Football: Ince kills off Fulham's resistance

Liverpool 3 Fulham 1

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).

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week