Fulham smashed poor old Darlington for six at Craven Cottage as they extended their advantage at the top of the Third Division in style this afternoon.
The Whites, with Paul Parker back at the club where his illustrious career began, took the lead in the eighteenth minute when Rob Scott emphatically volleyed home and should have extended their lead before the break but top scorer Mike Conroy missed a glorious chance from two yards out before also being denied by a smart save from visiting goalkeeper Paul Newell.
Scott should have grabbed his second of the afternoon four minutes into the second half but spooned a shot over the bar with only Newell to beat. Darlington threatened an equaliser when Robbie Blake run through on the Fulham goalkeeper but Tony Lange dived at the nippy winger’s feet to quell any danger.
The Whites made the game safe with two goals in the space of three minutes. Richard Carpenter beat three defenders before drilling in an excellent finish from the edge of the area and Danny Cullip scored his first senior goal connecting with a cross from Paul Watson. Micky Adams’ men then gave the full-time score a more resounding look by scoring three more in the final eight minutes.
Substitute Paul Brooker enjoyed running at a tiring Darlington defence. He set up a goal for Darren Freeman within a minute of coming off the bench, before firing in the fifth himself. The talented younger winger then laid on another goal for Conroy, who finally got his name on the scoresheet with an audacious chip over a disconsolate Newell from fully third yards out in the last minute of normal time.
FULHAM (5-3-2): Lange; Watson, Herrera, Parker (Thomas 74), Angus, Cullip; Cockerill (Brooker 81), Carpenter, Morgan (Freeman 68); Conroy, Scott.
GOALS: Scott (16), Carpenter (60), Cullip (63), Freeman (82), Brooker (88), Conroy (89).
DARLINGTON (4-4-2) Newell; Shaw, Brumwell, Laws, Oliver; Blake, Robers, Naylor (Twynham 57), Brydon, Byrne (Barnard 64), Hope.