Get out of jail

Thursday 10 January 2002

Fulham used their Get Out Of Jail card to great effect on Tuesday night, Steve Marlet's equaliser two minutes from time denying Wycombe yet another Cup giant-killing coup to add to their impressive tally. Marlet, still not match fit and clearly struggling to come to terms with the pace of the game, has now scored two "sniffer's" goals in two and bit matches, raising hopes that this is indeed the six-yard box predator that the Whites need to finish off their fantastic approach play.

Substitute Sean Davis almost won the game for the visitors with a pile driver from the edge of the box, but a superlative save from Wycombe's Fatty Taylor booked a replay for next Tuesday at the Cottage. The Wanderer's willingness to chase and harry meant that Fulham were never given the chance to settle and play their normal assured passing game. Even so, their usual profligacy in front of goal meant several good chances to wrap up the game were spurned.

This was a cracking Cup-Tie; end to end stuff, plenty of chances and lots of incident. Wycombe fans must have gone home happy that their team had given a Premiership side such a good run for their money. Well, most of them did, but a scan through their various message boards shows that they can have a moan with the best of them. Here is a selection of some of the best.

Chairgirl kicked off:

"Didn't they play well. To lose the lead and draw in the dying minutes, it wasn't fair. Well done to all the fans who turned out for the team. Lets hope we can take a good crowd next week."

JellyTott agreed:

"We didn't get stuffed, just so unlucky the last 15min we couldn't hold it 2 - 1. Certainly, 15 million don't show much compared to WWFC, blah to Fulham. Jockie (Jermaine McSporran) man of the match, Taylor also, brill save in the closing mins, a tap over the x bar... Just a bit p*ssed off with the traffic, missed the hi lites on the beeb."

Garethsm also raised the subject of Fulham's wealth, something that always seems to add to everyone's pleasure when things don't go the White's way:"Once again the boys showed everyone what Wycombe are made of. It was just a shame that we let them have a sloppy goal at the end, because for the rest of the match, Fulham's millions may as well have been pennies. "I look forward to the replay at Craven Cottage - and I will be there! Looking forward, if we can get past Fulham, then neither Grimsby nor York should really pose a problem... beyond that, I'd love a fifth round tie at Old Trafford! Jockie would make Laurent Blanc realises his age, that's for sure!"Not everyone seemed to think so highly of McSporran however. Brains is clearly not a great lover of the man:

"Sell McSporran. If someone bids £400,000 or more we should jump at it. He may have been on fire last night but one game a player does not make. The McSporran I see does have pace, but rarely looks confident when thru one on one, doesn't know what runs to make when playing upfront, misses a hell of a lot of chances, and ALWAYS looks for freekicks/throw-ons/penalties (without diving I hasten to add) rather than attempt to go it alone and actually take the responsibility upon himself."

Interesting point about the diving. I suspect that if McSporran had been called Boa Morte he would have been sent off last night. Badger likes him though:

"He's a match winner and you don't get many of those. He made a multi-million pound, international defence look like idiots last night, he won us a penalty, scored us a goal, almost charged down a clearance to score [which made their keeper nervous for the rest of the game] and still people want to concentrate on the negatives."

There's those millions again. And here's Slag:

"Great performance against "better" opposition. Jockey was his frustrating worst and best but I thought that Rogers deserved the Man of the Match."

Better opposition? What does that mean? Better than what? Boots was pleased anyway:

"I think the players proved they are one of the most spirited teams in the country. Thanks to them again for giving us another memorable night & I hope they are on a proper cup bonus scheme this year, there is no team that deserves it more. My only disappointment, having spent all this seasons transfer funds on wide players was the lack of wing play from either Currie or Roberts. Also the Woodlands were in terrific voice. Listening from the Syan stand, I thought they made more noise than the terrace."

JLHM couldn't make it to the game, but enjoyed it on the telly:

"I saw Match of the Day (nice to see Hansen giving us some decent credit), and it looks like we played very well indeed. Just a shame that Rammell and McCarthy aggravated their injuries - I hope that they aren't out for too long. Clearly it's going to be tough at Craven Cottage, but maybe we can better the win in the Autoglass Trophy back in 1994, and the 4-4 draw in the League Cup in 1997. Here's hoping. Might well be a struggle on Saturday though. It's a game we could really do with winning, and the absences aren't going to help."

Captain Scarlet wasn't such a happy bunny though:

"Great performance and good result, but can't help feeling it could have been even better. Lawrie's admitted that he was already thinking of the next round, which must explain his attitude in the last ten minutes. Why did we try to sit on the 2-1? Why did he take Ruby off for Jesus when we were doing a good containing job as we were? If anything I would have thought that Stu Roberts would have been a better bet to help us break out further up the field. Seems a shame to gripe about these details after such a good game, but let's face it, we should have won the game."

That brought a swift response from JLHM:

"Isn't it great to see us moaning about failing to beat a team in the top half of the Premiership table."

And pleng route (where do they get these names?):

"Oh do stop bloody moaning."

Captain Scarlet defended himself:

"It's not moaning, just frustration at Lawrie's strange tactics. Before the tie he said that Fulham were the purest passing team in the Premiership, so what do we do when we're 2-1 up? Yep, try to sit on it and invite them on to us. I wouldn't swap Lawrie for the world, but I don't understand him sometimes."

Le gropenut was short and to the point:

"Most pathetic away support ever at Adams Park?"

Not quite sure which particular pathetic aspect he was referring to there. Spartan said:

"Well done. You made us proud."

Which was nice, and Sumo was equally pleased:

"Just a year or so ago, we would have been dining out for ages on a result like that. But now we expect to beat anyone in the cup! And I think we were unlucky not to win. I didn't see Hayles push Rogers, but it was clearly a push on MOTD. Fantastic performance though - by the lads and the crowd! Has our chance gone? Maybe, but the more that go next week the better our chances. Look what Bristol Rovers did when they took 7,000 + to Derby! And need I remind people what we did at Selhurst Park with the backing of 4,500 vociferous fans?!"

And finally, a nice point from Mr Angry:

"Great result - and dead unlucky not to hold on at the end! Also, the contrast between tonight and Sunday with regard to the behaviour of the respective fans could not have been greater. All the best for the replay."

Hear, hear!