Saturday 21 February 2004, 3:00pm at Molineux, Wolverhampton
Barclays Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers
2
Ince 20'; Cort 51'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Malbranque 84'
A disappointing display at Molineux sees Fulham come away empty handed after losing 2-1 to Wolves.

20' Goal

Paul Ince

51' Goal

Carl Cort

17' Yellow Card

Paul Ince Card was given for a foul

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ioan Viorel Ganea
Off:Kenny Miller

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Colin Cameron
Off:Carl Cort

84' Goal

Steed Malbranque

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bobby Petta
Off:Barry Hayles

74' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Martin Djetou
Off:Zat Knight

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Cort's first goal for his new club in the 50th minute sunk shoddy Fulham and proved enough to lift Dave Jones' men off the foot of the table. Paul Ince's second goal of the season after 20 minutes had put the home side back on track after a five-game winless sequence which suggested they were heading back to the Nationwide League with a whimper. 

But Wolves were still forced to cling on for their victory after Steed Malbranque's 82nd-minute strike set up a frantic last-gasp period of visiting attacks. 

An equaliser would have been so tough on Wolves whose prospects had been enhanced considerably by the abject Cottagers who remain desperately short of front-line firepower since the sale of Louis Saha. Europe will soon be a distant dream for Chris Coleman's men on this showing, with livelier and hungrier Wolves full value for their win despite never reallygetting out of second gear. 

Indeed after Ince's well-worked opener Fulham took it upon themselves to gift their opponents the second with both Carlos Bocanegra and Ian Pearce guilty of defensive howlers to cue up the simplest of chances for Cort. 

Wolves - boosted by the return of Henri Camara - started tenaciously with Alex Rae once again at the centre of everything. His clever back heel enabled Kenny Miller to bring the game's first save out of Edwin van der Sar after five minutes. 

Luis Boa Morte and Malbranque occasionally threatened to stretch the Wolves full-backs but such was the paucity of their threat in the centre that the home side were seldom put in danger. Ince seized his chance to fire low to van der Sar's right after Rae cleverly headed on Mark Clyde's high ball to the edge of the box.

Camara excited the fans twice in the next five minutes but once again failed to add to his poor goal scoring tally. His first shot hit Bocanegra and squirted up over the bar, and his next rising effort was caught by the Fulham keeper. Mark Kennedy almost caught the visitors napping with a quick free-kick before Fulham's first real chance on the half-hour. 

Pearce was left unmarked at the far post for Sean Davis' free-kick but poked his shot into the side-netting. At the other end Cort put Miller clean through but van der Sar reacted superbly to save his shot with an acrobatic save at close range. 

Wolves continued to press with Paul Butler's goal-bound effort deflected out for a corner by Bocanegra in the 35th minute. Brian McBride's fine volley six minutes from the break was saved well by Wolves keeper Paul Jones and Pearce headed over in first-half injury time suggesting a second half revival might be on the cards for the visitors. 

But five minutes after the interval Fulham's threatened comeback appeared to have ground to a halt in the most ridiculous manner. 

Camara charged down a sloppy clearance from Bocanegra then Pearce nudged the ball straight into Cort's path. And the former Newcastle man kept his cool to prod the ball past van der Sar and out of reach of the frantically back-pedalling Pearce. 

Wolves were almost home and dry in the 71st minute when an Ince rocket cannoned off the underside of the bar and down onto the goal line. Ince's follow-up header was well saved by the Fulham keeper but at that moment Wolves' points seemed to be in the bag. 

Sylvain Legwinski shot wide and Sean Davis scooped a simple chance over the bar. But Wolves were still left to live on their nerves when Malbranque finally hit the target for Fulham eight minutes from time. 

Boa Morte cut in from the right and hit a low shot which Jones could only parry into the path of the Londoners' inspirational midfielder. Jones was forced to save late from Davis during the visitors' dramatic late push.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 21 February 2004
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Molineux, Wolverhampton
Attendance: 28,424

Referee: Howard Webb

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Line-up: Jones; Clyde, Craddock, Butler, Naylor; Camara, Ince, Rae, Kennedy; Cort (Cameron 90'), Miller (Ganea 78')

Unused substitutes: Oakes, Luzhny, Iversen

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight (Djetou 74'), Pearce, Bocanegra; Malbranque, Davis, Legwinski, Boa Morte; McBride, Hayles (Petta 67')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Green, Inamoto

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 26 64
2 Manchester United 26 57
3 Chelsea 26 55
4 Newcastle United 26 41
5 Charlton Athletic 26 40
6 Liverpool 25 38
7 Aston Villa 25 36
8 Fulham 26 35
9 Birmingham City 24 35
10 Bolton Wanderers 26 34
11 Tottenham Hotspur 25 33
12 Southampton 26 32
13 Middlesbrough 25 31
14 Manchester City 26 27
15 Blackburn Rovers 26 27
16 Everton 26 26
17 Portsmouth 25 23
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 23
19 Leicester City 25 21
20 Leeds United 26 21
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2)
  • Paul Jones
  • 2Mark Clyde
  • 6Jody Craddock
  • Paul Butler
  • 18Lee Naylor
  • 27Henri Camara
  • 8Paul Ince
  • Alex Rae
  • 39Mark Kennedy
  • 9Carl Cort
  • 9Kenny Miller
Substitutes
  • 1Michael Oakes
  • Oleg Luzhny
  • 10Colin Cameron
  • Ioan Viorel Ganea
  • Steffen Iversen
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 15Barry Hayles
Substitutes
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 26Adam Green
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 26Bobby Petta