Steve Robinson’s stunning strike earned Bournemouth a big win at Craven Cottage this evening and dealt another devastating blow to Fulham’s promotion push.
The Cherries’ midfielder curled a majestic finish beyond Maik Taylor and into the top corner after Fulham had failed to clear a corner six minutes before the break. Mel Machin’s side had further chances to add to their lead on the break in the second half with cult hero Steve Fletcher denied by an excellent reaction save from Fulham goalkeeper Taylor as he bore down on goal after being played in by Christer Warren, who spent part of last season on loan at the Cottage as Micky Adams’ men went down from the Third Division.
Fulham were largely smothered by a well-drilled visiting defence but their best chances fell to Paul Peschisolido, who was twice denied by Bournemouth goalkeeper Jimmy Glass before being substituted ten minutes from time. Ray Wilkins didn’t have a centre forward on the bench following Kyle Lightbourne’s return to Coventry earlier this month and hinted that the club bring in a new striker after this damaging defeat.
FULHAM (4-5-1): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Neilson, Coleman; Bracewell, Carpenter (Blake 88), Hayward, W. Collins, Trollope (Arnott 58); Peschisolido (Thomas 80).
AFC BOURNEMOUTH (4-5-1): Glass; Cox, Rolling, Vincent, Young; Warren, Brissett (Hayter 70; Howe 88), Bailey, Robinson, O’Neill; Fletcher. Subs (not used):
GOAL: Robinson (39).
REFEREE: Andy D’Urso (Hampshire).