The Nigerian was dismissed after just 22 minutes after catching Cottagers skipper Danny Murphy above the knee as both challenged for a bouncing ball but it didn’t deter Rovers from the task in hand. Morten Gamst Pedersen but them ahead with a curling free kick in first half stoppage time before David Dunn doubled the lead just after the break. Damien Duff then halved the deficit against his former club to give the visitors hope of a comeback but Mauro Formica put paid to that sealing the win and lifting Steve Kean’s side up to 17th in the table. The win should provide a moment of respite for the beleaguered Kean who has been the subject of much derision from supporters who staged a 24-hour protest against the clubs owners before kick off. With captain Christopher Samba also revealing he wants to leave the club preparations for the visit of Martin Jol’s side weren’t exactly steeped in positivity for Rovers.
Bobby Zamora should have put them behind early on striking the post with a fierce effort as the home side struggled to settle before Yakubu was dismissed for a crude challenge on Murphy. Rovers’ 13 goal top scorer was visibly furious with the decision as was Kean who now faces being without the striker for three-games. Fulham’s man advantage saw them take control of the game but fall of their possession they failed to make their supremacy count. Zamora wasted another chance heading over John Arne Riise’s cross before Philippe Senderos was denied by a magnificent save from Paul Robinson as the home side continued to weather the West London storm. No one would have predicted that the hosts would have taken the lead just before the half time whistle as Pedersen fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
It got even better for Rovers as they doubled their lead within 60 seconds of the restart with Dunn firing home after David Goodwillie’s shot had been blocked by Riise. The Cottagers needed an immediate response as they finally started to make their man advantage count and thought they had drawn level after Clint Dempsey headed home only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. They didn’t have to wait long for a route back into the game as Duff collected Murphy’s pass on 56 minutes before shooting through the legs of Martin Olsson. Any hopes of a comeback were dashed with 11 minutes remaining after Steven N’Zonzi clipped a ball over the Fulham defence and into the path of Formica who lashed a superb half-volley past David Stockdale to lift the hosts out of the relegation zone.