Andrew Cole's early strike gave Fulham plenty to smile about as the Whites edged further away from the relegation zone at Carrow Road. For Norwich, the defeat left Nigel Worthington's team firmly entrenched in the bottom three.
Cole took just seven minutes to put the visitors in front, drilling the ball under Canaries goalkeeper Robert Green after a great back-flick from Brian McBride. It was Cole’s sixth league goal of the season.
Mark Pembridge twice went close twice to adding a second Fulham goal before the interval. He was denied by the quick reactions of Green in the 25th minute and then shot wide on 43.
A minute later, Matthias Svensson tested Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar for the first time when he drilled a shot towards the bottom left-hand corner but the Dutch stopper was more than able for the challenge.
Norwich stepped up the pace and the Whites were forced to withstand a barrage of shots from Darren Huckerby, Mattias Jonson and Gary Doherty.
But although McBride squandered a late chance to add a safety cushion, Fulham held on for a much-needed victory - their first in four league matches.
From the archives
'Fulham Are Mustard - Coleman' by Ken Gaunt
Fulham manager Chris Coleman last night praised his players for showing the heart required to avoid a relegation battle just a week after slaughtering them for a shambolic performance against Blackburn Rovers.
Coleman left no stone unturned in his criticism in the wake of a 2-0 loss against Rovers at Craven Cottage, questioning the desire and commitment of a number of his highly-paid stars.
But Coleman was again all smiles yesterday, after a 1-0 victory at Norwich.
After avoiding a fourth consecutive league defeat, Coleman said: "I don't think it's too much to ask for us to play like that. Today the lads went out and rolled their sleeves up. I was delighted with the performance."
Coleman believes last week's criticism served its purpose, adding: " I was scathing, but I don't go back on anything I said. I was well within my rights to have a go at them for their lack of enthusiasm."
Norwich boss Nigel Worthington had no complaints with the result, stating: "We conceded a soft goal, but I couldn’t have asked any more of the players in terms of work and commitment. They gave me their all."