Football: Horsfield's brace lifts Fulham

Walsall 1 Fulham 3
Click to follow
The Independent Online
FULHAM SHOOK off their recent lethargy and thoroughly deserved the points at Bescot Stadium last night. They had won only one of their previous nine matches, but were much too strong for a struggling Walsall side who rarely looked capable of saving a point.

Steve Hayward, Walsall-born, was outstanding in midfield for the Thamessiders, while Geoff Horsfield capped a fine display in attack with two second- half goals. Walsall were unhappy with some decisions made by the referee, Mike Pike, but there was no doubting the visitors' superiority.

After a concerted period of pressure, Fulham's first goal arrived in the 35th minute. A pinpoint cross from Rufus Brevett on the left flank was headed in by Karlheinz Riedle, the ball taking a deflection on its way into the net. In stoppage time, however, Walsall equalised, Adrian Viveash sending a low pass through the middle for the Spaniard Pedro Matthias to send a lovely chip over the Fulham goalkeeper, Maik Taylor.

Fulham regained the lead in the 66th minute, Sean Davis' pass bisecting the Walsall defence who were claiming offside Horsfield ran on, beat the keeper and slotted the ball home. Six minutes from time, the referee appeared to miss a foul on Bjarni Larusson and allowed Fulham to move forward before Horsfield side-stepped a defender to score again with a low drive.

Walsall: Walker; Marsh, Roper, Viveash, Padula, Wrack, Bukran, Keates (Larusson, 83), Matias (Gadsby, 78), Rammell, Robins (Eyjolfsson, 78). Substitutes not used: Emberson, Barras.

Fulham: Taylor; Melville, Coleman, Symons, Uhlenbeek, Clark, Hayward, Davis (Collins, 89), Brevett, Horsfield, Riedle (Hayles, 72). Substitutes not used: Hahnemann, Morgan, Cadamarteri.

Referee: M Pike (Barrow-in-Furness).