Darren Freeman’s first goal for Fulham sent Micky Adams’ men top of the Division Three table after the Cottagers edged out Exeter City in an entertaining encounter at St. James’ Park this evening.

The £15,000 summer signing from Gillingham scored the only goal of the game after twenty minutes when he headed a ball from Mark Blake past former Chelsea goalkeeper Ashley Bayes after the Fulham centre back had done well to keep Robbie Herrera’s deep cross in play.

Freeman and Mike Conroy could have made the Londoners’ margin of victory more comfortable and the Grecians put Micky Adams’ men after real pressure in the final twenty minutes of a tight contest – with Tony Lange making good saves to deny Danny Bailey and Leon Braithwaite. Lange was fortunate to keep his clean sheet intact as former England international midfielder Mark Chamberlain volleyed wastefully over after the Fulham defence vanished.

EXETER CITY: Bayes; McConnell, Hughes, Gayle, N. Blake, Myers, Chamberlain, Bailey, Sharpe, Braithwaite, Pears (Hare 74). Subs (not used): Dailly, Ghazghazi.

FULHAM: Lange, Watson, Herrera, Cullip, Blake, Angus, Cusack, Morgan, Freeman, Scott (McAree 81), Conroy. Subs (not used): Thomas, Brooker.

BOOKED: Lange.

GOAL: Freeman (23).