Braces from both Muamer Tankovic and Moussa Dembele saw Fulham’s Under 18s bounce back from their FA Youth Cup exit by putting five past Southampton at Motspur Park this morning.
Huw Jenkins’ side were quickly into their stride and took an early lead through Patrick Roberts, who kept his composure to steer home the opener after unselfish approach play from Swedish striker Tankovic. The former IFK Norrköping forward doubled the hosts’ lead, starting and finishing a clinical counter-attack from a Saints corner, in another eye-catching display.
Southampton were gifted a way back into the game three minutes before half time. Goalkeeper Max Oberschmidt badly misjudged a cross from Tom Leggett and Jason McCarthy halved Saints’ arrears with a simple header. A tight second half saw Southampton see more of the ball and put Fulham under sustained pressure, but late defensive mistakes cost them dear. Fulham scored a crucial third from the penalty spot after Dembele capitalised an under-hit backpass and was brought down by goalkeeper Chris Jones. Tankovic calmly converted the spot-kick.
Fulham put a far more convincing gloss on the scoreline by scoring twice in stoppage time. First, Dembele headed his second of the afternoon before Jordan Evans dribbled his way past a couple of defenders and fired in a low shot from the edge of the area. Jenkins admitted afterwards that the ‘scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection on the game’ but the five-goal show will certainly boost morale ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Everton.