McCormack gives Fulham derby victory

Brentford 0 Fulham 1

Ross McCormack scored his first goal for Fulham to give them a hard-fought derby victory and take them into the third round of the Capital One Cup.

He also eased the pressure on boss Felix Magath, whose side came into the first meeting between these two west London neighbours since April 1998 having lost all four of their Championship matches this season.

McCormack has been out of sorts and under scrutiny since his big-money move from Leeds in the summer, but he looked much sharper at Griffin Park and his goal midway through the second half was beautifully taken.

Brentford played their part in a full-blooded, entertaining game with no lack of quality, and both teams created openings in a first half full of attempts on goal.

The best opportunity fell to Cauley Woodrow but he fired wastefully over from 10 yards out after being found by Chris David, who had earlier crossed for Tim Hoogland to head over.

McCormack then saw a header saved by Bees keeper David Button, who also kept out an effort from Hoogland.

At the other end, keeper Marcus Bettinelli, making his debut, saved well from Jota after a cleverly worked free-kick had wrong-footed the Fulham defence.

And moments before the interval, Jota’s stinging shot from eight yards out whizzed through Bettinelli’s hands and struck the near post.

The second half was open too, but with fewer clear-cut chances.

Brentford made the early running and Moses Odubajo’s low cross just evaded Nick Proschwitz.

Fulham responded with spell of pressure that eventually led to them taking the lead.

David fired over and McCormack then found the net after racing on to Kay Voser’s long ball forward but had strayed offside.

But there was no doubt about McCormack’s cool finish on 67 minutes, the striker calmly slotting into the far corner of the net after exchanging passes with David.

The impressive David then created another chance, this time for Woodrow, who shot wide after collecting the Dutchman’s pass.

Brentford, bright and inventive early on, seemed to run out of ideas.

The home fans’ frustration increased when they felt Fulham defender Dan Burn handled Andre Gray’s late cross.

And their final chance fell to Tommy Smith, who was unable to keep his shot down.

Brentford (4-1-4-1): Button; Odubajo, Tarkowski, Dean, Bidwell; Tebar; Dallas, Toral (Diagouraga 63), Jota (Gray 73), Smith; Proschwitz (Hogan 73). 
Subs not used: Bonham, O’Shaughnessy, Reeves, Moore.

Fulham (4-4-2): Bettinelli; Voser, Hutchinson, Burn, Stafylidis; Hoogland, R. Williams, Parker (Fotheringham 45 (Eisfield 68)), David (Bodurov (86); Woodrow, McCormack.
Subs not used: Joronen, Roberts, Chihi, Dembèlè.

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