Cameron Jerome’s bullet header gave Derby a narrow benefit of their Championship play-off semi-final in opposition to a lacklustre Fulham at Satisfaction Park Stadium.
The striker rose above Matt Targett earlier than powerfully heading house Craig Forsyth’s inviting move from the left on 33 mins.
Gary Rowett’s facet have been organised and so they have been excellent worth for the win in opposition to their in-form combatants, proscribing the Cottagers to half-chances within the first-half.
The guests imposed themselves at the sport extra after the wreck, with Kevin McDonald placing the bar after excellent play with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Within the sport’s last phases, Tom Cairney went shut on two events, stinging the fingers of Scott Carson on 64 mins earlier than curling the ball narrowly extensive of the publish with the Derby keeper smartly overwhelmed within the 87th minute.
In other places, Ikechi Anya just about gave the Rams a 2-Zero lead however the Scotland global simply didn’t get at the finish of Tom Lawrence’s drilled move.
The edges meet once more on Monday evening for the second one leg at Craven Cottage as they play for the danger to be one sport from promotion to the Premier League.
Fulham have dazzled the league with their implausible attacking prowess however they weren’t given the chance to play like they have got at many issues this season.
Curtis Davies led the Rams’ defence smartly and used to be the most productive participant at the pitch by way of a mile. He additionally helped stay man-of-the-moment Ryan Sessegnon (who used to be taken off after 76 mins) quiet which could be very spectacular.
Despite the fact that the sport lacked high quality within the last 3rd as a rule, Jerome’s objective used to be really easy at the eye.
Derby full-back Forsyth whipped in a gorgeous ball from the left and Jerome did what he is performed for such a lot of years and wolfed up the danger that got here his approach. A smartly built objective.
WHAT THE MANAGERS ARE SAYING
Derby supervisor Gary Rowett used to be adamant the tie isn’t completed but, in spite of his facet’s victory.
He mentioned: “We are not getting over excited in any respect. I did not even allow them to have the song on afterwards as a result of we wish to be centered and get well.
“It is a slender lead going into the second one leg, however as everyone knows that may be cancelled out in a 2d.
“We defended truly smartly, however Fulham fatigue you mentally as a result of they have got such a lot of the ball.
In the meantime, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic remained certain forward of the second one leg.
He mentioned: “It isn’t a foul outcome, it is not the outcome we deserve, however it is a part of soccer.
“We ruled and so they scored after one move and Jerome scored an out of this world objective.
“We can’t be annoyed, we will have to be by some means assured having confirmed the standard and a perfect mentality.”