Debutant Richard Carpenter ended Fulham’s three match winless run with a stunning strike that secured all three points for Micky Adams’ men at Darlington this afternoon.

The midfielder, who completed a £20,000 move from Gillingham, earlier this week wrapped up victory with a superb right-footed strike from fully thirty yards after being teed up by substitute Martin Thomas. The Whites had earlier taken the lead with a fabulous free-kick from Paul Watson just after the half hour mark. The full back curled home a terrific effort from 25 yards after Carpenter had been chopped down. Mike Conroy hit the post with a precise finish as the visitors threatened to run riot.

Darlington’s rhythm was seriously disrupted by the loss of three key players to injury inside the first 25 minutes. Seven players were booked in a feisty encounter with Gary Twynham shown a straight red card for a terrible tackle midway through the second half. The home faithful were seething after Carpenter’s cracking strike condemned their side to defeat, but Adams’ side have now won seven of their first nine league fixtures.

SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Newell, Brumwell, Oliver, Barnard, Crosby (Innes 18), Atkinson, Carss, Twynham, R. Blake (Kelly 6), Roberts (Naylor 35), Brydon.

SENT OFF: Twynham.

FULHAM: Walton; Watson, Herrera, Angus, M. Blake, Cusack, Carpenter, Morgan, Scott (Thomas 88), Freeman (Brooker 77), Conroy (Mison 89).

BOOKED: Watson, Angus, Scott, Carpenter, Cusack, Thomas.

GOALS: Watson (32), Carpenter (89).