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Pilgrims 1-4 Fulham

Carling Cup

For the first time since Derby County visited in the FA Cup back in 1974, Boston faced top-flight opposition in a competitive fixture at York Street. Thirty years ago Boston ended up being soundly beaten by six goals to one and for a while this match looked to be heading for a similar scoreline. Fulham got the perfect start to ease any worries about being on the wrong end of a cup upset after they took the lead in the ninth minute when Canadian international Tomasz RADZINSKI slotted home after the Boston defence failed to deal with a long punt upfield. On the half-hour Fulham increased their lead through Frenchman Steed MALBRANQUE, starting his first game of the season after recovering from a groin injury. A half-hearted shot at goal seemed to be covered by Nathan Abbey, but he somehow let the ball slip through his fingers and into the goal. Six minutes later and the Premiership side put the result beyond any doubt when USA international Brian MCBRIDE fired home from the edge of the area into the top right hand corner. Boston started the second half well.

They won a succession of corners and the pressure paid off when they got a goal back on fifty six minutes. Defender Lee BEEVERS had joined the attack and he was picked out with a cross from Paul Ellender and headed home from close range. A subdued Paul Gascoigne, who had failed to produce much in the way of chances all evening, was then substituted by Simon Rusk. Just two minutes later Fulham snuffed out any hopes of a Boston revival when RADZINSKI got his second goal of the night after getting on the end of a cross from Malbranque. Ten minutes from time Steve Evans brought on Lee Thompson for Courtney Pitt, but the "super-sub" failed to produce similar magic to that in the previous round. Just before the final whistle Fulham's Liam Rosenior was given his marching orders when he picked up a second yellow card for diving. Fulham now face a trip to Birmingham in the third round.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Dean West, Paul Gascoigne (Simon Rusk 68), Paul Ellender, Tom Bennett, David Noble, Andy Kirk (Tam McManus 78), Jason Lee, Courtney Pitt (Lee Thompson 80). Subs not used: Greg Strong, Chris Holland.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.