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Davies destroys Baggies

MARK Hughes, under pressure over Christmas, watched his Fulham side overtake West Bromwich Albion and rise, rather elegantly, out of the relegation zone to the heady heights of 13th in the Premier League.

David Stockdale was back in goal for Fulham with Mark Schwarzer on Asian Cup duty for Australia, but it was visiting 'keeper Scott Carson whose lacklustre performance attracted most attention.

John Paintsil's early challenge on Marek Cech left the West Brom defender writhing in agony and he was replaced by Nicky Shorey. The incident unsettled West Brom and Fulham had the chance to capitalise but failed to take it when Brede Hangeland rose to meet a corner from Simon Davies and headed just wide.

It was, though, the West Brom goalkeeper who was left looking dazed when, in first-half stoppage time, Davies struck fiercely from 25 yards at Carson, who could only parry the ball into the net to give Fulham the lead.

Ten minutes into the second half another corner from Davies caused havoc as Clint Dempsey leapt unchallenged to score his seventh goal of the season. Nine minutes later it was Hangeland who met another fine corner by Davies to score with a towering header. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent