Third Division Fulham furthered their fine start to the new season by holding First Division Ipswich Town to a draw in the first leg of their League Cup second round tie at Craven Cottage this evening.
Micky Adams’ spirited side could count themselves unfortunate not to take an advantage into the second leg at Portman Road after they were denied a famous win by a speculator strike from Town midfielder Simon Milton. That cancelled out an early volley from Fulham skipper Simon Morgan, who punished a poor clearance from the Ipswich defence in just the third minute, and the Whites could easily have been further in front by half time.
The Division Three leaders rued a poor finish from Darren Freeman, who somehow contrived to lift a cross from Mike Conroy over the bar from barely a yard out. Ipswich did improve as the half went on with home goalkeeper Mark Walton, given a rare start ahead of Tony Lange, saving smartly from Steve Sedgley and James Scowcroft.
Ipswich made more of the running in the second half and substitute Tony Vaughan headed against the crossbar just after the interval. Fulham held out until the 77th when Milton drove a superb finish into the far corner from fully thirty yards out and that changed the complexion of the contest. Walton made a magnificent save shortly afterwards to tip over a drive from distance by Claus Thomsen as George Burley’s side finished the stronger.
FULHAM: Walton; Cullip (Scott 80), Angus, Blake; Watson, Herrera, Cockerill, Cusack, Morgan; Freeman, Conroy. Subs (not used): McAree, Brooker.
GOAL: Morgan (4).
IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Forrest; Thomson, Tarrico (Vaughan 45), Uhlenbeek (Gregory 72); Milton, Stockwell, Williams (Naylor 65), Sedgley, Wark; Scowcroft, Mathie.
GOAL: Milton (77).
REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Orpington).