why Premier League clubs are monitoring his progress

And his 10th-minute corner almost caught the Swans cold, with Erik Nevland meeting it at the far post and causing a brief moment of panic in the box.

In-form Swans striker Scotland, though, gave Fulham a warning sign of what was to come when his 12th-minute shot brought a good save from Cottagers' goalkeeper Schwarzer.

And Brede Hangeland had to react quickly to stop Guillem Bauza poking home the rebound.

Schwarzer then saved well from Jordi Gomez's stinging shot before, at the other end, Swansea's Leon Britton was inches away from conceding a penalty as his handball was deemed to be a fraction outside the area.

Dorus De Vries showed his quality to save an Nevland volley but the Swans keeper appeared beaten when Hangeland's towering header from Davies' corner crashed against the woodwork just before half-time.

But Scotland managed to succeed where Hangeland did not 90 seconds into the second-half when he was given too much room by Aaron Hughes and John Pantsil, who between them allowed Mark Gower to roll the ball to Scotland 15 yards out.

The Trinidad and Tobago international finished to score his 14th goal in 15 games - and his third against top-flight sides - as he showed why Premier League clubs are monitoring his progress.

Fulham captain Danny Murphy, like star striker Andy Johnson rested after their second game in three days, replaced Oliver Dacourt, who limped off after an hour.

Zamora, who scored in Sunday's 2-0 win Premier League over West Brom, missed two good chances to level and both were blocked after ricochets in the penalty box.

Then Davies was denied from three yards before stinging De Vries' palms with a fiery shot.

606: DEBATE
Fulhamstoo

Fulham's pressure paid dividends when Dempsey steered home playmaker Davies' corner from the right to level.

And the USA midfielder nearly doubled his tally moments later after Zamora put him one-on-one with De Vries, the Dutchman made a fine sprawling save.

But he had no chance a minute later when another Davies cross found Zamora and he nodded back across goal to make it 2-1 to give the Championship play-off chasers just their second defeat in 19 games.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said:

"I thought we showed incredible energy just one day after playing a tough Premier League tie against West Brom and I can't praise the team enough for the way they prepared for this game and the way they've gone about their business from the very first minute.

"They also showed great character to come back from 1-0 down, albeit it was against the run of play.

"There were a lot of goal chances and they were mainly at one end of the field. It was a very fast, very intensive game and I have to praise Swansea who did very well to live with us.

"You are always nervous when you go one goal down because you need to score two goals and you know how difficult two goals are to come by at any level of competition.

"But two goals, I think, was scant reward. Had we not won the game we'd have been sitting here feeling very sorry for ourselves after giving such a good performance."

Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez said:
"Sometimes in the FA Cup you need that little bit of luck and not just tonight, but in the original tie we didn't have that.

"I'm proud of my team, we were ourselves and controlled the game for large spells and scored.

"But then we found it a bit difficult to get that pass, to get that composure where we could have dictated the final part of the game - but that is being very critical.

"It has been a fantastic cup run and now we must focus on the league but I'm sure the fans will be proud of the players.

"We are very disappointed to get knocked out of the cup after competing really well but have many positives after a great cup run."


Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Dacourt (Murphy 59), Etuhu, Dempsey (Kamara 90), Nevland (Gera 60), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Milsom, Kallio, Baird.

Booked: Etuhu

Goals: Dempsey 77, Zamora 81

Swansea: De Vries, Rangel, Williams (Bessone 90), Serran, Tate, Gower (Tudur-Jones 55), Britton, Gomez, Dyer, Scotland, Bauza (Butler 72).
Subs Not Used: Cornell, O'Leary, Orlandi, Collins.

Booked: Bauza

Goals: Scotland 47

Att: 12,316

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)



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see also
Martinez urges Swans league push
25 Feb 09 |  Swansea
Fulham set to face Man Utd in Cup
24 Feb 09 |  FA Cup


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