Darren Freeman scored a superb second half winner as Fulham came from behind to beat a spirited Scunthorpe United side at Craven Cottage this evening.

The Third Division leaders suffered a scare as Scunthorpe took an early lead when Chris Hope headed home at the back post after Paul Wilson’s cross had looped over Mark Walton and cannoned back off the crossbar. Rob Scott and Mike Conroy hit the woodwork before the pair combined to level matters midway through the first half. Scott seized on a loose ball midway through the visitors’ half and ran at the Scunthorpe defence before slipping a pass to his strike partner allowing Conroy to curl a lovely left-footed finish into the top corner.

Fulham continued to push forward in the second half and went in front on 68 minutes. Freeman, who had started a home attack by dropping deep into midfield and collecting the ball from Nick Cusack, made a clever darting run to the near post and, although grounded having been tripped by his marker, did superbly to bend a brilliant finish around goalkeeper Mark Samways and into the corner.

This hard-fought victory gives Fulham a seven-point cushion at the top of the Third Division table.

FULHAM: Walton; Watson, Herrera, Blake, Cullip, Cusack, Carpenter, Morgan, Scott, Conroy, Freeman (Cockerill 85). Subs (not used): Mison, Thomas.

GOALS: Conroy (25), Freeman (68).

SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Samways; Sertori, Hope, Bradley, Knill, Wilson (Walsh 76), Housham (Paterson 73), D’Auria, Clarkson; Baker, Eyre. Subs (not used): McFarlane.

GOAL: Hope (5).