Paul Peschisolido scored another hat-trick as Fulham thrashed Carlisle United 5-0 at Craven Cottage in the sparkling Easter sunshine at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
The Canadian striker, whose goals have proved pivotal in keeping the Whites’ dreams of promotion from the Second Division alive since he made a £1.1m move from West Bromwich Albion in October, gave Ray Wilkins’ side the lead as early as the eighth minute. Released by a searching pass from strike partner Paul Moody, Peschisolido galloped clear of the visiting defence, skipped round Tony Caig and shot high into the unguarded net.
Moody was provider for Fulham’s second shortly before half-time. The former Oxford forward climbed highest at the back post to nod Paul Bracewell’s cross down for Peschisolido, who pounced from inside the six-yard box having read the flick on quicker than the Carlisle defenders. Moody made it a hat-trick of assists when he laid on Peschisolido’s third by flicking on a kick from Maik Taylor and the million-pound man lifted a deft finish over Caig before being given a standing ovation by the home fans as he was substituted shortly after scoring his thirteenth goal of the season. Carlisle’s cause – already a hopeless one – was hardly helped when Tony Hopper was sent off for a professional foul and things went for bad to worse for the the Cumbrians in the last twenty minutes.
Moody got a deserved goal from the penalty spot after being brought down as he sought to connect with Paul Trollope’s left-wing cross. The striker picked dusted himself down and drilled in his fourteenth goal of the campaign with real venom. It was left to substitute Tony Thorpe to complete Carlisle’s misery four minutes later with fine right-footed after the former Luton striker had fashioned space for himself with some fancy footwork inside the Carlisle penalty area.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Blake, Coleman; Bracewell (Trollope 62), Smith, Beardsley, W. Collins (Brazier 45); Moody, Peschisolido (Thorpe 51).
GOALS: Peschisolido (8, 42, 50), Moody (pen 72), Thorpe (76).
CARLISLE UNITED (3-4-3): Caig; Foster, Pounewatchy, Varty; Hopper, Prokas, Cousins, Anthony; Wright, Stevens (Milligan 74), Smart. Subs (not used): Hughes, McAlindon.
BOOKED: Vart, Milligan, Smart.
SENT OFF: Hopper.
REFEREE: Rob Styles (Hampshire).