Surprise guest Michael Jackson watched a Thriller of a performance from Kevin Keegan’s Fulham at Craven Cottage this afternoon as the Whites eventually overcame Wigan Athletic.
Defenders Philippe Albert and Kit Symons fired the Division Two leaders to victory against Ray Mathias’ battlers. Albert headed home Steve Hayward’s corner ten minutes after half-time before Symons blasted home his tenth goal of the season eight minutes later. The former Manchester City defender, dominant in both boxes throughout a commanding campaign, made sure of the points by drilling a majestic finish past Roy Carroll after Wigan’s marking left a lot to be desired.
Jackson strolled around the pitch ahead of kick-off alongside Fulham chairman chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed to the astonishment of a bemused crowd. The Whites struggled to get into their stride initially against the well-drilled Wigan defence, with the visitors still hoping to gain enough points from their games in hands to make up ground on Manchester City, who currently occupy the second automatic promotion spot. The Latics looked content to contain their hosts until Albert broke the deadlock from a set-piece, but the league leaders were well on their way to a seventh straight win by the time they tried to lay a glove on the league leaders.
FULHAM (3-5-2): Taylor; Albert, Symons (Morgan 78), Coleman; Finnan, Brevett, J. Smith (Peschisolido 57), Hayward (N. Smith 78), Trollope; Horsfield, Hayles.
GOALS: Albert (56), Symons (64).
WIGAN ATHLETIC (5-3-2): Carroll; Bradshaw, Sharp, Greenall, McGibbon (Green 45), Balmer; Porter (Lee 59), Rogers, O’Neill; Haworth, Liddell. Subs (not used): Jones.
REFEREE: Frazer Stretton (Staffordshire).