First half strikes from Simon Morgan and John Salako secured Fulham’s safe passage into the second round of the League Cup tonight as the Londoners eased past Cardiff City 4-2 on aggregate.
Having come from behind to beat the Bluebirds 2-1 at Craven Cottage, Kevin Keegan’s men knew that a strong start would be essential at Ninian Park. Salako continued his fine start to his Fulham career since signing on a free transfer over the summer by improvising an excellent acrobatic finish after Dirk Lehmann had helped Rufus Brevett’s cross into the winger’s path midway through the first half.
Veteran Morgan made it two fifteen minutes later with a drive from the edge of the area after Cardiff had struggled to clear Steve Hayward’s corner. Cardiff did grab a consolation goal five minutes from time when former Fulham favourite Jeff Eckhardt stole in to head home a deflected cross from Mark Delaney but Fulham’s comfortably progress had been assured by their first half finishing.
CARDIFF CITY (4-3-3): Hallworth; Delaney, Phillips (Eckhardt 45), Young, Mitchell; Bonner, Carpenter, Fowler; Nugent, Roberts (O’Sullivan 45), Williams (Earnshaw 74). Subs (not used): Kelly.
GOAL: Eckhardt (86).
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Uhlenbeek, Brevett, Symons, Coleman; Bracewell, Morgan, Hayward, Salako; Lehmann (Moody 59), Beardsley (Peschisolido 67). Subs (not used): Arendse, Neilson, S. McAnespie.
GOALS: Salako (22), Morgan (37).
REFEREE: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).