A brace from Paul Moody ensured Fulham claimed the west London bragging rights by beating Brentford – and, more importantly, for manager Ray Wilkins closed in on a spot in the Second Division play-off spot.

Bees boss Micky Adams had bought Moody to Craven Cottage last summer when he was planning Fulham’s return to the third tier after overseeing promotion out of the basement. But the popular manager was replaced by Wilkins and Kevin Keegan six weeks into the new campaign – and has spent the rest of this season ensuring the Whites’ local rivals didn’t slip out of the same division.

Fulham’s promotion push has faltered of late but the Cottagers were always in control on derby day at Griffin Park. They took the lead when Matt Lawrence ghosted away from former Fulham defender Danny Cullip and delivered a low cross that went in off Moody’s thigh. The former Oxford striker, who seems a snip at just ¬£200,000, made sure of all three points thirteen minutes from time by converting a clever ball from Paul Peschisolido and scoring his fourteenth goal of the season.

Brentford never really recovered from losing their top scorer Robert Taylor to injury after just fourteen minutes and were left chasing shadows by the quality of Fulham’s passing, exemplified by the enduring excellence of former England international Peter Beardsley, who Wilkins lauded as ‘a wonderful manipulator of the ball’.

Wilkins said: “I’m not concerned who we play as long as we get there. We just need to go into every game with the same attitude we had today.”

BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Dearden; Watson, Hogg (Canham 45), Cullip, Bates; Cockerill (Bryan 45), Hutchings, Aspinall; Rapley, A. Scott, Taylor (McGhee 14).

BOOKED: Cullip, Watson, Aspinall, Rapley.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Blake, Coleman; Bracewell, Smith, Beardsley, W. Collins (Trollope 83); Moody, Peschisolido (Thorpe 77). Subs (not used): Brazier.

BOOKED: Brevett, Lawrence.

GOALS: Moody (20, 77).

REFEREE: D. Orr (Iver).