A magnificent midfield display from Steve Hayward ensured Fulham returning to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Ray Wilkins’ side dominated the first half but the usually reliable Paul Peschisolido saw his penalty saved by Roy Carroll after Roberto Martinez was harshly adjudged to have handled Hayward’s cross. Wigan defended diligently and restricted the Whites to long-range efforts that didn’t really trouble Carroll. Matt Lawrence, Paul Bracewell, Hayward and Paul Trollope all lashed strikes from distance off target before the visitors wasted a good opportunity to make Fulham pay for failing to turn their pressure into goals.
A clever counter-attack from John Deehan’s men saw Paul Warne play in David Lee but Maik Taylor made an excellent reaction stop. The pattern of play continued into the second half and it was Hayward who broke the deadlock eleven minutes after the interval, drilling home his fourth of the season after Trollope’s corner had caused chaos in the Wigan area and Pat McGibbon headed his clearance straight to the former Carlisle midfielder.
Peschisolido made amends for his penalty miss two minutes from time when he tapped home after linking up with substitute Richard Carpenter despite the best attempts of McGibbon to avert the danger.
FULHAM (4-5-1): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Neilson, Coleman; Bracewell, Hayward, W. Collins, Brooker (Carpenter 62), Trollope; Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Blake, Arnott.
GOALS: Hayward (56), Peschisolido (88).
WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Carroll; Greenall, McGibbon, Steve Morgan, Bradshaw; Rogers, Kilford, Lee, Martinez (Lowe 71); Warne, Jones. Subs (not used): Sharpe, Mustoe.
REFEREE: Andy Hall