Cole visibly grew in confidence after scoring his first goal
By Jon Barbuti
Carlton Cole scored a Premier League brace for the first time to earn West Ham their first away win of the season while heaping more pressure on Fulham.
The Cottagers took the lead when Aaron Hughes headed home Simon Davies' cross but Cole pounced on Dickson Etuhu's error to level.
Frederic Piquionne's volley gave the Hammers a lead they did not deserve.
But the visitors improved after the break and sealed the win through Cole's smart left-foot volley.
Cole's display for the Hammers continued what is something of a renaissance for the 27-year-old England striker. He has been in and out of West Ham boss Avram Grant's side this season, but has now scored doubles twice in a month having previously gone eight years without managing the feat.
However, Cole's previous two-goal efforts both came in the League Cup and while the recent victory over Manchester United in that competition was welcome, it pales into insignificance compared to the importance of a league win - vital for all manner of reasons.
Not only was it the first three points the east Londoners have picked up away from Upton Park since August 2009, it might also buy Grant some breathing space - the Israeli having previously been told he had to win one of club's matches over the festive period.
But, while West Ham can approach the remainder of the season with renewed confidence, for the Cottagers the problems have only increased. Again they looked neat in possession and would have won comfortably had they been able to call on an in-form striker. Instead, they find themselves in the bottom three, two points behind Birmingham in 17th place.
In short, Cole was the difference between two sides that went into the match having only won two league games this season - the worst record in the Premier League.
In Danny Murphy, Fulham had the player with the most guile and composure on the pitch but they lacked the players to take advantage of his probing.
However, it all looked set to end so differently when Fulham took a deserved lead.
Carlos Salcido advanced on a sharp cross-field pass from Murphy and, although his shot was palmed behind, the resultant corner led to the ball being fed back to Simon Davies, whose left-footed cross was powered home by Hughes.
With more of a cutting edge Fulham would then have proceeded to put the game beyond their opponents with a number of good chances created and spurned.
Andrew Johnson, yet to regain full sharpness after a lengthy spell out, was the prime culprit, the striker mis-hitting when unmarked eight yards out following Davies' low cross, while in the second half he was to fluff his lines when clean through with an equaliser beckoning.
Grant enjoys rare away win
Clint Dempsey was also twice close to connecting with crosses and the lively Davies jinked inside before firing a left-foot shot over.
Normally a spate of missed chances creates the impression that the other team will punish the profligacy but so disjointed were the Hammers that any talk of an equaliser seemed fanciful.
However, Grant's side were to get a huge helping hand as Freddie Sears, struggling to get into the game on his return to the Premier League after a spell with Scunthorpe in the Championship, sent in an aimless cross that Etuhu waved a leg at, deflecting the ball straight into the path of Cole and the England striker made no mistake from 10 yards.
Cole was then thwarted by Cottagers goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer when played clean through but the miss was academic as from the resultant corner the ball was returned to Parker, whose cross was neatly volleyed home by Piquionne.
Although Fulham would have told themselves they were the better team at half-time, falling behind appeared to hit their confidence every bit as much as it boosted the resurgent Cole.
On 52 minutes he took a moment too long when he could have shot and 10 minutes later he was bustled away when trying to close on a Parker cross but the striker was not to be denied for long.
Hughes hints at January signings
His second goal combined all the qualities he is known to possess yet displays too rarely. He showed strength to force his way on to Daniel Gabbidon's punt into the box and then awareness and technique to score with a neat left-foot volley on the turn.
The home side had a chance to hit back immediately but were denied by a superb save from the returning Robert Green, the England keeper flinging his right hand upwards to deflect substitute Eddie Johnson's shot over.
That miss was to sum up a miserable afternoon for Fulham boss Mark Hughes and, with no more chances forthcoming, he must now fear he will be on the end of an ultimatum similar to the one delivered to Grant only a few weeks ago.
90:00+3:14 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+2:54 Danny Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Frank Nouble. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
90:00+0:38 Daniel Gabbidon challenges Eddie Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
90:00+0:11 Foul by Danny Murphy on Scott Parker, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
88:47 Substitution Frank Nouble joins the action as a substitute, replacing Frederic Piquionne.
86:51 Andrew Johnson takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
85:02 Aaron Hughes concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlton Cole. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Gabbidon.
84:48 The ball is delivered by Carlos Salcido.
82:55 Corner from the right by-line taken by Damien Duff, save by Robert Green.
81:13 The assistant referee flags for offside against Carlton Cole. Aaron Hughes takes the indirect free kick.
80:23 Scott Parker fouled by John Pantsil, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Gabbidon takes the direct free kick.
79:16 The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Danny Murphy produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
77:44 Carlton Cole concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
77:04 Free kick awarded for a foul by Frederic Piquionne on Brede Hangeland. Direct free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
76:34 Centre by Carlos Salcido.
