County are caught out by Zamora

Fulham 4 Notts County 0

Don't be fooled. Bar the last 20 minutes, this scoreline, if not the result, flattered Fulham. However, the upshot is that there is no team from the bottom division of the Football League in the FA Cup quarter-finals, something that may have bruised the hearts of football romantics on Valentine's Day.

Still, Notts County left Craven Cottage with their dignity intact, no mean feat given the turmoil that has surrounded the club since last summer. They face the High Court – an even tougher opponent than Fulham – a week on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill.

Sven Goran Eriksson ended his seven-month affair with County last week and the Swede left with his dignity also intact, if not his wallet, having promised not to pursue what he claims is £2.5m in compensation owed to him. He is, of course, rich enough not to need even that amount of money.

He told caretaker manager Dave Kevan that Fulham could be beaten, which perhaps proves he has spent too much time away from the top flight of English football. It is nice the former England manager is still in touch with Kevan and he is promised a warm reception when he next returns to the black-and-white half of Nottinghamshire. But given Eriksson prefers the warmer climes of Portugal and Italy, that reunion almost certainly won't occur on Wednesday, when County, who occupy the last play-off place in League Two, renew their push for promotion by hosting Grimsby Town.

If Kevan keeps his team where they are, the national stadium, and the play-offs in May, may yet be their destiny. Yet it was the home support, not the impressively vocal 4,500 visiting fans, who were singing "we're going to Wembley" after Bobby Zamora's goal gave Fulham their second goal and an advantage they were never likely to squander. Of course, that song doesn't quite have the ring it used to, given the semi-finals are played at the new stadium, but reaching the last four would still be quite an achievement for Roy Hodgson's men.

Yet the Fulham manager admitted his players would be suffering from Wembley nerves in their quarter-final, where they have managed to avoid Chelsea, but will still have a tough assignment at home against either Tottenham or Bolton. Hodgson said: "It would mean a lot to us. It would be a major step forward in the progression at this club. Come the quarter- final we will be motivated and will badly want the result."

Hodgson had paid County a lot of respect with the team he picked, including Damien Duff and Zamora. At Craven Cottage on Thursday, Fulham will face a daunting opponent in the last 32 of the Europa League – they host Shakhtar Donetsk, the winners of last season's Uefa Cup – so Hodgson must sense this competition represents as good a chance as any for his side to enjoy some success this season.

Not that Fulham started off like a team capable of reaching its first Cup final since 1975. Kevan's side, featuring the experience of Lee Hughes in attack and Jamie Clapham, once of Birmingham and Ipswich, in midfield, stifled their hosts for the first 20 minutes, and even managed the first serious shot on goal. After 17 minutes, Ben Davies tried his luck from 25 yards, forcing Mark Schwarzer to tip over. Davies was a constant threat and Kevan rightly thought his players' efforts deserved to see County leave London with at least one goal.

But after 22 minutes, it was Davies's namesake, Simon, who put Fulham ahead. Danny Murphy passed over the top and the Wales winger steered his shot low past Kaspar Schmeichel. Four minutes before the interval, the hosts were able to relax; David Elm flicked a pass to Zamora and the forward notched his 13th goal of the season.

The second half was more routine for Fulham, despite Ben Davies's best efforts for County. Zamora found Duff and the Irish winger beat Schmeichel at his near post. As the game wore on, County began to unravel, allowing Stefano Okaka, the loan signing from Roma, to beat his marker and pick his spot for his first goal for the club.

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Baird, A Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey; Duff (Riise, 75), Etuhu, Murphy (Greening, 70), S Davies; Zamora (Okaka, 75), Elm. Substitutes not used: Zuberbuhler (gk), Nevland, Stoor, Smalling.

Notts County (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Thompson, Edwards, Hunt, Jackson; Clapham (Rodgers, 62); Westcarr (Hawley, 85), Ravenhill, Bishop, B Davies; L Hughes (Hamshaw, 85). Substitutes not used: Hoult (gk), Lee, Fairclough, Akinbiyi.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

Man of the Match: Zamora.

Attendance: 16,132.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power