Fulham 3 Ipswich 0

Wednesday 25 September 2002

Fulham 3-0 Ipswich Town

Following the reserves' magnificent display against Chelsea, Steve Kean's team swept aside last season's Premier Reserve League Southern section Champions, Ipswich Town.

The Tractor Boys started their campaign in fine form, winning both their previous reserve team matches against Leicester and Chelsea. However, they were simply unable to match Fulham on the night in a thoroughly entertaining encounter.

Fulham fielded a strong side with Lee Clark, Jon Harley, Andy Melville, John Collins and Bjarne Goldbaek having experienced fairly recent first team action.

The Whites started the game very brightly with Andrejs Stolcers, in particular, making a couple of dangerous contributions.

Holding position high up the field, Fulham were allowing the visitors very little time on the ball.

Fulham could have taken the lead as early as the 7th minute after Elvis Hammond hit a sweetly struck volley against the angle of the bar. Hammond again made himself available in the middle a few minutes later, this time only just failing to connect to an excellent Sean Doherty cross.

Fulham finally took the lead in the 20th minute through that man, Elvis Hammond. Lee Clark, who did well to win possession in midfield, played a diagonal through ball into Hammond's run. With his pace carrying him away from his marker, Elvis fired his shot under the body of Pullen.

Only a matter of seconds after the restart, Stolcers was adjudged the victim of a push in the area and the referee awarded a spot kick. Stolcers stepped up but saw his effort well saved.

The chances were now coming thick and fast. Minutes later, Stolcers fed Hammond, who was unmarked with only the 'keeper to beat. Hammond did everything right but a magnificent one-handed save from Pullen prevented a seemingly inevitable second goal.

Lee Clark soon doubled Fulham's lead with a spectacular effort on 40 minutes. After Melville nodded the ball back from a Fulham set-piece, Clark walked on to a vicious volley which flew into the top corner. 2-0 Fulham.

Right before half time Fulham struck for the third time, through Bjarne Goldbaek. Having received the ball from Hammond, Stolcers turned well on the edge of the box to play a pass across the face of goal. The Danish winger was waiting at the far post to slot home from close range.

Fulham didn't take their foot off the gas in the second half as Goldbaek almost scored a spectacular fourth. With Fulham breaking quickly, the ball was played across the face of the Ipswich penalty area to the waiting Dane, who struck a wickedly swerving shot with the outside of his right foot. Luckily for Ipswich custodian, Pullen, the ball flew inches wide of the top corner.

With almost his first touch of the match after replacing the impressive Hammond, Luke Cornwall struck the post with an acrobatic bicycle kick as Fulham searched for a fourth. But despite a series of chances, the Whites were unable to add to their half time total.

Fulham: Herrera, Rehman, Harley, Hudson, Melville, Collins, Goldbaek, Clark (Capt.), Stolcers, Hammond, Doherty

Subs used:

McAnespie on for Doherty (62)
Willock on for Stolcers (62)
Cornwall on for Hammond (62)
Att: 209