Derby County take one-goal lead over Fulham after Championship play-off first leg

Derby County have won the first leg of the Championship playoff semi-final 1-0 against Fulham.

Cameron Jerome headed in the only goal of the game before halftime and Derby withheld heavy Fulham pressure in the second half to claim the lead.

Kevin McDonald came closest for Fulham in the 54th minute, but his shot rattled off the crossbar.

Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon had the first shot of the match but sent the ball over before Marcus Bettinelli punched Tom Lawrence’s free-kick clear at the other end.

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The London club had the better of the possession but it was not until the 27th minute that they threatened again when Floyd Ayite headed over.

Jerome gave Derby the lead in the 34 minute when he powered in a bullet header after a superb cross from Craig Forsyth.

Aleksandar Mitrovic could have leveled before halftime but his shot was straight at Scott Carson.

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McDonald came within inches of equalising after the restart Mitrovic laid the ball off to the midfielder whose shot bounced off the crossbar from 20 yards.

Ayite then came close but he volleyed over from Stefan Johansen’s ball in. Tom Cairney was next up for Fulham but his shot was stopped by Carson.

Derby withheld the Fulham pressure though, and nearly got a goal on the break in the closing stages. Andreas Weimann was in heaps of space but slipped on his way to goal.

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Cairney had one last chance in the 87th minute, but his shot curled round the wrong side of the post.

The teams will meet again at Craven Cottage on Monday.

Cover Photo: Derby County V Tranmere Rovers, F.A. Cup 3rd Round, Pride Park Stadium, Derby, Derbyshire, 05/01/13 by Eamon Curry used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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