LONDON – On a night that will be remembered for the blizzard that made the FA Cupâ€™s pink ball a necessity and not just a fashion accessory, Fulham scored eight times, which included winning the shootout triggered by Ross McCormackâ€™s 120th-minute penalty, to end a barren run of four games stretching back to before Christmas. A trip to Sunderland awaits.
David Edwards had stolen from under a blanket of snow to score what looked like the winning goal, his second of the night, as Wolverhampton Wanderers paid tribute to Sir Jack Hayward, the clubâ€™s life president, who died on Tuesday aged 91. But when McCormackâ€™s free-kick was handled â€“ those peering through the storm reckoned it was by Lee Evans in the defensive wall â€“ the former Leeds United striker converted to take the game into the shootout in which all five Fulham takers scored.
Cauley Woodrow scored twice, giving Fulham the lead they more than merited as they dominated the first half and then equalising after Wolves had come storming back in the second half. But the snowfall became so heavy during extra-time that David Coote, the referee, offered the managers the opportunity to have the game abandoned.
â€œThere was a spell when I couldnâ€™t see too well,â€ Kit Symons, the Fulham manager, said. â€œBut as long as the playersâ€™ safety was OK, the referee said it was our call. The players were of a mind to get the tie done and Kenny [Jackett, the Wolves head coach] and I were happy.
â€œI thought we were very good in the first half and had more goal attempts than in the past four games combined. The second half they came back strongly. Itâ€™s a tough place to come to at the best of times, Molineux, but their fans really got behind their team.
â€œWhere weâ€™re at, this club is very much a work in progress, but with the kind of character shown tonight, weâ€™ve got a chance.â€
Light snow had fallen over Molineux as Land of Hope and Glory played over the Tannoy in an emotional prelude to the match. The minuteâ€™s silence in honour of the man known for his patriotism as Union Jack was immaculately kept in the half-empty stadium but the clubâ€™s former chairman would not have been impressed by Wolvesâ€™ start to this replay.
The visitors found space by sending their full-backs forward and when Kostas Stafylidis crossed from the left Woodrow dispatched the neatest of near-post headers over Carl Ikeme to end the teamâ€™s goal drought at 387 minutes.
Fulham have endured a pretty wretched season since their relegation from the Premier League last summer but a visit to Sunderland in the fourth round was theirs for the taking as Wolves remained well below par.
Wolvesâ€™ half-time substitutions changed the tempo of the game and after Matt Doherty headed against a post and Nouha Dicko crashed a shot against the crossbar, Edwards equalised 20 minutes from time, converting Dominic Iorfaâ€™s cross. Rajiv van La Parra then went through to dink his shot over Marcus Bettinelli for his first goal since joining from Heerenveen in the summer. It seemed as if Wolves were surging toward a fifth win in seven games only for Fulham to equalise almost immediately, Woodrow touching the ball over the line from Moussa DembÃ©lÃ©â€™s scuffed shot.
Wolves found another head of steam in extra-time as Iorfa, Evans and Kevin McDonald had efforts blocked before Edwards flicked home, with one foot behind the other, following a barnstorming run into the penalty area by Danny Batth in the 109th minute of a surreal replay. Matt Doherty, the Wolves full-back, was the only player to miss in the shootout, Hugo Rodallega converting the ninth and clinching kick.
Kenny Jackett paid tribute to Sir Jack afterwards. â€œHe was one of Wolvesâ€™ favourite sons, not just the club but the area, and whenever I met him, he was a true gentleman,â€ he said. His is a life that should be celebrated.â€ – The Guardian