Fulham 1 West Bromwich Albion 0

Last updated : 16 January 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Papa Bouba Diop headed Fulham's last-minute winner to heap more misery on West Brom manager Bryan Robson.

Albion looked to be heading for a point as the game moved into stoppage time, but midfielder Diop rose unmarked in the penalty area to leave the visitors cemented to the bottom of the table.

Both sides were desperate for a win to help their battle against relegation, and these three points will prove vital to Fulham as they opened up a seven-point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

West Brom may feel hard done by and Kevin Campbell, who signed from Everton on a free transfer during the week, may feel especially so after he almost made an instant impact for the Baggies.

Within the first minute Campbell played in strike partner Rob Earnshaw, but his attempted lob from the edge of the box failed to test Edwin van der Sar.

Fulham's Luis Boa Morte signed a new contract in the build up to this clash which will keep him at Craven Cottage until 2008, and he was a constant thorn in the West Brom defence.

His dazzling runs were twice followed by dangerous crosses into the Baggies danger area in the opening five minutes. But both times Tomasz Radzinski was unable to provide the finishing touch.

Welsh forward Earnshaw was a danger for the visitors from the start, and his shot on the turn after ten minutes tested Van der Sar.

Steed Malbranque almost carved an opening for Fulham minutes later, but the Cottagers star was heading for an early exit following a clash with Andy Johnson.

A tough tackle left the Frenchman nursing a sore ankle, and he was replaced by club captain Lee Clark in the 20th minute.

Van der Sar spared the blushes of Fulham defender Zat Knight as he saved at the feet of livewire Earnshaw after a poor attempted chest back by the centre-half.

And the Dutch goalkeeper was called into action again moments later as he saved a low drive from Ronnie Wallwork.

Boa Morte continued to pose Fulham's biggest threat, and he stole the ball from Darren Purse after 25 minutes but was unable to find Collins John in the box.

Campbell was desperate to grab a debut goal and came close twice before the break. In the 27th minute he latched on to a throughball by Purse but was unable to beat Van der Sar when through on goal.

And moments later he forced a low stop from the Fulham goalkeeper, who was on top form.

Russell Hoult made a good save from Boa Morte moments before half-time - and then the Portuguese winger came agonisingly close as his flicked header drifted just wide of the far post.

West Brom started the second half brightest, but had to wait until the 59th minute for a clear sight on goal.

Earnshaw raced through the Fulham defence to try and round Van der Sar, but his shot flew narrowly wide from a tight angle.

A 50-yard run and shot by Boa Morte was Fulham's first real threat of the second period after 62 minutes, but Fulham were lacking any real killer instinct up front with Andy Cole missing through suspension.

Johnson was stretchered off for the visitors with 20 minutes left on the clock after a foul by Boa Morte and Riccardo Scimeca came on in his place.

Fulham were left appealing for a penalty with ten minutes left as Diop's strike appeared to be blocked by the hand of Wallwork. But a spot-kick would have been harsh on the Albion midfielder.

Campbell came within inches of grabbing his debut goal for the Baggies in the dying minutes as he deflected a Wallwork shot just wide of the post.

And then came Fulham's late show. A Mark Pembridge corner found Diop unmarked eight yards out and the Senegalese star found the back of the net to leave Robson wondering where his side's next win will come from.