Tom Donegan’s first half penalty was enough to continue Fulham’s Reserve side’s bright start to the season as they saw off a young Wolves side yesterday afternoon at Motspur Park.
The visitors had to play most of this Premier Reserve League tie, which was played behind closed doors at Fulham’s training ground, with ten men after goalkeeper Aaron McCarey was dismissed for bringing down Swedish winger Alex Kacaniklic inside the box. The former Liverpool man was freed by a fine pass from Josh Pritchard and looked set to round the goalkeeper before he was sent crashing to the turf three minutes before the break. Donegan, a summer signing from Everton, calmly converted the penalty – sending substitute goalkeeper Aljaz Cotman the wrong way from the spot.
The home side had already spurned decent chances to take the lead. Kacaniklic’s early 30-yarder lacked the power necessary to unduly trouble McCarey before Rafik Halliche guided Pritchard’s fine free-kick wide of the far post. Wolves were much improved in the second period, seeing plenty of the ball despite their numerical disadvantage. They pressed for an equaliser as the game entered the closing stages and a terrific save from Marcus Bettinelli prevented teenage striker Jake Cassidy from stealing a point.
The victory moves Fulham up to second in the Southern Reserve League table, although they are some seven points behind early pacesetters West Brom. Billy McKinlay’s side face Arsenal at London Colney next Monday, with the game kicking off at 1.30pm.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Bettinelli; Dean (Brister 56), Halliche (Banga 80), Burn, Kavanagh (Banya 63); Pritchard, Harris, Donegan, Kacaniklic; Trotta, Woodrow. Subs (not used): Smith, O’Reilly.
GOAL: Donegan (pen 43).
WOLVES (4-4-2): McCarey; Kostrna, Ihiekwe, Ebanks-Landell, Reckord; Winnall, Price, Forde, Hemmings; Cassidy, Spray. Subs: Cotman, Ismail, McAlinden, Whittall, Bashford.