At least we're not almost in the relegation zone anymore! Nikolay Bodurov and Cauley Woodrow's first half goals helped secure a home win against league leaders Derby County.
Not to say that Derby didn't try though, with close efforts from Darren Bent (boo!) and Tom Ince, to mention a couple. The visitors started off well early in the first half, with Bent (boo again!) getting a shot that went wide, while on the other half of the pitch, Craig Forsyth blocked a shot from our own Lasse Vigen Christensen. Another chance for the Cottagers came in the ninth minute when Ross McCormack took a shot on goal from 25 yards out, but unfortunately the shot made it's way straight across the net and out for a goal kick.
Fulham opened the scoring at 1-0 in the 30th minute, after a set of Fulham corners allowed Bryan Ruiz to move into space and fire off a shot at goal, which was deflected by Cyrus Christie, the ball landing in the path of Nikolay Bodurov, who volleyed into the top left corner, out of the reach of Derby keeper Lee Grant. The second goal for the home side came just a minute before halftime, when Scott Parker managed to dispossess Derby midfielder Will Hughes. Parker then passed through to Ross McCormack, the Scotsman crossing to the far post to find Cauley Woodrow, whose close range header again found it's way past Grant, making it 2-0 at the half for the home side.
Steve McClaren brought Christie and midfielder Jesse Lingard (on loan from Manchester United) off, replacing them with Johnny Russell and Jake Buxton, while Kit Symons put Sean Kavanagh on to replace an unfortunately injured Christensen toward the end of the previous half. The visitors tried their hardest to get back into the game, with Bent and Ryan Shotton both putting in headers which were both off target. Attempts also came from the hosts, with Woodrow getting a shot off that quite literally hit a wall of Derby players. McClaren made another substitution, this time replacing Bent with Craig Bryson, with cheers coming from the home fans. McCormack's effort was blocked. Thomas Ince's high shot was picked out of the air by Bettinelli. Jeff Hendrick's header was also saved. Ince's 25-yard free kick hit the wall, and Russell shot over the net as the game began to reach it's end. Moussa Dembele was bought on in the 86th minute, recieving a standing ovation from the home fans. He almost made it 3-0, but his drive at goal hit the crossbar. Dembele flicked a cross from Tunniclife, it went wide and the final whistle blew for the Whites' first win in 6 league games.
Hopefully the team will keep it up on Tuesday when they visit Vicarage Road to face Watford. COYW!