Two goals from Henri Lansbury and one from Robert Tesche earned Nottingham Forest a 3-1 win at Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The two struggling sides started the clash on equal points, but a number of unforced errors in the first half cost the home side.
Fulham came back fighting in the second, but, after getting a goal back through substitute Matt Smith, they could not a equaliser and Lansbury grabbed his second of the afternoon to secure the three points.
Forest looked the stronger side throughout the first half as the Cottagers struggled to keep hold of the ball and they went ahead after 23 minutes.
Lansbury won a free-kick near the corner flag and sent a pass to Tesche on the edge of the area. His first-time strike flew straight past goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
The Cottagers tried to hit back, striker Moussa Dembele could not find a way through.
Instead, with just two minutes remaining in the first half, Tesche was brought down in the area by Emerson Hyndman and captain Lansbury fired home the resulting penalty.
The hosts came agonisingly close to halving the deficit before the break.
They were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, referee Robert Lewis told by his assistant to wave away their claims for a penalty, and Ross McCormack’s effort cannoned back off the crossbar.
No Fulham player was able to get on the end of the rebound as Forest cleared the ball to safety.
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic made a double change at the break with with Tom Cairney and Hyndman replaced by Smith and Lasse Vigen Christensen.
It appeared to do the trick, with the Cottagers starting the half with more purpose.
On the hour mark a superb low shot by Dembele forced a save from Dorus de Vries.
And the resulting corner led to a goal as Smith’s header from McCormack’s delivery found the bottom right-hand corner.
Fulham continued to push forward, but they could not find a leveller.
And their hopes were dashed in the 71st minute when Lansbury flicked in his second of the afternoon from Eric Lichaj’s cross into the area.
With 10 minutes to go Fulham again appealed for a penalty when Smith went down in the area, but once more referee Lewis was unmoved.