Sunday 24 September 2017

Parker caps Fulham fightback

Norwich City 1 Fulham 2

Scott Parker (R) of Fulham scores the team's second goal against Norwich City, December 26, 2013
Scott Parker (R) of Fulham scores the team's second goal against Norwich City, December 26, 2013

A month ago Martin Jol had Rene Meulensteen looking over his shoulder in the Fulham dugout; now Meulensteen has Alan Curbishley looming behind him.

In the circumstances, the Dutchman will be particularly glad of Scott Parker's late strike which gave the Londoners their first away win of his reign.

Meulensteen declared himself "absolutely delighted" with Curbishley's appointment as technical director, just as earlier in the season Jol welcomed Meulensteen.

"Alan will provide me fantastic support, with all his experience," the manager said.

Experience was the theme of Meulensteen's day, with Parker's winner epitomising a display he praised for its "vital character and leadership".

The three points looked valuable yesterday, with Crystal Palace and Sunderland also winning. Those results had an ominous look for Norwich City too, as their failure to press home an early advantage meant they slipped back towards the relegation zone.

The in-form Gary Hooper gave Norwich that advantage in the 13th minute with a looping shot. Fulham were slapdash at the back but the Canaries failed to capitalise.

The Cottagers responded when Bradley Johnson fouled Parker on the edge of the box, Pajtim Kasami scoring from the resulting free-kick.

Fulham's winner came three minutes from time, Parker collecting a headed clearance from the Norwich box and dispatching it home impressively from 22 yards.

Irish Independent

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