Stephen Humphrys bagged a brace as Fulham put five past Cobh Ramblers to kickstart their pre-season tour of Ireland in fine style.
Luca de la Torre, Matt Smith and Michael Madl were also on the scoresheet as Slavisa Jokanovic’s young side eased to a comfortable victory at Fota Island.
The Championship side went in front on eight minutes when Humphys and Smith combined effectively to open up the Cobh defence. Humphys proved a willing channel running and whipped a dangerous cross in for Smith to attack with de la Torre on hand to caress a finish home from close range. The promising American midfielder continued to buzz dangerously around the penalty area, finding Jack Grimmer in space down the right and although the Scottish full back’s cross was half cleared, a 30-yard effort from Sean Kavanagh only just cleared the crossbar.
Fulham went two up just after the quarter an hour mark. Kavanagh’s teasing cross from the left caused all sorts of problems for the Cobh defence and was spilled by the goalkeeper allowing Smith to swoop in and stab home the loose ball. Kavanagh, enjoyed an excellent return to his homeland, provided the third as well with a delicious cross for Humphys, whose glanced a downward header perfectly into the bottom right corner.
Humphyrs showed just how keen he was to impress Jokanovic with a sublime individual finish from 20 yards seven minutes later. His powerful volley dipped viciously and would have beaten most goalkeepers – it was a phenomenal strike from a forward more associated with brawn than beauty. Smith might have added a fifth before half time but his powerful header clipped the outside of the post.
Only Dennis Adeniran survived the surfeit of half time chances and the pace of Ryan Fredericks and Ryan Sessegnon caused serious problems for the Ramblers after the interval. Fulham’s teenage left back beat three tacklers with a storming run but his cut back only just eluded Cauley Woodrow, who had a speculative shot blocked at source moments later.
A fifth followed eventually, however. Tom Cairney whipped in a wonderful cross and Madl soared highest to head home from six yards, capping an encouraging cameo from the Austrian centre back, who might have added another in the closing stages but he thumped an effort narrowly wide after being picked out by de la Torre.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Rodak (Joronen 45); Grimmer (Fredericks 45), Ream (R. Sessegnon 45), Stearman (Madl 45), Burgess (Amorebieta 45); Edun (Tunnicliffe 45), Adeniran (Christensen 45), de la Torre, Kavanagh (Cairney 45); Smith (McCormack 45), Humphrys (Woodrow 45).
GOALS: de la Torre (9), Smith (16), Humphrys (28, 35), Madl (60).