Fulham Deaf faced Liverpool Deaf in their third semi final in the space of eight days, this time in the English Deaf Football Cup semi final on an extremely muddy pitch in Derby.

The referee Andrew Scolding, over a bad foul on Rowan Dixon verbally warned Liverpool's midfielder as early as the eighth minute. Ben Lampert slammed the resulting free kick over the bar.

Fifteen minutes later, Kevin Harewood unleashed a precise long-range chip over the Liverpool Deaf's defence but Dixon was unfortunate to be flagged offside by the over enthusiastic linesman.

With twenty-five minutes gone on Scolding's watch, a B. Lampert's free kick is unleashed to the far post to Andrew Drury who slots the ball home at close range, unmarked to put Fulham Deaf 1 – 0 up.

Richard Parker came to Fulham Deaf's rescue making a point blank save to divert the ball away for a corner. Two minutes later, Liverpool Deaf equalised from a goal mouth scramble after a good period of pressure inside Fulham Deaf's half.

Six minutes left in the first half, Harewood controlled a Drury's throw in well to slip the ball to Dixon who hesitated before shooting straight at Liverpool Deaf's keeper.

A wicked deflection from Drury's high knee saw the ball go over Parker put Liverpool Deaf in control of the match seconds before Scolding blew the whistle for half time.

Ayad Sarraf and Oliver Westbury are put on in a double Fulham Deaf substitution in place of Ben Stubbs and Karim Fayed.

On the hour, Liverpool is granted a free header from a corner that just skimmed past the post. Clive Campbell, who had a terrific first half limped off with Mark Gill coming on.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Liverpool Deaf's Spotswood is booked for dissent made towards the referee after time wasting.

Ryan Pendley took the resulting free kick, long to Nick Beese who headed to Gill. Gill slotted the ball through to Harewood who slammed it wide.

With seven minutes left, in an identical free kick in the first half that led to Fulham Deaf's goal, B. Lampert's long range free kick is headed into the net by Dixon at the far post to equalise the match at 2 – 2.

Golden Goal first half:

Beese attempted a wild yet controlled drive that just skimmed over the crossbar from thirty yards out wide on the left after receiving the ball from Gill who made a series of excellent winning-the-ball tackles.

Parker came to Fulham Deaf's rescue yet again after making a solid claim save from a 50-50 ball.

Liverpool Deaf won a corner and the incoming cross is bullet headed well just past the post which let Fulham Deaf off the hook.

B. Lampert is fouled from behind on a break through ball, which resulted in Scolding raising the yellow card to Liverpool Deaf's midfielder. B. Lampert took the resulting free kick which is long and swept up by Liverpool Deaf's keeper.

Dixon is shown the yellow card for a needless high elbow challenge inside Liverpool Deaf's half.

With seconds remaining before the half time Golden Goal whistle, Liverpool Deaf broke through only to blast high over the crossbar when on a one-to-one with Parker.

Golden Goal second half:

Early inside this half, Liverpool Deaf's Gary Crofton is booked for a late high tackle on Gill. Minutes later a mini-brawl broke out between both sides after a series of wild tackles on the touch line that was dealt well by Scolding.

Beese sliced wide from inside Liverpool Deaf's box after the ball came to him from the scramble between several players.

Christof Niklaus, Fulham Deaf's manager started to write down the names of the penalty takers for the penalties stopped writing as he saw a long ball being met by Harewood who leapt high. Harewood's well-headed ball found Dixon who went on a one-to-one with the oncoming Liverpool Deaf's keeper. Dixon nimbly lobbed the ball over the keeper to secure a place in the English Deaf Football Cup final with twenty seconds to go.

Doncaster College DFC beat St Johns DFC 4-2 in the other semi final. Now the Doncaster College DFC v Fulham DFC Final is scheduled for Saturday 15th May 2004, kick off 3.00pm after the Plate Final between Sunderland DFC v Nottingham DFC at kick off 11.00am.

The English Deaf Football Cup Final will be held at Ludlow Town FC, The Coors Stadium, Broomfield Road, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2BN.

Christof Niklaus – Fulham Deaf FC Manager's comments:

It was a 'get-out-of-jail' card Fulham Deaf used to win this exhausting third semi final in eight days. We had no excuses for this under par performance, nor do I want to take anything away from Liverpool Deaf either. They played extremely well to take the game to the limit and were desperately unlucky to go out this way.

We are fully aware we will have to produce a far improved performance better than this to overcome Doncaster College DFC in the final but we will have to see what happens in the league as our main priority is to gain promotion. Our last league game of the season is scheduled on the same day as the English Deaf Football Cup Final so we shall have to wait and see. Hopefully something could be arranged as I believe Doncaster College are also swamped to the hilt with a backlog of league matches to fulfil.

Final score Liverpool DFC 2 – 3 Fulham DFC (half time 2 – 1)

Fulham Deaf FC Line up:

Parker, Stubbs (Sarraf 46), Drury, Campbell (Gill 60), Docker, B. Lampert, Fayed (Westbury 46), Beese, Pendley, Harewood, Dixon

Christof Niklaus

Fulham Deaf FC Manager