Form is temporary and so at the moment is Kit Symons's position in charge of Fulham's first-team. But for how much longer? Further evidence that he has transformed a demoralised squad since taking charge eight matches ago was offered on the banks of the Thames tonight with a fifth victory in that run to take the West Londoners out of the bottom three, until Saturday afternoon at the very least. Symons left the pitch looking a very satisfied man.
"I'm very confident I'll get the job," he said later. "You'd like to think the five-man panel [selecting the manager] will see what's the obvious and the right thing to do for this football club."
Charlton, losing for only the second time this season, had been hoping to move into the top three but they found recovery impossible from a dreadful start, conceding two goals to Scott Parker and Hugo Rodallega in the first 12 minutes of the game.
There was a seeming inevitability about Parker, a Charlton youth product, having a major say in events. His driving run towards goal in the sixth minute set up Ross McCormack, who did well to cut the ball back for Parker to knock in off the crossbar from five yards.
If the captain’s celebration was sensitively muted, there was no such restraint when Fulham scored a second goal only six minutes later. This time André Bikey-Amougou cleared a cross acrobatically but only to McCormack. His shot, well saved by Stephen Henderson, fell for Rodallega to drive past the goalkeeper.
Had Tim Hoogland directed a header the right side of the post from McCormack’s free-kick before half-time the contest would have been over much earlier. Instead Marcus Bettinelli had to make a fine low save from George Tucudean’s header as Charlton produced some sustained pressure at last.
The 17 year-old Karlan Ahearne-Grant, one of many successors to Parker from a successful academy, introduced a more direct threat in attack. Lawrie Wilson hit the inside of the post but not until added time, just after Rodallega had turned inside his man beautifully for the third goal.
Fulham (4-4-2): Bettinelli; Hoogland, Burn, Bodurov, Stafylidis; Christensen, Parker, Ruiz (Woodrow 76), Kavanagh; Rodallega (Roberts 89), McCormack (Zverotic 87). Substitutes not used: Kiraly, Hutchinson, Smith, Williams.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Henderson; Solly, Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou, Fox (Ahearne-Grant 68); Wilson, Cousins, Jackson, Bulot (Morrison 78); Moussa (Gudmundsson 59) ,Tucudean. Substitutes not used: Morrison, Harriott, Munns, Pope, Thomas.
Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire)Reuse content