It doesn’t appear as if Fulham will extend Stan Collymore’s short-term loan at Craven Cottage but the England international picked a memorable way to sign off in the white shirt: scoring a winner at the home of Aston Villa’s local rivals, West Bromwich Albion, to send the Whites – who had been reduced to ten men – into the four round of the League Cup.

Collymore had earlier arrived as a substitute to a chorus of boos around the Hawthorns but he inflicted Albion’s first defeat in fourteen games this season with a majestic header from former Baggies favourite Paul Peschisolido’s cross. Never-knowingly-understated, Collymore made the most of his moment by mimicking the ‘Boing Boing’ celebration in front of the home fans that had barracked him all evening.

Peschisolido, who became Fulham’s first million-pound signing when he left the Hawthorns to drop down a division two years ago, had given the Londoners the lead after just three minutes. The Canadian striker was afforded far too much space to turn home a perceptive pass from another Midlands’ man, Steve Hayward. Paul Bracewell’s visibly relaxed and continued to play expansive football but they occasionally played themselves into trouble.

Lee Hughes was uncharacteristically unable to control the ball when he had galloped into the Fulham area after capitalising on a horribly square pass from Simon Morgan and the Albion attack cursed his misfortune when he saw what he thought was the equaliser ruled out for offside after connecting with a lovely cross from Kevin Kilbane. Fulham’s reprieve lasted just second seconds, with Hughes converting a flick for Fabian de Freitas to level.

The Cottagers are unbeaten since Bracewell took over from Kevin Keegan but their mettle was really tested here. Richard Sneekes drew a superb saving from Maik Taylor with a venomous volley and, three minutes before the break, Barry Hayles was dismissed for swinging an elbow at Jason van Blerk. Bracewell’s penchant for three centre halves made the ten men tricky to brick down and they guarded the advantage given to them by Collymore just after half time with a zealousness that made the manager beam with delight afterwards.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Miller; McDermott, Carbon (van Blerk 31), Gabbidon (Maresca 61), Raven; Townsend, Sneekes, Flynn, Kilbane; de Freitas (Quinn 72), Hughes. Subs (not used): Adamson, Evans.

GOAL: Hughes (12).

FULHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Finnan (Neilson 72), Brevett (Collymore 45), Morgan, Symons, Coleman; Hayward, Clark, Trollope; Hayles, Peschisoldio (Davis 59). Subs (not used): Hahnemann, W. Collins.

SENT OFF: Hayles (43).

GOALS: Peschisolido (3), Collymore (48).

REFEREE: Roger Furnandiz (Doncaster).