Kevin Cooper scored the winner as Stockport County inflicted Fulham’s first away defeat of the season upon Paul Bracewell’s side at Edgley Park this afternoon.
County made a dream start as Ian Thomas-Moore twisted and turned away from Simon Morgan on the right wing before his cross was deflected past a helpless Maik Taylor into the top corner in the fourth minute. The home side doubled their lead midway through the first half when the Cottagers failed to defend a long throw from Mike Flynn. Fulham missed two chances to clear before former Wolves and Wimbledon midfielder Cooper drilled a low shot through a forest of legs from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
Debutant Danny Cadamarteri, who arrived at Craven Cottage on loan from Everton in the week in an attempt to solve Fulham’s injury crisis up front, did halve their arrears midway through the second half. He had already drawn a superb save from Carlo Nash with a dipping volley from distance before converting a flick on from Wayne Collins after a deep cross from Rufus Brevett. The visitors pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t complete their comeback despite sustained late pressure.
Boss Bracewell took a phlegmatic view of the defeat during his post-match press conference:
“It’s only our second defeat in 20 games so we’ll dust ourselves down and hope we can go on from here. I was pleased with Danny’s performance. He looked sharp and looks like he can do us a good job.”
STOCKPORT COUNTY (4-4-2): Nash; Flynn, Connelly, McIntosh, Woodthorpe; Dining, Cooper, Allen, Byrne (Gannon 79); D’Jaffo, Thomas-Moore (Wilbraham 90). Subs (not used): Bergersen, Smith, Gray.
GOALS: Thomas-Moore (4), Cooper (22).
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Morgan (Uhlenbeek 45), Brevett, Symons, Coleman; Davis (W. Collins 45), Hayward, Trollope, Clark; Riedle, Cadamarteri. Subs (not used): Hahnemann, Melville, Selley.
BOOKED: Riedle, Cadamarteri.
GOAL: Cadamarteri (66).
REFEREE: Trevor Jones (Barrow-in-Furness).