Fulham rely on sending-off to get past battling Stanley

Accrington Stanley 1 Fulham 3

This was far from the routine victory for the Premier League team that the scoreline suggests. Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, certainly accepted that his side were in trouble against their League Two opponents before Accrington were reduced to 10 men shortly before half-time.

Perhaps the extra quality of Fulham would still have edged out a full-strength Accrington team, but the exchanges before Darren Kempson's dismissal suggested otherwise.

The scores were level at 1-1 when Kempson, who had already collected a yellow card, scythed down Zoltan Gera from behind and totally changed the complexion of the tie.

John Coleman, the Accrington manager, was not happy with the performance of the referee, Stuart Attwell, but Kempson's challenge was foolish and Hodgson had little sympathy.

He said: "Red cards do change games. It is much harder than playing with 11, so you have to make sure you don't commit fouls that merit yellow cards."

The managers were more united on the way Accrington approached this formidable task. Hodgson said: "Give Accrington credit. We didn't adapt very well to the conditions at the beginning and the number of balls they whacked into our final third surprised us. They made it difficult for us to get those balls out and pinned us back for long periods."

Fulham knew even before the start that this would be no ordinary day at the Premier League office. One glance at the sloping, bumpy Crown Ground pitch and a committed crowd indicated why Hodgson had taken no chances with his team selection.

He fielded virtually his first-choice team – it was certainly stronger than the one he fields in the Europa League – and they quickly found out why Accrington are rated as one of the most improved teams in League Two. With nine minutes gone, Stanley were nearly rewarded for their tidy and intelligent approach with a shot from Michael Symes that Mark Schwarzer saved at full stretch.

The Australian keeper then produced an even better response when Sean McConville took advantage of dreadful marking by the Fulham defence. It was a hugely encouraging start for Stanley, whose financial difficulties were illustrated by a banner reading, "Love Stanley, Hate the Taxman".

Partly thanks to their Cup run, the cash crisis has eased since they were the subject of two winding-up orders last year. And those opening exchanges suggested players such as Symes and Robert Grant may generate some more income from interested clubs.

Fulham, though, went ahead with their first attack after 21 minutes. A corner was touched on by Gera and Erik Nevland was able to knock it in from close range. To their credit, Stanley responded within four minutes and Schwarzer was at fault as he failed to cling on to a deflected shot that was going out for a corner. McConville latched on to the loose ball and his shot was saved on the line by Brede Hangeland before Symes drove it in.

Grant again troubled Schwarzer before the turning point when Kempson was dismissed. "We only need 10 men," chanted the Accrington fans and, for a while, it seemed they might be right before Damien Duff put Fulham ahead in the 59th minute. Accrington failed to find any response this time, and leaked another goal when Gera scored.

Coleman said: "We gave a good account of ourselves and I can't be too harsh on my players because we were down to 10 men. I know Fulham will not have had to soak up so much pressure for half an hour, so we have to take credit for that, but I'm never happy when we lose.

"It's all about winning and losing. It's nice to say we played well, but we're disappointed we lost."

Attendance: 3,712

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Man of the match: Ryan

Match rating: 7/10

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried