Fulham continued their push for promotion from Division Three with a comfortable victory over crisis-hit Brighton and Hove Albion at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Struggling Brighton, who have only once in their last eighteen games, spurned a glorious opportunity to take the lead in London when Craig Maskell saw his penalty smartly saved by Fulham goalkeeper Tony Lange. The Cottagers hit the front just after the hour mark when Mike Conroy headed in his seventeenth goal of an already superb season from a fine cross by full back Paul Watson.

When Conroy was felled in the box with twenty minutes remaining, Fulham centre back Mark Blake showed Maskell how to stay cool from twelve yards – calmly converting the spot-kick to make sure of all three points. Jason Soloman made his Fulham debut off the bench as the Whites went eight points clear at the top of the table.

Despite their big advantage, manager Micky Adams refused to take anything for granted telling his post-match press conference:

“There’s a long way to go. We got off to a dream start and hopefully we can keep it up. The squad’s good and everyone’s pulling their weight.”

FULHAM: Lange; Watson, Herrera, Blake, Angus; Cockerill (Soloman 76), Cusack, Carpenter, (Freeman 80), Morgan; Conroy, Scott. Subs (not used): Cullip.

GOALS: Conroy (61), Blake (pen 73).

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION: Rust; Smith, Allen, Johnson, Mayo, Morris, Maskell (McDonald 79), Baird, Storer, Tuck (Andrews 79), McGarrigle. Subs (not used): Mundee.

BOOKED: Smith, Baird.


After Conroy’s header, Blake sealed the victory, scoring a 71st-minute penalty.