An impressive display from Fulham and goals from Simon Davies, Clint Dempsey and Brede Hangeland secured an important three points for the Whites.
Fulham started brightly and didn’t have to wait long for their first chance of the match when, on four minutes, Diomansy Kamara produced a stunning first touch to create a shooting opportunity for himself in a tight situation. The Senegal international turned well only to see his shot saved by Scott Carson.
David Stockdale was called into action minutes later when Peter Odemwingie timed his run well, beat the offside trap and fired a powerful low cross across the face of Fulham’s six yard box; fortunately Stockdale showed a strong hand to divert the ball away from the danger area.
Fulham produced the more incisive football in the opening stages of the game and with West Brom employing a 4-5-1 formation; their extra numbers in midfield were doing little to stem Fulham’s attacks.
However, the tide slowly started to turn and a good run from Jerome Thomas on 17 minutes saw him put clean through on goal, but with only Stockdale to beat, the Baggies attacker tried to place a finish past the Fulham keeper only to be denied by a fine save. John Pantsil then cleared the danger with an acrobatic clearance.
A teasing pass from Graham Dorrans on 25 minutes through the heart of the Fulham central defence almost had Stockdale in two minds but the keeper impressively kept his composure, to collect the ball well. It was another good piece of goalkeeping but West Brom were showing greater signs of attacking intent.
Damien Duff’s deflected shot won the Whites a corner on 40 minutes following a good spell of Fulham pressure, from the resulting corner Brede Hangeland rose highest in the area but caught a punch in the face from Scott Carson for his trouble.
Fulham finally took the lead in first-half stoppage time courtesy of a thunderous strike from Simon Davies. The Fulham winger collected the ball after good work from Dickson Etuhu won possession back for Fulham. Davies’ strike, whilst fairly central, beat Carson through sheer power, with the West Brom keeper barely able to get his hands behind the ball before it found the back of the net.
Dickson Etuhu continued his impressive display in the second-half, winning more than his fair share of tackles and breaking up West Brom’s midfield play superbly.
Fulham came close to netting the vital second goal when Damien Duff turned sharply outside the area before hitting a right footed shot that just skimmed the far post. The Whites were certainly in the hunt for another goal and it duly came on 55 minutes via the head of Clint Dempsey following a corner.
The set-piece came as a result of some excellent running from Davies down the left wing. Davies took the in-swinger, and with Hangeland and Dempsey both going for the same ball, it was Dempsey who got the vital touch.
Diomansy Kamara made way for Zoltan Gera on 62 minutes, with Gera joining Dempsey up front in attack.
The second goal allowed the Whites to start playing with a greater degree of freedom and their attacking play had West Brom in trouble on numerous occasions. Brede Hangeland got his name on the score sheet on 65 minutes when he rose highest in the area to powerfully head Simon Davies’ corner past Carson. Hangeland had been a threat from the set-piece all evening and his goal was just reward for his display.
Simon Davies was substituted on 81 minutes, with Bjorn Helge Riise coming on in his place. Fulham’s final change of the match saw Eddie Johnson replace Dempsey on 86 minutes.
With Fulham three goals to the good, the Whites eased back in their attacking instincts, preferring to maintain a firm grip on the game until the final whistle.