Derby County 1 Fulham 0: Jerome seals first-leg advantage

Cameron Jerome's emphatic header sealed a win for Derby County over Fulham in the opening game of their Championship play-off tie.

Derby County striker Cameron Jerome   -  Getty Images

Derby County claimed a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final against Fulham on Friday.

A fine first-half header from Cameron Jerome secured the victory for Gary Rowett's side at a packed Pride Park.

Fulham finished 13 points above Derby in the table and are favourites for many to triumph in the play-offs, but they struggled to turn their dominance of possession into meaningful opportunities.

Derby, setting up in a 3-4-3 system without the injured Marcus Olsson, deservedly took the lead when Jerome powered a header past goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli after meeting a curling cross from Craig Forsyth.

Slavisa Jokanovic's visitors had 78 per cent of the ball in the second half but were largely kept at arm's length by the home side's defence, although Kevin McDonald did rattle the crossbar with a powerful strike.

Captain Tom Cairney curled a fine effort inches wide of the right-hand post in the closing moments, but Derby held on to their slender advantage before next Monday's second leg at Craven Cottage.

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