Fulham into Championship play-off final

Key man Cameron Jerome gave Derby a 1-0 first-leg lead

Key man Cameron Jerome gave Derby a 1-0 first-leg leadRICHARD SELLERS

Cameron Jerome's solitary headed strike was enough to give Derby County the slimmest of advantages over Fulham in the first leg of their Championship play-offs semi-final first leg at Pride Park last week.

Derby won the first leg 1-0.

The Cottagers came from behind to secure their place at Wembley thanks to second-half goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi.

Fulham attacked from the outset but Derby keeper Scott Carson frustrated them throughout the first half with a series of fine saves.

The Rams would have wanted to put up more of a fight and they are condemned to an 11th successive season in the second tier.

The hosts' efforts to wrap things up in normal time saw Mitrovic let fly from distance before Kamara flashed a shot just wide of the post.

Aleksandar Mitrovic took a while to get into the game, but he soon became a threat and was within inches of an opener 10 minutes before half-time when he superbly turned Curtis Davies on the edge of the area and curled just wide.

Fulham made their breakthrough just two minutes after the restart. I must be satisfied what my team showed tonight. If you keep giving the ball back to Fulham, they are very good at keeping it and I think they handled the leg much better than us in terms of their composure on the ball and their ability to move the ball around and be patient.

"It's been a little bit of a rollercoaster season for the fans, and once again, to get into the top-six, we have to say that it is reasonable success, but we wanted to go further".

And the Fulham boss said: "I'm not Santa Claus, I am a football coach, and I don't give any of my players presents".

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