x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Fulham in late escape

Late goals from Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora saw Fulham safely home but not before they had been given a mighty FA Cup scare by non-League Kettering Town.

KETTERING // Late goals from Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora saw Fulham safely home but not before they had been given a mighty FA Cup scare by non-League Kettering Town. Simon Davies had fired the Barclays Premier League side ahead before Craig Westcarr levelled before the break. Danny Murphy restored the Cottagers' advantage but Westcarr struck again from the spot before the late drama in front of a capacity crowd at Rockingham Road.

A moment of class from Davies in the 12th minute put Fulham ahead. Clint Dempsey conjured up space and fired in a precise cross which Davies met so sweetly on the volley from 16 yards that Kettering goalkeeper Lee Harper could only stand and watch as it rippled his net. Davies might have had another in the 24th minute, but his header was palmed away by Harper. Kettering began to grow in confidence and what they lacked in skill they made up for in work rate with Westcarr lively down the right.

And it was Westcarr who brought Kettering level after 34 minutes as he sent a free-kick flying into Mark Schwarzer's net, although it took a deflection off the wall on the way in. Fulham manager Roy Hodgson's concern was obvious as he brought on Murphy and Zamora for Zoltan Gera and Dickson Etuhu after 68 minutes and the substitutes both played their part in the win. In the 86th minute Johnson scored a headed goal from inside the box to break the non-League side's resistance. And two minutes later Zamora found the back of the net from inside the penalty box to give Fulham a 4-2 win.

* PA Sport