Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday October 30 2008
On a cold October night, the result was enough to warm you through as Fulham moved away from the relegation places into a comfortable mid-table position.
It may be still early days but the fact that Fulham have a plethora of teams below them is a good feeling.
They sit in 14th position in the Premier League, between Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City courtesy of two goals from Andrew Johnson.
As Jimmy Bullard rightly predicted, Johnson used the fixture to get off the mark for Fulham and in the process knocking up goals 100 and 101 of his career.
After the draw at Fratton Park, on Sunday, Roy Hodgson chose to start with the same eleven players with the only casualties being Milsom and Ki-Hyeon who were not selected for a place on the bench.
It didn`t take Fulham long to open the scoring with Johnson getting his first in the 11th minute converting a cross from Paul Konchesky, although those with a keen eye might suggest that there was a suspicion of offside about it.
Turning to take the plaudits it was pleasing to see just how much the goal meant to Johnson as he pulled up his Fulham shirt to reveal a t-shirt with 100 League goals emblazoned upon it.
Freed from the shackles that not scoring had entwined him in, Johnson began to put in the kind of display that justified his huge transfer fee.
Fulham, although not playing at their best were winning possession thanks to some crisp tackling and Wigan were struggling to carve out any decent chances.
Their powerful front duo of Zaki and Heskey were superbly marshalled by Hangeland and Hughes as the home side went on to look for that crucial second goal, a goal that would give them some leeway in the game if Wigan were to threaten.
It came around the hour mark when Johnson ran onto a superb Jimmy Bullard ball to clip his shot over the advancing Chris Kirkland.
When Johnson made way fro Erik Nevland in stoppage time you got the feeling it was a gesture made by Roy Hodgson so that the striker could rightfully receive the accolades he deserved for a performance that could well be the turning point of his Fulham career.
Next up is a tricky trip to Goodison Park to play Everton but when you`ve taken four points out of the last six and unbeaten in two games, anything is possible.
Date:Thursday October 30 2008
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