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The BBC's Steve Wilson
"What a week for Tranmere"
 real 28k

Saturday, 29 January, 2000, 17:15 GMT
Tranmere on target for Wembley double

Tranmere Tranmere moved closer to a pieve of the silverware


Fulham 1-2 Tranmere

Worthington Cup finalists Tranmere produced another fighting cup performance to see off the Londoners at Craven Cottage.

Visiting captain Wayne Allison, who has missed the successful journey to Wembley due to being cup-tied, scored the opener after nine minutes and an almost inevitable Dave Challinor long throw.

Key moments
9 mins: Challinor throws, Allison heads home
18: Coleman unmarked to prod Fulham level
70: Kelly goal stands despite Fulham offside appeals
Allison's veteran strike partner David Kelly, who has skippered the side in the Worthington campaign, produced the 70th-minute winner on the break.

Chris Coleman scored Fulham's equaliser in the 18th minute, but as at Leicester at the end of his club's own impressive Worthington Cup campaign, the Welshman's goal came in another agonising defeat.

Tranmere, fresh from their midweek Worthington Cup semi-final triumph, started full of confidence.

mahon Rovers' Alan Mahon slips past Fulham's Kit Symons
Challinor picked up the ball inside the first minute, hurled it deep into the Fulham penalty area, and instantly put the home team on the back-foot.

Alan Mahon twice went close from the edge of the area and it was no surprise when John Aldridge's cup specialists went ahead.

A Challinor howitzer hurtled into the goalmouth from the Tranmere right and the home defence froze as Allison leapt high to place a header into the bottom corner.

The ninth-minute opener rocked the home crowd but stirred Fulham's expensive outfit into action. The Cottagers stepped up a gear and equalised nine minutes later.


It could have been a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show but they showed unbelievable character to have a real go
John Aldridge
Steve Finnan, who had been fouled by Gary Jones on the Fulham left, swung the free-kick deep the back-post.

Karlheinz Riedle headed it back across goal and Coleman was unmarked to side-foot the ball into the net from close range.

The superb Finnan had a penalty appeal rejected in the closing seconds of the first half when he was challenged by Scott Taylor but he continued to prove a thorn in Tranmere's side after the break.

Aldridge John Aldridge celebrates at the final whistle
Bjarne Goldbaek split the defence to release Paul Peschisolido but John Achterberg raced out to deny the Canadian.

Fulham pressed forward but were caught cold as Tranmere sprang the offside trap.

A quick free-kick sent Parkinson scampering down the right and, as defenders looked for an offside flag, he squared the ball to sub Kelly to tap in.


We went to win the game and, with the chances we created, we should've done. We didn't put our chances away and paid the price
Paul Bracewell
Fulham boss Paul Bracewell was one of many spectators who believed that the goal should not have been allowed.

A frantic finale produced nerve-jangling moments at both ends but Rovers hung on to continue their incredible cup adventure.

Teams:

Fulham:
Taylor, Melville, Coleman, Symons, Goldbaek, Ball, Clark, Collins, Finnan, Peschisolido, Riedle. Subs: Hahnemann, Morgan, Hayles, Hayward, Davis.

Tranmere: Achterberg, Hazell, Challinor, Thompson, Henry, Mahon, Parkinson, Babb, Jones, Taylor, Allison. Subs: Nixon, Kelly, Morgan, Koumas, Black.

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)

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Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.