Everton 3 Fulham 1

Last updated : 23 August 2003 By mad Reporter

Everton bounced back from an opening day defeat at Arsenal to secure an impressive 3-1 win over Chris Coleman's Fulham.

Wayne Rooney started Everton's first home match as the Blues looked to pick up their first point of the campaign, but it was Gary Naysmith who fired David Moyes' side ahead as early as the sixth minute.

A quick Everton counter-attack, after a good opening spell from the visitors, found Tomasz Radzinski on the edge of the box. His initial shot was blocked, but Naysmith fired a low angled drive past Edwin Van der Sar's outstretched left hand.

Naysmith could have added a second in the 18th minute, again following up well after good work from Rooney, but blasting his shot inches over the bar.

Everton extended their lead on 21 minutes with a well-crafted goal.

Rooney brought the ball down on the right wing before a quick interchange between Mark Pembridge and Naysmith found David Unsworth on the edge of the penalty area, and he smashed his shot past Van der Sar.

A resolute Everton defence stifled Fulham's creativity up front with efforts by Luis Boa Morte and Junichi Inamoto well blocked in the box.

However, ten minutes before half time, bulky winger Steve Watson made it 3-0.

Rooney somehow managed to pull the ball back before it went out of play and Watson netted from close range.

Fulham worked much harder in the second half with substitute Barry Hayles hitting the side-netting with a long-range effort.

It was Hayles who pulled a goal back for Fulham on 68 minutes, lashing home a snapshot from a Steve Malbranque corner.

Fulham continued to press and Richard Wright had to be alert to stop headers from Louis Saha and new boy Malik Buari.

However, it was too little too late for Fulham as Everton stood firm to collect all three points.