DEM­BELE IS HERE TO STAY SAYS KIT

Ful­ham striker hits two at City

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Latham

TEENAGE hot-shot Moussa Dem­bele is go­ing nowhere ac­cord­ing to Ful­ham boss Kit Sy­mons.

Af­ter see­ing the 19-year-old striker score twice in the first 18 min­utes to help his side to a four­goal half-time ad­van­tage, Sy­mons in­sisted Craven Cot­tage is the right place for Dem­bele to de­velop his skills.

Big-name clubs from England and Europe are re­port­edly show­ing in­ter­est, but the Ful­ham man­ager is hold­ing firm.

“Talks over a new con­tract are in process and I am very hope­ful that Moussa will sign,” Sy­mons said.

“He is a player we will work on to im­prove and we have the right peo­ple to ad­vise him and make him an even bet­ter player. He is at the right club to de­velop.”

Of his team’s per­for­mance in over­whelm­ing strug­gling Bris­tol, Sy­mons added: “In the first half I thought we were ex­cel­lent and took our goals re­ally well.

“We could have put the game to bed in the sec­ond half with a cou­ple of early chances, but in fair­ness Bris­tol City kept go­ing on made it more dif­fi­cult for us.

“It was dif­fi­cult to be crit­i­cal of the play­ers when they scored four goals away from home. But I want us to be the best we can be and some of our de­ci­sion-mak­ing af­ter the in­ter­val was not so good.”

Ful­ham grabbed a sec­ond­minute lead when James Hus­band ad­vanced down the right flank and crossed low for Dem­bele to shoot home from six yards.

It was the start of a first-half hor­ror at the back for City, who re­peat­edly shot them­selves in the foot with poor de­fend­ing.

Aden Flint’s risky cross­field pass on 18 min­utes was in­ter­cept ed by Ross McCor­mack. He fed Tom Cairney, who crossed from the right for Dem­bele to side foot his sec­ond at the far post.

McCor­mack made it 3-0 with a su­perbly struck free-kick from 30 yards fol­low­ing a foul, which earned Luke Free­man a cau­tion.

Soon it was four as Ryan Tun­ni­cliffe lobbed Frank Field­ing when run­ning onto a bounc­ing ball that split City’s back-line.

Ryan Fred­er­icks al­most made it five when his 38th-minute cross shot from the right came back off the cross­bar.

City were shell­shocked and might have con­ceded fur­ther goals straight af­ter the in­ter­val.

But to their credit Steve Cot­ter- ill's side worked tire­lessly to re­store a mod­icum of pride, only to waste their own scor­ing chances.

The best fell to the dan­ger­ous Jonathan Kod­jia who shot wide on 56 min­utes and took too long to shoot when clear on goal ten min­utes later.

It wasn’t un­til in­jury time that City pulled a goal back, with top scorer Kod­jia con­vert­ing a cross from sub­sti­tute Si­mon Cox, shoot­ing first time past Andy Lon­er­gan from eight yards.

Cot­ter­ill said: “We made a cou­ple of mis­takes to give Ful­ham a leg-up in the game. For 30 min­utes we were the bet­ter team and yet found our­selves 2-0 down. That summed up our sea­son.

“We came up against op­po­nents with that bit more qual­ity than us and they took their chances.We have to cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties than our ri­vals to score goals.

“We are in for train­ing on Sun­day and will dust our­selves down in time to face Wolves on Tues­day.

“If we had taken a cou­ple of our chances early in the sec­ond half Ful­ham might have pan­icked, but it didn’t hap­pen.

“We showed a lot of courage af­ter the in­ter­val be­cause it’s not easy at 4-0 down, but the bot­tom line is Ful­ham had more qual­ity. It was painful watch­ing the lads, know­ing how hard they work.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

ALL SMILES: Ful­ham boss Kit Sy­mons

HOT SHOT: Ful­ham’s Moussa Dem­bele in ac­tion with Mar­lon Pack

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