75:27 Scott Parker challenges Danny Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
72:57 Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff, Matthew Upson manages to make a clearance. Eddie Johnson produces a volleyed right-footed
shot from 6 yards. Robert Green makes a save. Simon Davies takes a inswinging corner.
72:03 GOAL - Carlton Cole:Fulham 1 - 3 West Ham Carlton Cole grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Fulham 1-3 West Ham.
71:22 Junior Stanislas takes a shot. Aaron Hughes gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Junior Stanislas from the right by-line,
Andrew Johnson manages to make a clearance.
69:17 Simon Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker. Robert Green takes the free kick.
68:03 Foul by Danny Murphy on Frederic Piquionne, free kick awarded. Robert Green takes the free kick.
67:34 Carlton Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
66:52 Damien Duff has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
65:34 Freddie Sears has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
65:03 Andrew Johnson takes a shot. Tal Ben-Haim makes a save.
64:23 Freddie Sears has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the goal.
62:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Radoslav Kovac by Eddie Johnson. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
59:36 Handball decision goes against Andrew Johnson. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
58:33 Carlton Cole challenges Aaron Hughes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.
57:04 Centre by John Pantsil, save made by Robert Green. Junior Stanislas fouled by John Pantsil, the ref awards a free kick. Direct
free kick taken by Robert Green.
57:04 Booking John Pantsil goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
54:56 Junior Stanislas sends in a cross, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
53:56 Carlton Cole fouled by Brede Hangeland, the ref awards a free kick. Tal Ben-Haim takes the free kick.
52:30 Scott Parker challenges Danny Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
52:30 Substitution Dickson Etuhu goes off and Eddie Johnson comes on.
52:30 Substitution Damien Duff replaces Clinton Dempsey.
46:56 Matthew Upson challenges Clinton Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Danny Murphy from
the free kick.
46:56 Booking Booking for Matthew Upson for unsporting behaviour.
45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:40 The ref blows to end the first period.
45:00+0:02 Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer. Assist on the goal came from Scott Parker.
45:00+0:02 GOAL - Frederic Piquionne:Fulham 1 - 2 West Ham Frederic Piquionne gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 1-2 West
43:30 Clinton Dempsey challenges James Tomkins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
41:11 Simon Davies produces a cross, Radoslav Kovac makes a clearance.
40:40 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Simon Davies, Radoslav Kovac manages to make a clearance.
40:03 Zoltan Gera produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
39:18 Tal Ben-Haim concedes a free kick for a foul on Clinton Dempsey. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
36:23 GOAL - Carlton Cole:Fulham 1 - 1 West Ham A goal is scored by Carlton Cole from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 1-1 West Ham.
35:36 A cross is delivered by John Pantsil, save by Robert Green.
32:33 Radoslav Kovac has an effort at goal. Aaron Hughes gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Junior Stanislas to the near
post, Clinton Dempsey manages to make a clearance.
31:37 Radoslav Kovac fouled by Clinton Dempsey, the ref awards a free kick. Robert Green takes the direct free kick.
31:13 Radoslav Kovac concedes a free kick for a foul on Clinton Dempsey. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
30:27 Simon Davies delivers the ball.
29:05 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies from the left by-line, save by Robert Green.
28:06 Corner taken right-footed by Junior Stanislas, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.
26:36 Effort from just outside the box by Simon Davies goes over the bar.
25:24 The ball is delivered by Tal Ben-Haim.
24:40 The referee blows for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
22:58 Long distance shot from Zoltan Gera misses to the left of the target.
Correction - 21:59 The offside flag is raised against Carlton Cole. Brede Hangeland takes the free kick.
21:59 Carlton Cole is ruled offside.
20:44 The ball is swung over by Simon Davies.
20:02 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Simon Davies.
19:21 The ball is swung over by Carlos Salcido, Freddie Sears manages to make a clearance. Corner from left by-line taken by Simon
17:14 Shot by Andrew Johnson from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
13:14 Shot from 25 yards by Andrew Johnson. Save made by Robert Green.
11:51 Corner taken right-footed by Junior Stanislas from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Andrew Johnson.
10:11 Assist on the goal came from Simon Davies.
10:11 GOAL - Aaron Hughes:Fulham 1 - 0 West Ham Aaron Hughes finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Fulham 1-0 West Ham.
9:34 Shot by Carlos Salcido from 30 yards. Save made by Robert Green. Corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies from the left by-line,
Robert Green makes a save.
8:06 John Pantsil delivers the ball.
6:07 The ball is crossed by Frederic Piquionne, Carlton Cole produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which
goes wide of the right-hand upright.
4:20 Foul by Carlos Salcido on Carlton Cole, free kick awarded. Frederic Piquionne has an effort direct from the free kick.
3:25 Junior Stanislas sends in a cross, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
1:47 Clinton Dempsey fouled by Tal Ben-Haim, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Danny Murphy
from left channel, clearance made by Matthew Upson. Centre by Zoltan Gera.
1:09 Freddie Sears sends in a cross.
0:00 The match gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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