Fulham forward Geoff Horsfield rose from his sick bed to score the winner and end Swindon Town’s stubborn resistance at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The talismanic Horsfield, a regular goalscorer since being brought to SW6 by Kevin Keegan last year, was a doubt for his this fixture after being struck down by flu last week. He was only fit enough to be a substitute but was brought off the bench by Paul Bracewell, who also sent on Barry Hayles as the Whites went in search of a late winner, after bottom of the table Swindon successfully blunted all of Fulham’s creativity by packing the midfield and frustrating the home side.

The only goal of the game arrived six minutes from time. A fierce free-kick from Steve Hayward was parried by visiting goalkeeper Jimmy Glass, but Horsfield was in the right place to head home his eighth goal of the season and secure a precious three points for Bracewell’s side.

Robins boss Jimmy Quinn was devastated by the late heartbreak. He said after the final whistle: “It’s a cruel game. There’s no justice. One lapse of concentration gave it all away. We did not follow up on the free-kick. I’m desolate for the lads, they had done so well.”

FULHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Finnan, Brevett (Hayles 55), Coleman, Symons, Morgan; Hayward, Trollope, Clark; Rieldle (Horsfield 67), Peschioslido (Davis 86). Subs (not used): Hahnemann, Neilson.

GOAL: Horsfield (86).

SWINDON TOWN (5-4-1): Glass; A. Williams, Hall, Davies, Robinson, Reeves; Howe, Walters, Gooden (Onuora 67), Thirlwell; Ndah. Subs (not used): Talia, Willis, J. Williams.

BOOKED: Robinson.

REFEREE: Anthony Leake (Lancashire).