Derby County scored five goals in 20 minutes to come from behind to dispatch Fulham 5-2 in Tuesday night’s fourth round Capital One Cup tie at Craven Cottage.
The hosts appeared to be cruising after Moussa Dembele's first Fulham goals fired them into a 2-0 lead shortly before half-time, but Chris Martin pulled one back from the penalty spot moments later to alter manager Steve McClaren’s team talk.
The Cottagers then capitulated after the break, as goals by Johnny Russell, Jeff Hendrick and two from Simon Dawkins sent the Championship leaders rolling into the last eight of the competition.
Dawkins in particular was outstanding during the comeback, giving his side the lead on 54 minutes with a fierce drive into the top corner from 20 yards, before sealing the result 11 minutes later with an extravagant back-heel flick from close-range.
Also grabbing the assist on Russell’s 47th-minute equaliser, the former Tottenham Hotspur forward is still largely working his way back to full fitness after missing five league games with a hip problem, but McClaren was full of praise for his second-half contribution.
‘Dawks showed what he is capable of,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘He is a delicate player and he’s been injured, and we miss him.
“He keeps the ball for us, but in the first half he was keeping it too much and was being too negative.
‘In the second-half, he was more devastating, more positive and got rewarded with his goals.’
Fans were equally as enthusiastic about the 26-year-old’s display, and many of them took to Twitter at the final whistle to hail his role in extending the side’s cup run for another round.
Still not got over Dawkins second goal, it was disgusting hahaha #dcfc— Harry (@harrydean98) October 29, 2014
If, I don't know, Di Maria had scored Dawkins' second we wouldn't hear the end of it for weeks. Beautiful goal. #dcfc— Nigella Lawson (@AndrewRacklyeft) October 28, 2014
Dawkins goals tonight and his first-touch/cross for Russell's were top quality. Any doubters still? Cracking night and result #dcfc— Ian Redfern (@redfern_ian) October 28, 2014
Some woeful mistakes for Fulhams goals but such a hard fought come back and great victory. Dawkins and Russell superb #dcfc— Mark Wheatley (@Mark0_dcfc) October 28, 2014
The return of Dawkins is a boost for Rams as is seeing Coutts on the pitch again #dcfc— Steve Nicholson (@SNicholsonDT) October 28, 2014
Loving being a derby fan these days!!! Dawkins is bossing it! #dcfc— Ben Runcorn (@derbybrunco) October 28, 2014
Whatever drug Dawkins is on tonight, give him more. And lots of it #dcfc— Ben Griffiths (@btgriffiths) October 28, 2014