Fulham came from behind to steal a vital victory at Swansea City this afternoon and extend their lead at the top of the Division Three table to four points.
Micky Adams stuck with the same starting eleven that had won at Exeter in midweek and could have gone in front in the very first minute when Shaun Garnett scrambled a header from Mike Conroy off his own line. Swansea were quick to respond with Dai Thomas shooting straight at Tony Lange before Dave Penney dragged a shot wide after sprinting clear of the visiting defence. Freeman, whose winner at St. James’ Park on Tuesday night was his first for Fulham, almost grabbed the opening goal when Scott’s long throw caused chaos in the Swansea box but stabbed his shot just past the past.
The Whites were punished for that miss when they failed to clear a corner from substitute Ritchie Appleby and Thomas was on hand to steer the Swans ahead. Conroy thought he had come up with an equaliser on the stroke of his half time but the striker’s goal was ruled out for offside after he followed up when Freeman’s header had bounced back off the crossbar.
The game continued to be very open after the interval with Steve Torpey going close to doubling the home side’s lead, whilst Conroy almost produced a moment of magic at the other end when he flashed a volley wide from 25 yards. Adams changed the complexion of the contest with an inspiration double change just after the hour – sending on substitutes Glenn Cockerill and Paul Brooker – who combined within four minutes to bring the Cottagers level.
Cockerill cut out a poor clearance and fed Brooker, who played in Conroy for his eighth goal of the campaign. Brooker looked to have put Fulham ahead but saw a predatory strike chalked off by the offside flag, but a much improved Fulham side were not to be denied. Skipper Simon Morgan secured all three points with a low strike from 20 yards – with the Londoners holding firm despite a period of late home pressure, which saw Keith Walker shoot wide from inside the area.
SWANSEA CITY: Freestone; Jones, Garnett, Edwards, Walker, Penney, Jenkins (McDonald 82), Torpey, D. Thomas, Coates, Chapple (Appleby 28). Subs (not used): Heggs.
GOAL: D. Thomas (30).
FULHAM: Lange, Watson, Herrera, Cullip (Cockerill 63), Blake, Angus, Cusack, Morgan, Freeman, Scott (Brooker 63), Conroy. Subs (not used): McAree.
GOALS: Conroy (67), Morgan (79).