Derby County recovered from two goals down to score five times in a clinical 20-minute spell and inflict a 5-2 defeat over Fulham to secure their place in the Capital One cup Quarter Finals.
Steve McClaren’s side’s second half performance heavily contrasted from the first when Fulham latched on two poor defensive errors to give the home side a 2-0 lead.
On the brink of half time, though, Chris Martin scored a crucial spot kick to give the visitor’s a lifeline, before they ran riot with four more goals – a Simon Dawkins brace and further strikers from Jeff Hendrick and Johnny Russell – to clinch their spot in the last eight.
After the 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic at the weekend, Derby made five changes across the team with Jake Buxton, notably, making his return to the starting line-up for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest last month.
Fulham, who themselves made as many as eight changes, had the chance to take an early after George Williams was fouled on the edge of the area, but Emerson Hyndman curled his effort narrowly wide of Roos’ goal.
Derby began to establish control of the early proceedings as Chris Martin turned one defender and drove a shot towards Gabor Király’s goal, but the experienced ‘keeper got everything behind it to keep the scores level.
The effort sparked Kit Symons’ side into life as Fulham tested the returning Roos with a number of efforts.
First, Moussa Dembélé curled an effort into the arms of Roos after being found by Patrick Roberts at the other end after the Cottagers broke forward, before Johnny Russell tried a similar effort after 10 minutes.
Roos was called into action two minutes after a stray pass from Keogh lead to Dembélé being set away through the middle, the forward turned inside Buxton’s challenge, but saw his curling effort well saved by Roos.
Stephen Arthurworrey, making his debut for the host’s, rose highest from a corner to direct a powerful header goal wards but Roos, again, got behind the effort to keep the Rams level.
At the other end, the returning Jeff Hendrick saw an effort deflected for a corner, before Fulham made their pressure count on 27 minutes.
A poor back pass from Craig Forsyth was latched upon by Dembélé and the striker rounded Roos before dispatching the ball into an empty net.
The goal served as a wake up call for McClaren’s side as they began to dictate large proportions of possession.
A neat move that started to the left came back inside and after Dawkins played the ball to Russell, the forward curled a left foot effort into the bottom corner of Király’s, but the ‘keeper dived the full length of his goal to turn the effort for a corner.
Russell tried again moments later a neat move in the area set him through on goal, but Király stood up tall to beat his right foot away as he drove into the area.
The home side grew back into the contest, though, and they duly doubled their lead after Derby gifted them another chance to do so.
Roos passed out to the back to Omar Mascarell as the game approached half time, but the Spanish midfielder was quickly closed down and robbed off possession outside the area. Through Dembélé went again to slot his second of the evening under Roos to end the first half, or so they thought.
The Rams were handed a life line right on the brink of the first half after referee, Graham Scott, pointed to the spot after Tim Hoogland was adjudged to have handled in the area from Dawkins’ free kick.
Up stepped Chris Martin and the striker powered his spot kick beyond the fingertips of Király to send Derby into the break only a goal down.
McClaren would have expected a big response from his players at the break and two minutes in the second 45, his players duly obliged to equalise.
Dawkins collected a pass on the left and after waltzing inside two challenges; the Jamaican international drilled a cross into the six-yard area for Russell to slam beyond Király.
The Rams continued to turn the screw and completed the turn around on 54 minutes. Martin laid the ball into the path of Bryson who slid a pass into space on left into the path of Dawkins.
The winger moved the ball on to his right foot and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top left corner to give Derby the lead right in front of the traveling Rams faithful.
Hendrick tried his luck moments later, but Király grasped on to his tame left foot effort, before Bryan Ruiz, the Fulham Captain, curled a free kick over Roos’ bar at the other end.
As the game passed the hour mark, things got better for Derby as Hendrick slammed in Forsyth’s cross to score the visitor’s fourth, before they quickly added a fifth.
Russell picked the ball up on the right and after driving at the Fulham defence and sweeping a low cross into Dawkins who flicked an effort under Király for Derby’s fifth goal in a clinical 20-minute spell.
On 70 minutes, Derby fans rose to applaud the return of Paul Coutts who made his first competitive first team appearance for more than a year.
The change was the first of a flurry as Derby continued to boss the proceedings as they ran down the clock to secure their place in the Capital One Cup Quarter Finals.
Fulham: Király; Zverotić, Hutchinson, Arthurworrey, Kavanagh; Hoogland; Hyndman, Williams (David, 72), Roberts (McCormack, 72), Ruiz (C) (Eisfeld, 85), Dembélé
Substitutes not used: Stafylidis, Parker, Burn, Bettinelli
Derby County: Roos; Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Mascarell (Coutts, 69), Hendrick, Bryson (Hughes, 77) Russell, Dawkins (Ibe, 74), Martin
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, L Naylor, Calero, Thomas