Monday 4 April 2016, 7:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Fulham FC
Fulham U21s
Derby County U21s
Zanzala 49'

83' Yellow Card

Ian Pino Soler Card was given for a foul

55' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson
Off:Miklaj Kwietniewski

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Elijah Adebayo
Off:Dennis Adeniran

69' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Shane Elworthy
Off:Liam Donnelly

49' Goal

Offrande Zanzala

67' Yellow Card

Alex Cover Card was given for a foul

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Timi Elsnik
Off:Will Hughes

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alex Babos
Off:Callum Guy

An early second-half goal by Offrande Zanzala saw Fulham go down to a 1-0 defeat to leaders Derby at the Cottage.

An early second-half goal by Offrande Zanzala saw Fulham Under-21s go down to a 1-0 defeat to leaders Derby at the Cottage on Monday night.

Ivan Calero and Charles Vernam drew first-half saves from Jesse Joronen, while Dennis Adeniran was denied by the legs of Henrich Ravas in an even opening 45.

The Rams, though, stepped up a gear after the break and went in front when Zanzala tapped home Callum Guy’s cross.

Ian Pino Soler cleared an effort off the line soon after, before Fulham enjoyed the majority of possession but failed to find a way past a stubborn Derby backline as Peter Grant’s side slipped to defeat.

With Fulham’s First Team in action at Preston North End on Tuesday night, Grant named a young side for the game against the Rams with only Joronen and Shaun Hutchinson boasting experience at senior level.

Derby included Will Hughes in their starting XI; the England Under-21 midfielder had been sidelined since suffering a cruciate injury on the opening day of the season in August.

The Rams had the first chance of the game in the fifth minute when a corner was only half-cleared and Calero’s shot drew a save from Joronen. The rebound fell to Hughes but his effort was blocked by a Fulham defender.

At the other end, an unmarked Stephen Humphrys arrived to meet a cross from the right by Ryheem Sheckleford but got his effort all wrong and saw it go harmlessly behind.

Derby’s Vernam then burst into space down the left a couple of minutes later but his near-post drive was beaten away by Joronen.

Fulham responded in the 14th minute through Humphrys who received a pass from Luca de la Torre on the left flank, cut inside Kyron Stabana but dragged his shot wide. Moments later, de la Torre slipped Adeniran through but Ravas raced off his line to save with his legs.

The match then entered something of a lull, before Liam Donnelly tried his luck from long range in the 35th minute but his effort deflected off a Derby back and went behind. Donnelly met the resulting corner but could only send a half-volley looping into the air.

A quick Fulham breakaway in the 37th minute saw Mikolaj Kwietniewski run with the ball from deep. With options to his left and right, he went for goal but saw his shot fly narrowly wide with Ravas at full-stretch.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Adeniran won the ball from Kellan Gordon with a fine tackle. His left-footed delivery flashed across the face of goal, with no-one in a white shirt able to get on the end of it.

There were no changes by either side for the start of the second half and Alex Cover sent an early header straight at Joronen after meeting a corner from Guy.

The Rams, though, didn’t have to wait long to go in front. Guy picked up the ball and burst into the box with his low cross from the byline tapped home by Zanzala.

It was almost 2-0 to the visitors a minute later. This time Calero fizzed in a cross-shot that hit Pino Soler, the Spaniard managing to scramble the ball away from right on the line.

The Rams had really upped the tempo after the break, prompting Fulham to make their first change, Kwietniewski being substituted for Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson. Elijah Adebayo then took the place of Adeniran as Fulham went with three up front.

The first booking of the evening went the way of Cover for a foul on Donnelly in the 67th minute. The Northern Irishman needed treatment on the sidelines and after diagnosis was replaced by Shane Elworthy.

Fulham began to enjoy long spells of possession without really troubling the Derby rearguard. That was until the 81st minute when de la Torre played Adebayo in with a defence-splitting pass but Ravas came out to bravely save at the striker’s feet.

Pino Soler was booked for a late tackle on Gordon on 83, before Guy was a couple of yards wide with a skimming drive soon after. Four minutes of additional time were added on but Derby held firm for the three points.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2

Date: Monday 4 April 2016
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 356

Referee: A Degnarain

Fulham U21s

Line-up: Joronen; Sheckleford, Hutchinson, Pino Soler, Donnelly (Elworthy 69'); Smile; Adeniran (Adebayo 63'), de la Torre; Kwietniewski (Thorsteinsson 55'); Humphrys, Walker

Unused substitutes: Norman

Manager: Peter Grant

Derby County U21s

Line-up: Ravas; Stabana, Cover, Koblenz, McDonald; Hughes (Elsnik 61'), Guy (Babos 84'); Gordon, Vernam, Calero; Zanzala

Unused substitutes: Barnes, Jakobsen, Walker

Fulham U21s (4-4-2 (Diamond))
  • 1Jesse Joronen
  • 2Ryheem Sheckleford
  • 5Shaun Hutchinson
  • 6Ian Pino Soler
  • 3Liam Donnelly
  • 4Josh Smile
  • 8Dennis Adeniran
  • 7Luca de la Torre
  • 10Miklaj Kwietniewski
  • 9Stephen Humphrys
  • 11Josh Walker
  • 12Magnus Norman
  • 14Shane Elworthy
  • 15Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson
  • 16Elijah Adebayo
  • Peter Grant
Derby County U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Henrich Ravas
  • 2Kyron Stabana
  • 5Alex Cover
  • 6Tom Koblenz
  • 3Calum McDonald
  • 8Will Hughes
  • 4Callum Guy
  • 7Kellan Gordon
  • 10Charles Vernam
  • 11Ivan Calero
  • 9Offrande Zanzala
  • 12Timi Elsnik
  • 13Josh Barnes
  • 14Emil Jakobsen
  • 15Lewis Walker
  • 16Alex Babos