Wayne Collins scored his first Fulham goal as the Whites came from behind to beat Preston North End at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder capped a fine Fulham comeback by converting a corner from former England international Peter Beardsley after young Matt Brazier had cancelled out Jon Macken’s header midway through the second half. Collins demonstrated his versatility by operating on the right wing for much of the afternoon as Ray Wilkins’ side battled an injury crisis – although their won’t be much sympathy from the rest of the Second Division given the millions Mohamed Al-Fayed has invested since taking last summer.

Fulham were looking to bounce back from a demoralising defeat at the hands of Gillingham last weekend but they looked edgy from the outset and went behind just after the half hour. Macken headed home his fourth goal of the season from nine yards out after being picked out by Simon Davey’s cross but home goalkeeper Maik Taylor was disappointed to see the striker’s effort go straight through his hands.

The hosts levelled just before the hour mark when Brazier, deputising at left back for the injured Rufus Brevett, dribbled into the Preston penalty area with purpose. The ball bobbled away from him and into the path of Paul Moody but the former QPR youngster lashed home his first goal for the Whites when it came back his way.

Fulham appeared utterly transformed by the equaliser and hit the front with fourteen minutes to go as Collins rifled home from twenty yards after Chris Coleman’s header had fallen kindly for him with the visitors unable to successfully clear Beardsley’s left-wing corner.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Brazier, Neilson, Coleman; Bracewell, Beardsley, W. Collins, Trollope (Smith 58); Moody (Thorpe 86), Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Hayward.

BOOKED: Coleman, W. Collins.

GOALS: Brazier (68), W. Collins (77).

PRESTON NORTH END (4-4-2): Moilanen; Jackson, Murdoch, Barrick, Parkinson; Davey, Appleton (Cartwright 79), Eyres, Rankine; Nogan, Macken (Holt 83). Subs (not used): Moyes.

BOOKED: Jackson.

GOAL: Macken (32).

REFEREE: John Brandwood (Lichfield).