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Fulham 3-0 Charlton Cham 32 1516 - GetWestLondon

last updated Sunday 21st February 2016, 1:47 PM

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Dimitri Kondonis at GetWestLondon

Fulham (1) 3-0 (0) Charlton Athletic

Tom Cairney scored a sensational brace to ease Fulham's woes with a flattering victory over Charlton at Craven Cottage.

Cairney's strikes sandwiched a header from Michael Madl as the Whites relied once more on their fine goalscoring prowess to see them through.

And Whites fans were delighted to see Chris Baird return to the pitch after his loan move from Derby on Thursday.

But it was a far from perfect performance, and manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be eager to improve.

The hosts started on the front foot with four corners in the opening 10 minutes, but failed to create any clear openings.

Moussa Dembele had the first chance for the host when he turned on the edge of the box and was allowed space to line up a shot, only to slice it out for a throw-in.

Only a couple of minutes later, Scott Parker - again the recipient of boos from his former supporters - was allowed a similar opportunity, but his more accurate effort was headed behind.

The visitors may have stolen the lead through Johann Berg Gudmundsson, as he scuffed a half-volley wide after his initial free-kick caused a series of snapshots at goal.

Jokanovic's men were in front shortly afterwards, however, when Parker slammed a shot from a corner against the crossbar, and Cairney coolly slotted into the top corner.

The goal was cruel on the visitors, who nearly hit back before the break when Zakarya Bergdich flicked a header narrowly wide.

But Ross McCormack missed a wonderful chance for the hosts to double their lead on the stroke of half-time after a sensational run from Cairney saw the former Leeds man fire over in space from close range.

Returning loanee Baird - who played a pivotal role in Fulham's Europa League Final run in 2010 - came on at the break alongside Madl as the hosts sought to solidify their lead.

And the Whites doubled their lead 15 minutes into the second half, when substitute Madl headed home from close range following a pinpoint McCormack corner.

They came close to adding a quickfire third when Dembele cut inside from the left and fired a scorching effort against the bar, before Cairney was denied a one-on-one by Henderson.

But he didn't have to wait long to add a second,with another fantastic strike.

A Whites corner was cleared and the number ten slammed a sumptuous strike into the bottom corner to seal an emphatic win with little over 10 minutes remaining.

Simon Makienok came closest for the visitors, but he hit a 90th minute effort straight at Lonergan from 12 yards.

The win means Charlton go bottom and Fulham have a nine-point gap to the relegation slots. Surely, drop fears now over?

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