Duff turns back the clock to send Fulham on upward curve

Fulham 2 Everton 1

Digging deep into the memory bank, Damien Duff scored a goal from his illustrious past to pull Fulham out of the bottom three and catapult them into the top half of the table yesterday – that's how daft league tables are at this stage of the season and Roy Hodgson, had a point when he said yesterday that he thought they should be ignored for the first 11 or 12 games.

"I've been preaching to the players it's where we are after 38 games that counts," the Fulham manager said. It was as hard to evaluate Fulham on the evidence of this one game as it was the four they have played. After the first half, few would have given them any chance of repeating last season's excellent seventh place finish, but the second half was a different story.

Even so, up until Duff's winner in the 79th minute it looked as if both sides would have been content with the draw that would have lifted both of them out of the bottom three. Certainly, Fulham were pushing the harder for a victory but at that stage there were few seriously alarming moments for Tim Howard in the Everton goal.

Nor did there seem one when the 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international – never a prolific scorer – stepped inside Leighton Baines, but with minimal backlift he arrowed a left-footer past the Everton keeper. It was fitting reward for Fulham's second-half effort if not their first.

"It's important when you move clubs and you are a quality player like Damien that you show the fans early on that, 'I'm a quality player'," Hodgson said.

For a while yesterday it looked as if the legacy of international duty could prove decisive in Everton's favour. Fulham's Mark Schwarzer underwent the long flight to Seoul in order to play in a friendly for Australia against South Korea and for his pains injured his neck, thereby ruling him out of yesterday's match.

Everton's Tim Cahill, on the other hand, was excused duty for the Aussies. Those details may have flashed across Hodgson's mind as Cahill headed past the debutant keeper David Stockdale after 33 minutes, not that the young man could be faulted for the goal.

Schwarzer apart, Everton were the ones who looked as though they might feel the pinch of absenteeism. Already without Phil Jagielka and Mikael Arteta, both of course long-term casualties, they arrived at Craven Cottage without the former Fulham favourite, in-form Louis Saha because of injury. Yet they largely dictated the first half and were deserving of the lead that Cahill gave them, even if Fulham should have been more alert to his aerial threat at set pieces.

To their credit, Fulham came out with serious intent at the start of the second half, although Everton could consider themselves a little unfortunate not to weather the storm.

The award of a free-kick for a foul by Phil Neville on John Pantsil looked dubious to begin with and then Murphy could do no more than strike the wall from it. The rebound fell nicely for Paul Konchesky's potent left foot and his shot benefited enormously from a fierce deflection off Sylvain Distin.

From then on it was much more like the old Fulham and Hodgson was particularly pleased with the way his side stood firm, with Stockdale and Murphy making successive goal-line clearances from Marouane Fellaini and Joseph Yobo.

As for Hodgson's opposite number David Moyes, there was more injury woe and he was not best pleased with a challenge from Dickson Etuhu that saw Neville carried off with what, thankfully, turned out to be nothing more serious than a gashed knee.

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Duff (Davies, 85), Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey; Johnson (Kamara, 89), Zamora. Substitutes not used: Baird, Nevland, Gera, Greening, Zuberbühler (gk).

Everton (4-5-1); Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines; Osman (Yakubu, 81), Neville (Heitinga, 64), Rodwell, Cahill, Pienaar; Jo (Fellaini, 69). Substitutes not used: Bilyaletdinov, Vaughan, Gosling, Nash, (gk).

Referee: P Walton (Northamptonshire).

Booked: Fulham Murphy; Everton Baines.

Man of the match: Duff.

Attendance: 24,191.

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
Review: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
news Sprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Charlotte Brontë, the English novelist, poet and the eldest of the three Bronte sisters who lived into adulthood, has been celebrated with a Google Doodle depicting her most famous novel, Jane Eyre.
arts + ents "Reader, they doodled her".

Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Oxegen in Ireland has been axed as promoters decide it is 'no longer viable'
arts + ents Promoters have axed the event as it is 'no longer viable in current form'
News
The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines
people Star made the announcement during the final episode of the programme, entitled Lindsay
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players