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Fulham 1 Nottm Forest 0 - match report

last updated Saturday 17th February 2001, 7:27 PM
Runaway First Division leaders Fulham continued their relentless promotion push with a hard-fought victory over Nottingham Forest.

Top scorer Louis Saha was once more Fulham's hero after netting his 24th goal of the season on 20 minutes, to send the Cottagers ten points clear of second-place Bolton.

But Jean Tigana's men had to work hard to overcome play-off hopefuls Forest, and Chris Bart-Williams almost caused a shock when his brilliant 25-yard free kick struck the underside of the bar with only minutes remaining.

Bart-Williams' effort came during Forest's best spell in which they laid siege to the League leaders' goal in the closing 15 minutes and caused some desperate moments in the home defence.

The game started very differently though, as the Cottagers deservedly took the lead 20 minutes into the game when danger-man Saha netted after good approach work by Luis Boa Morte.

The Portuguese striker tricked his way to the bye-line and crossed for Saha to acrobatically convert past a stranded Dave Beasant in the Forest goal.

And on-loan star Boa Morte thought he should have had a penalty in the 77th minute, but was booked for diving.

Substitute Karlheinz Riedle came desperately close to doubling Fulham's lead when his header was somehow saved on the line by former Wimbledon stopper Beasant.

Boa Morte whipped in a viscous corner that ex-Liverpool striker Riedle met powerfully in the air, but Beasant was on hand to keep his side in the match with a fine stop.

But it wasn't all one-way traffic and Forest worked hard with Jim Brennan and Marlon Harewood both coming close to scoring for the visitors.

And Forest almost grabbed a dramatic late equaliser when Bart Williams' superb free-kick crashed against the underside of the bar and rebounded to safety.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Symons, Clark, John Collins (Stolcers 80), Goldbaek (Riedle 64), Saha (Moller 84), Boa Morte, Davis.

Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Neilson.

Booked: Boa Morte, Brevett. Goals: Saha 20.

Nottm Forest: Beasant, Scimeca, Edwards, Bart-Williams, Benali, Olsen, Jones (John 74), Andy Johnson (Williams 87), Brennan, David Johnson, Harewood.

Subs Not Used: Roche, Hjelde, Cooper.

Booked: Benali, Brennan.

Att: 17,425 Ref: A Leake (Darwen)
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