Photo by ISI Photos
Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard curled a beautiful free kick past Aston Villa goalkeeper Scott Carson in the 86th minute to give the Cottagers a sorely-needed 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
Fulham looked doomed to another league loss when defender Aaron Hughes put the ball into his own net in the 69th minute to give Villa a 1-0 lead, but Simon Davies finished off a perfect Bullard pass to equalize for Fulham just four minutes later.
A tie wasn’t going to be enough to help Fulham’s relegation fight, but the chance came with just four minutes left, when Diomanys Kamara drew a foul about 25 yards from goal. Bullard’s perfectly struck free kick started out right but curled back to the left, leaving Carson helpless to stop it.
The win pushes Fulham within three points of Reading for the final spot outside the relegation zone with 13 matches to play (Yes, I know, you would rather neither team be relegated since Reading boasts Marcus Hahnemann and Bobby Convey).
Another great highlight from the match was the return of American striker Brian McBride, whose comeback from a knee injury became complete when he entered today’s match in the 70th minute. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller also returned to the squad after an arm injury. He made the bench for Fulham
The lone downer for American fans was Carlos Bocanegra being stuck on the bench. He dressed but did not play on Sunday.