Substitute Rob Scott scored twice in the last six minutes to steal all three points for Fulham in a five-goal thriller at Bristol Rovers this afternoon.
Fulham, who had led for much of the match through a brilliant volley from Richard Carpenter, looked to be heading for defeat when a second half brace from Gary Penrice looked to have turned the tide in favour of the hosts. But Scott, a half time replacement for the ineffectual Paul Peschisolido, popped up with a pair of crucial goals to end Fulham’s five-match winless run in dramatic style at the death.
His first league goal of the season – a brilliant diving header from Carpenter’s right-wing cross – brought the visitors level with six minutes of the ninety remaining. But Scott, one of the unsung heroes of Micky Adams’ promotion-winning side last year, then guided a low finish past a disconsolate Andy Collett in the Rovers’ goal in the very last minute after Ian Holloway’s side had failed to clear substitute Paul Watson’s set-piece. Simon Morgan challenged for the ball twice and Neil Smith set up Scott to score the winner.
The Whites had began brightly and went in front eight minutes before half time when Carpenter crashed home a magnificent strike from 35 yards after Paul Moody’s header had sat up nicely for him to hit over Collett. But Fulham’s defensive frailties resurfaced in the second half. Penrice powered home a header after being allowed to run unattended onto a Matt Lockwood corner at the near post and the in-form forward lashed home a cut-back from Barry Hayles to the delight of the home fans. Their joy didn’t last thanks to Scott’s late, late intervention.
BRISTOL ROVERS: Collett; Tillson, White, Foster; Pritchard, Lockwood (Ramasut 74), Holloway, Penrice, Alsop, Hayles, Cureton. Subs (not used): Hayfield, French.
GOALS: Penrice (60, 78).
FULHAM: Arendse; Morgan, Blake, Lawrence; Smith, Herrera, Bracewell, Hayward (Watson 74), Carpenter; Moody, Peschisoldio (Scott 45). Subs (not used): Thomas.
BOOKED: Moody, Smith, Lawrence.
GOALS: Carpenter (37), Scott (84, 90).
REFEREE: Mike Jones (Chester).