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Fulham 1-3 N. Forest Cham 44 1516 - Nottingham Post

last updated Tuesday 26th April 2016, 9:41 PM

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Sarah_Clapson at Nottingham Post

Fulham (0) 1-3 (2) Nottingham Forest

A Henri Lansbury double ended Nottingham Forest's eight-match winless run as they triumphed 3-1 at Fulham.

It was the first time the Reds had scored more than once in a game since the middle of January as they put on an impressive attacking performance at Craven Cottage.

Robert Tesche set them on their way with his first of the season, in the 23rd minute, then Lansbury doubled the lead from the penalty spot just before the break.

Substitute Matt Smith pulled one back for the hosts with 62 minutes gone, but Lansbury made sure of the three points 20 minutes from the final whistle.

The Reds made one change to their starting line-up against the Cottagers, with Chris Cohen replacing Ryan Mendes.

The former started on the right of a three-pronged attack behind lone front man Dexter Blackstock, and though Fulham pushed forward in the opening stages, it was the visitors who found the better openings.

Lansbury managed to get in some promising positions and twice tried his luck in the first quarter of an hour.

A low drive was easily held by goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli and another strike from the edge of the area flew wide.

The hosts had looked lively in and around the penalty area without really troubling Dorus de Vries between the posts; Moussa Dembele off target with one early effort from outside the box.

But the Dutchman came to the rescue in the 19th minute to deny Fulham an opener.

Matt Mills conceded a free-kick around 20 yards from goal when he upended Dembele, who looked about to break clean through. And Ross McCormack wasn't too far away from finding the near bottom corner with the set-piece; a smart save from de Vries though, saw him firmly push the ball away.

It proved an important stop, too. Just four minutes later Forest were in front.

Blackstock was fouled towards the right corner flag, and a well-worked free-kick saw Lansbury cleverly pull the ball back for Tesche to crash home from just outside the box.

The German could have had a second 10 minutes later as the Reds put pressure on their opponents with a quick-paced passing move.

Lansbury once again was the architect, playing the ball to his team-mate, 20 yards out, but the resulting shot was high and wide.

Fulham had offered little by way of response, and it was Paul Williams' team who ended the first half strongly.

Lansbury, looking dangerous in his more attacking role, continued his search for a goal, but saw his low attempt from inside the box deflected behind for a corner.

Two minutes before the break, however, the skipper finally got his name on the scoresheet.

Tesche was brought down in the penalty area by Rohan Ince and referee Rob Lewis was quick to point to the spot.

Lansbury stepped up and thumped the ball beyond Bettinelli, to the keeper's right, to double his side's lead.

The Cottagers nevertheless went close to pulling one back before the whistle.

De Vries made a good stop to turn Tom Cairney's strike over the bar before, on the stroke of the interval, McCormack saw a fierce free-kick smash against the bar to leave the visitors 2-0 ahead.

And they looked to make it three after the break.

Ben Osborn did superbly to beat his man before racing down the left and sending a cross towards Blackstock, who sent his header the wrong side of the post.

However, Fulham started to build some momentum of their own, and halved the deficit just past the hour.

De Vries brilliantly thwarted Dembele from close range, with a one-handed save. But the Whites kept up the attack and substitute Smith nodded in a left-wing cross at the back post to make it 2-1 in the 62nd minute.

Still, any hope the hosts had of clawing back an equaliser lasted barely eight minutes.

Lansbury expertly finished off a lovely flowing move when he slotted in Eric Lichaj's cross to the near post in the 70th minute for his second, and the visitors' third, of the afternoon.

The Cottagers, though, refused to cave, and de Vries was required to make another good save to preserve his side's two-goal advantage.

McCormack whipped in a free-kick to the back post, from the right-hand side, and the Reds stopper somehow managed to block the resulting header from Michael Madl.

It was then Matt Mills' turn to come to the rescue, with a fine block to keep out Dembele.

The action continued to switch from end to end as the match entered the final 10 minutes, with Blackstock heading an inviting Osborn cross just wide.

The forward was replaced by Britt Assombalonga in added time as the former Peterborough United striker continued his comeback from injury.

He had a pop at goal right at the death, which Bettinelli comfortably got behind to bring a fine afternoon for the visitors to a close.

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