Fulham enjoy birthday celebration

LONDON: Fulham celebrated the club’s 130th anniversary by pulling clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Hull at Craven Cottage on Monday.

Bobby Zamora’s first-half header and a Diomansy Kamara strike just after the hour mark settled a contest which lifted Fulham up to 12th place in the table and left the visitors mired in the drop zone. Zamora said Fulham had earned the three points.

Zamora’s opener came two minutes before the interval, the striker heading home following a fierce shot from Ireland winger Damien Duff, which Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill was unable to hold. Duff also had a hand in Fulham’s second, releasing Zamora down the right to provide the pass from which Kamara put the outcome beyond doubt, possibly from a fractionally offside position at the back post.

Hull boss Phil Brown

admitted his side had

been poor defensively. “Now we’ve got a massive game against Portsmouth on

Saturday and we have to do better,” he said. Zamora and Kamara formed Fulham’s strike force after Andy Johnson was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Former Fulham favourite Jimmy Bullard started on the bench for Hull, who initially looked the brighter of the two sides without ever threatening to give Mark Schwarzer much to do.

Duff, returning after a calf injury, soon began to exert his influence although it was Kamara who created Fulham’s first chance, setting up Zamora who contrived to clear the crossbar from the edge of the six yard box.

That was quickly followed by a low drive from Duff, which brought a smart save from Myhill at the near

post in the first-half’s only other real moment of note before Zamora broke the deadline two minutes before the break. Bullard, who joined Hull from Fulham for £5 million only to get injured in his first match for his new club, was greeted with a cacophony of jeers when he entered the fray with just over half an hour left.

But the home side’s supporters were soon able to revert to celebrating their current players as Zamora’s pace carried him deep

into the box to set up Kamara for Fulham’s second. The Senegal international should have added to his and

Fulham’s account but managed to fire wide from 10 yards just before the impressive Duff departed to a standing ovation.

The only sour note for Fulham was a knee injury to midfielder Danny Murphy, who was forced off after an hour. “It’s a knee injury, which isn’t good — but we won’t know (any more) until tomorrow, when we have it checked out,” Hodgson said.