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Match Report - Leicester 0 Fulham 2

last updated Saturday 10th April 2004, 11:33 PM

Collins John scored his first goals for Fulham as the Cottagers ended a sequence of 11 away games without victory by securing a 2-0 win at relegation-threatened Leicester.

Substitute John, who had replaced Barry Hayles on the hour, struck in the 66th minute to set up Fulham's first Barclaycard Premiership win on the road since the 3-1 triumph at Old Trafford on October 25.
Fulham striker Collins John
Fulham striker Collins John
gets both goals against Leicester
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And the Liberian made sure of victory with an 89th-minute strike after Leicester had been caught on the break.

It had been Fulham who were first to threaten when Zat Knight popped up at the back post to meet a right-wing free-kick floated over by Sean Davis, the lofty central defender stopping to head goalwards although unflustered keeper Ian Walker was able to complete an elementary save.

But at the other end, Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar was enjoying a quiet opening to his afternoon as the stuttering Foxes struggled to assert themselves.

Their best chance of the first 15 minutes was blasted into the wall by Ben Thatcher after Barry Hayles had conceded a free kick fouling Riccardo Scimeca.

A drab contest threatened to spark into life moments later, but referee Peter Walton opted to wave away Leicester penalty appeals after a collision with Luis Boa Morte left Foxes skipper Muzzy Izzet in a heap just outside Fulham's six-yard box.

Sylvain Legwinski went close to breaking the deadlock in the 23rd minute, but his close-range effort was courageously blocked by Steffen Freund, ahead of the German's late challenge on Moritz Volz which earned the Foxes midfielder a yellow card.

Then, with five minutes until the interval, Marcus Bent retrieved a seemingly lost cause on the right wing and picked out Jamie Scowcroft in the penalty area, only for the ball to be spooned well over the crossbar.

But a scrappy first half was followed by an entertaining beginning to the second as Bent teed up Paul Dickov on the edge of the Cottagers' box, only for the Scotsman's shot to be deflected wide for a fruitless corner.

Moments later, Dickov went closer still as he earned himself the space to turn in the box and then unloaded a venomous right-footed drive which rebounded from the inside angle of crossbar and post.

Match Stats Leicester Fulham
Goals 0 2
Poss. 55% 45%
Goal attempts 11 9
On Target 7 4
Offsides 3 6
Corners 15 4
Fouls 14 16
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: soccernet

Controversy broke out in the 61st minute when van der Sar dropped the ball for a goalkick, only for Izzet to nip in and take half the ball and half the keeper before the kick had been completed.

With the Dutchman caught unawares, Izzet made the most of his opportunity to slide the ball into an empty net, only for the goal to be disallowed and a free-kick awarded to the Cottagers.

There was more frustration for the hosts moments later after Dickov had raced clear and unleashed a a low drive spectacularly saved by van der Sar, who had dived to his left.

But much against the run of play, Fulham took a 66th-minute lead courtesy of substitute John, who had replaced Barry Hayles.

Malbranque was credited with the assist after having chipped the ball forward for John, who sprinted clear from midfield to beat Walker to the bouncing ball and lift into a gaping net.

A last-ditch intervention by Nikos Dabizas prevented Fulham going further ahead after Volz had worked his way into the box and produced a powerful close-range shot.

But the hosts were caught on the break a minute from time when Boa Morte raced down the left channel and slid the ball through Ben Thatcher's legs for John to coolly dispatch the ball under Walker.

Leicester: Walker, Scimeca, Heath, Dabizas (Canero 80), Thatcher, Scowcroft, Izzet, Freund (Nalis 74), Guppy, Bent, Dickov.

Subs Not Used: Stewart, Benjamin, McKinlay.

Booked: Freund, Dickov.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz, Knight, Goma, Bocanegra, Malbranque (McBride 71), Djetou, Sean Davis, Legwinski, Boa Morte, Hayles (John 62).

Subs Not Used: Crossley, Petta, Pearce.

Booked: Boa Morte(38,f).

Goals: John 66, 89.

Att: 28,392

Ref: P Walton (Northamptonshire).

Source PA Sport
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