Football: Ince kills off Fulham's resistance
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 28 October 1998
IT WAS not destined to be a triumphant return to Anfield for Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley, but Fulham were by no means disgraced in going out of the Worthington Cup to the club for whom they both played with such distinction.
It took an unlucky own goal and a penalty to begin the process of turning an unconvincing Liverpool performance into a winning one. In-between, Fulham claimed the goal of the match from its most enterprising player, Paul Peschisolido, and that was the least they deserved for a thoroughly creditable effort.
Keegan, confined to a more static role than usual by his recent neck operation, had nothing to be ashamed of in the display of his current side. Beardsley, almost as big a favourite with the Kop, was hailed as a hero whenever he began warming up. He was brought off the bench for the last few minutes, but by then his side was out of contention.
For a long time, however, Fulham's assumptions that Liverpool had turned the corner by putting five past Nottingham Forest at the weekend looked distinctly premature. Their five across the back proved harder to break down than Forest had been and, particularly in Peschisolido, they had the pace and tenacity to unsettle the Liverpool defence.
It took Simon Morgan's misfortune to set the home side on their way. David Thompson, one of Liverpool's occasionals given a Worthington Cup outing, had a lively game, but his shot from outside the area eight minutes into the second half hardly looked likely to find a way through. But it looped wickedly off Morgan's outstretched boot to leave Maik Taylor completely stranded - the stroke of luck Liverpool needed to lift the growing pressure.
Peschisolido's response was one of the best goals Anfield will see this season. The Canadian appeared to be going nowhere when he sized up his chances from beyond the angle of the penalty area, but he unleashed a magnificent dipping left-footer that found Brad Friedel's top corner.
The score stayed level for just three minutes. Michael Owen took on the Fulham defence before he was tripped by Gus Uhlenbeek, who had earlier cleared a Paul Ince header off the Fulham line. Robbie Fowler, who scored all five when these sides last met in this competition, tucked away the penalty.
Fulham still looked capable of getting back on terms until Ince, a driving force and a threat in the air all night, put it beyond doubt by meeting Steve Staunton's free-kick and giving Taylor equally little chance.
Liverpool's joint manager, Gerard Houllier, was realistic enough to acknowledge that it had not been "a comfortable performance".
"We have to give credit to Kevin's team," he said. "They were very well organised and difficult to beat. We knew we had to keep the pace and tempo in the game; in the long run they would leave some space and make a mistake."
Liverpool (4-4-2): Friedel; McAteer, Carragher, Staunton, Bjornebye; Thompson, Ince, Murphy (Harkness, 73), Berger; Fowler, Owen (Dundee, 83). Substitutes not used: James (gk), Kvarme, Riedle.
Fulham (5-3-2): Taylor; Uhlenbeek, Coleman, Morgan, Symons, Brevett; Davis (Smith, 89), Collins, Haywood; Lehmann (Betsy, 83), Peschisolido (Beardsley, 83). Substitutes not used: Neilson, Arendse (gk).
Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Luke Shaw arrives a week early for Manchester United pre-season training after cutting short post-World Cup holiday
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Brazil vs Netherlands World Cup 2014: A history of the third-place play-offs
Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Liverpool and Barca confirm the striker has been sold in £75m, five-year transfer
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...