Junichi Inamoto’s sixth goal of the season secured Fulham’s first win on Wearside for more than half a century and increased the pressure on beleaguered Sunderland boss Peter Reid.

The Black Cats boss kept faith with the side that were beaten by Middlesbrough only for Fulham to stroll to victory at the Stadium of Light ahead of the derby with Newcastle next weekend. Sunderland, who have just five points from six games, are third bottom of the Premiership and looked unlikely to score if this game had continued for another week. Only when veteran Niall Quinn was summoned from the substitutes’ bench at 2-0 down did the hosts exert any serious pressure.

Reid’s men did make a bright start by they were toothless in the final third. Matt Piper’s movement posed problems for the Fulham defence but he missed two presentable chances in the space of a couple of minutes, first seeing a fine header palmed away by van der Sar, before a combination of the Dutch goalkeeper and Rufus Brevett blocked another shot. By contrast, Fulham – whose pretty passing patterns regularly found ways around Reid’s two banks of four – were ruthless in front of goal.

In Inamoto, who appears rejuvenated under Jean Tigana, they have a man who cannot stop scoring. The 22 year old rifled home Rufus Brevett’s cross ten minutes before the break to give the visitors a lead they never looked like relinquishing. Inamoto had a hand in the crucial second goal, which arrived nine minutes after half-time. He seized on a shocking clearance from Thomas Sorensen to send Hayles clear of the Sunderland defence and burly forward fired in his first league goal of the season after seeing off Stephen Wright.

Sunderland struggled to create clear-cut chances despite Quinn’s arrival and their desire to get back into the game proved their undoing. With red and white shirts stuck upfield, Fulham countered quickly with Inamoto delivering another beautiful ball to put Marlet in the clear. The French international couldn’t miss and, although Quinn did threaten a late consolation, Fulham moved into fifth place in the table.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Sorensen; Wright, Gray, Bjorklund, Butler; McAteer (McCann 56), Reyna, Piper, Butler (Quinn 56); Stewart, Flo. Subs (not used): Bellion, Macho, Williams.

BOOKED: Gray, Wright.

FULHAM (4-4-2): van der Sar; Ouaddoh, Brevett, Knight, Goma; Davis, Legwinski, Goldbaek, Inamoto (Collins 85); Marlet, Hayles (Sava 76). Subs (not used): Taylor, Melville, Stolcers.

BOOKED: Brevett, Hayles.

GOALS: Inamoto (34), Hayles (54), Marlet (78).

REFEREE: Chris Foy (Merseyside).