Johnson brace satisfies Craven

ANDY JOHNSON opened his Fulham account with two goals to continue Wigan’s freefall down the Premier League.

The England striker, a £10.5million summer signing from Everton, struck in each half to condemn Wigan to their fourth successive defeat.

Controversy surrounded the opener – Johnson’s 100th league goal – as he looked a yard offside, but the second was well taken with Jimmy Bullard the provider.

Bullard’s astute free-kick created the space for Johnson and it was a welcome highlight for the 30-year-old, who otherwise endured a disappointing game against his former club.

The victory was Fulham’s first in seven matches and helped ease their own concerns after slipping towards the bottom of the table.

Wigan headed in the opposite direction with their dismal run making their unbeaten progress through September seem like a distant memory.

Conceding a glut of early possession, Wigan came under heavy pressure and paid the price as Johnson sent Fulham ahead in the 10th minute.

Bobby Zamora started the move by picking out left-back Paul Konchesky, who whipped in a low cross to Johnson to convert from close range.

Replays suggested Johnson was offside but he wasted little time celebrating his first goal for Fulham, lifting his shirt to reveal a vest trumpeting his 100th league strike.

The second half was three minutes old when Fulham went close to extending their lead, Zoltan Gera hitting the post after goalkeeper Chris Kirkland palmed Zamora’s shot into his path.

The match desperately needed a second goal and it arrived in the 60th minute when Fulham crept further ahead.

Bullard’s vision did the initial damage with the former Wigan midfielder turning Paul Scharner inside out with a pass to Johnson.

Johnson had escaped the stranded centre-back and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard (Baird 88), Murphy, Gera (Dempsey 72), Johnson (Nevland 90), Zamora.

WIGAN: Kirkland, Boyce, Scharner, Figueroa (Koumas 62), Palacios (Camara 80), Cattermole (De Ridder 80), Kilbane, Melchiot, Valencia, Heskey, Zaki.

Referee: Howard Webb.


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