After eight games without a win since their relegation from the Premier League Fulham finally ended their miserable start to the season with a 2-1 Championship victory over Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.
They trailed by a first half goal from Dave Cotterill and were let off the hook on several occasions by Birmingham’s indifferent finishing before they hit back in determined style to the delight of their 903 travelling fans.
The win was also the first in league under the control of caretaker manager, Kit Symons.
Birmingham had numerous chances to chalk up only their second league home win in 12 months but they let themselves down with some indifferent finishing.
To their credit Fulham hardly began as a bottom of the table side as demonstrated by Ross McCormack when he flashed in a free-kick which Darren Randolph had to desperately finger-tip away to safety.
But it was Birmingham who then took command and Cotterill, who has created numerous goal opportunities this season, found himself in a goalscoring position when he latched onto a pass from Mark Duffy only to screw his effort wide with only goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli to beat.
Fulham’s problem was highlighted in the 19th minute when the industrious McCormack produced an accurate cross from the right only for Rodallega to fail to make a clean contact just yards away from the Birmingham goal.
The game developed into a chronicle of missed chances as emphasised in the 27th minute when another clear cut opening went begging.
Cotterill’s floated left wing cross found the unmarked Clayton Donaldson when conspired to put his glancing header wide from only five yards.
Birmingham continued to benefit from Cotterill’s good delivery and another chance went begging as David Edgar headed wide from the former Burnley player’s corner kick.
Finally, in the 37th minute, they finally broke the stalemate with a solo goal.
Callum Reilly pushed a pass into the path of Cotterill. He looked up and decided to fire in a shot from fully 25 yards which whistled into the top far corner of the net.
A lacklustre Fulham could have gone further behind if Jonathan Grounds had displayed better control before haphazardly shooting wide.
With skipper Scott Parker back in their side Fulham, however, made a more determined effort to repair the first half damage.
They were boosted by another smart save by Bettinelli to keep out a Brek Shea effort and they were rewarded with a 63rd minute equaliser from Hoogland.
Nikolay Bodurov’s cross was deflected to Hoogland who saw his shot also deflected into the net.
The winner came courtesy of a bad mistake by Jonathan Spector. He attempted to push the ball back to his goalkeeper only for the ball to cannon to Rodallega to capitalise upon the mistake and score with an angled shot after 71 minutes.Follow @Football7x24