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BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
With a full match report
 real 14k

Friday, 18 August, 2000, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
Classy Fulham beat the Blues
Lee Clarke and Peter Ndlovu
Fulham's Clarke and City's Ndlovu locked in combat
Birmingham City 1-3 Fulham

John Collins opened his Fulham account as the London club continued their winning start to the First Division season on Friday, beating Birmingham City 3-1 at St Andrews.

Fulham, among the favourites to win promotion, made it two wins out of two after beating Crewe 2-0 in last weekend's season opener.

Scottish midfielder John Collins, signed last month from Everton for 2.5m, drove a loose ball home from 12 yards inside a minute to give his side a dream start.

French import Louis Saha picked up a dreadful pass from Birmingham's Darren Purse to make it 2-0 in the 31st minute with a cool finish, his second in as many matches.

Quick thinking

Danny Sonner pulled one back for City, but immediately surrendered the initiative to a quick piece of thinking from Fulham's Sean Davis on the stroke of half-time.

Davis curled home a free-kick from the edge of the box while Birmingham were organising their wall. The referee waved off the home team's protests and blew for the interval.

After the break, goal-scoring chances were at a premium as Fulham appeared to settle for what they had achieved in the first half and Birmingham lacked the guile to break them down.

The closest either side came to scoring was when Davis nearly added a fourth in the 68th minute only to be denied by a post.

Birmingham's miserable night was completed by the loss of former Fulham striker Geoff Horsfield, stretchered off with a thigh injury.

Birmingham: Bennett, Eaden, Grainger, Purse, Holdsworth, Hughes, M. Johnson, Horsfield, Ndlovu, Sonner, Lazaridis. Subs: Poole, Gill, Marcelo, A. Johnson, Williams.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Coleman, Clark, J. Collins, Hayles, Goldbaek, Saha, Davis. Subs: Hahnemann, Symons, W. Collins, Boa Morte, Fernandes.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

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