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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Fulham 3-1 Portsmouth

By Aimee Lewis

Erik Nevland
Substitute Nevland celebrates scoring his second against Portsmouth

Fulham heaped more pressure on Portsmouth manager Tony Adams with a comfortable win at Craven Cottage.

Andy Johnson opened the scoring, finishing low into the corner after being put through by Clint Dempsey.

Younes Kaboul hit the crossbar and Pompey had two penalty appeals turned down before a Simon Davies long ball put Erik Nevland through to score.

Davies was again the provider as Nevland sealed the win before Portsmouth's David Nugent headed home.

It was the visitors' sixth defeat in seven games and Adams, on a day which was cold enough to freeze breath, certainly left west London feeling the heat.

Portsmouth have won just two of their 15 Premier League games since Adams took charge back in October and have not won since their 3-2 victory over Blackburn on 30 November.

The statistics make depressing reading for last year's FA Cup winners, but they can take some solace from the fact they created plenty of chances.

Adams aggrieved by Pompey mistakes

Portsmouth started well with Jermaine Pennant and Glen Johnson getting plenty of freedom down the right flank, but that early promise counted for nothing as Fulham took the lead courtesy of some slack defending.

Dempsey received the ball from Simon Davies and the American put Johnson, who was played onside by the lingering Sylvain Distin, clear to score his eighth of the season.

David James needed to be at his best to prevent Johnson from doubling Fulham's advantage.

The England goalkeeper raced off his line and used his left foot to prevented what looked set to be a certain goal after Distin had flapped at Davies' through ball.

Portsmouth were not without their chances and probably felt aggrieved at going into the break a goal behind.

Sean Davies twice went close against his former club and Brede Hangeland needed to be alert to block Hayden Mullins' shot from hitting the net.

Hodgson praises Nevland's contribution

Kaboul had the best chance for Portsmouth when five minutes before half-time he rose unchallenged inside the six-yard box and had the beating of Mark Schwarzer only for the crossbar to come to the Fulham goalkeeper's rescue.

Portsmouth continued to attack in the second half and had two penalty appeals turned down within minutes of each other.

Substitute Nugent, on for the ineffective Kanu, looked to have been brought down by John Pantsil just as he was about to shoot and the Ghanaian right-back was in the thick of it again when he collided with Peter Crouch.

It was all Portsmouth and Crouch, standing inside the box, should have done better with Kaboul's cross after a surging run down the right from the defender.


However, Portsmouth were made to pay for their profligacy as Fulham went on the counter-attack and Davies' long ball from the right found substitute Nevland who raced onto the ball and shot low beyond James.

Nine minutes later and the Norwegian put the result beyond doubt with his second of the game after some fine play by Dempsey and Davies.

Nugent rose above the Fulham defence to connect with Pennant's free-kick, but his goal was mere consolation for a Portsmouth side now languishing in 15th place.

Portsmouth manager Tony Adams:
"I do my job to the best of my ability. It has been a tough period. The last two months have been difficult both on and off the pitch.

"I'll be delighted when the transfer window closes. Heads have been turned up and down the country. Once it is closed we can get on with business.

"We made mistakes. We gambled on offsides. It is disappointing because we worked hard in training on that."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"They are a good team and playing quite well. I am sure if they continue to do that they won't be losing every match 3-1.

"There is no magic wand in this game. It is work in the end which brings its rewards and, of course, the quality of the players you have at your disposal.

"I was pleased by the solidity of our performance and delighted by the runs of our front players to get in behind their defenders."

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey (Gera 90), Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Zamora (Nevland 63), Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Teymourian, Gray, Stoor, Kallio.

Goals: Johnson 14, Nevland 71, 80.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Kaboul (Pamarot 76), Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Davis, Mullins, Armand Traore (Utaka 63), Kanu (Nugent 46), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Lauren, Mvuemba, Little.

Booked: Mullins.

Goals: Nugent 84.

Att: 23,722

Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Fulham's Erik Nevland 8.50 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
31 Jan 09 |  Football

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