Kyle Lightbourne scored the decisive second goal as he finished his loan spell at Fulham by lifting the Whites into third place in the Second Division table after a routine victory over Southend United this afternoon.

The on-loan Coventry striker, who will head back to the Midlands this week after becoming a father, hammered home Paul Peschisolido’s pass to score his third goal in five games after a month at Craven Cottage. That secured all three points against struggling Southend after Peschisolido had poached Fulham’s first on 25 minutes having outsprinted the visiting defence to latch onto a fine through ball from Paul Trollope and beat Neville Southall in the Southend goal.

Alvin Martin’s side have now gone 520 minutes without scoring a goal and they only seriously threatened Fulham goalkeeper Maik Taylor when substitute Nathan Jones skimmed the crossbar with a rising drive towards the end.

Fulham head coach Ray Wilkins admitted his side would miss the firepower that Lightbourne had brought to SW6 after the final whistle: “We already have strikers injured. We wanted Kyle for another month.”

FULHAM (4-3-3): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Neilson, Coleman; Bracewell, Smith, Trollope; Moody (Brooker 87), Peschisolido, Lightbourne (W. Collins 72). Subs (not used): Hayward.

BOOKED: Smith.

GOALS: Peschisolido (25), Lightbourne (56).

SOUTHEND UNITED (4-4-2): Southall; Jobson, Stimson, Dublin, Coulbault (Jones 82); Gridelet, Hails, Maher, Clarke; Boere, N’Diaye (Thompson 58). Subs (not used): Harris.

REFEREE: Anthony Bates (Staffordshire).