Fulham beat Charlton Athletic 2-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Fulham posted a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage over Charlton Athletic in a London derby.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Brian McBride and Claus Jensen scored goals three minutes apart early in the second half as Fulham posted a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage over Charlton Athletic in a London derby. The win gave Fulham 12 points, and more importantly, some breathing space in its bid to avoid relegation by improving to ninth place in the Preimership. Charlton, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the 20-team league with just one win and three points through eight matches. For the Danish midfielder Jensen - a former Charlton midfielder who was making his season debut - his introduction in the 58th minute could not have come at a more opportune time for Fulham. His play turned the match in favor of the Cottagers after a lackluster first half that saw Charlton have the better run of play. "I'm getting good at this," Fulham manager Chris Coleman joked about his timely substitution before adding, "No it was just one of those things. People might have thought it was a defensive move to bring on Claus (Jensen) but Charlton were bossing it in midfield so we put the extra man in the middle to break it up." Tentative start A tentative start by both teams offered few good scoring chances before the Addicks began to exert control. Charlton forward Darren Bent had a long-distance effort curl over the bar in the 21st minute, and a shot from just inside the 18 by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink forced a diving save from Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi seven minutes later after a superb run by Dennis Rommedahl. Rommedahl himself added to the frustration, barely missing a shot wide in the 30th minute before setting up Andy Reid, who also ripped a hard shot wide before halftime. The Cottagers started the second half with purpose as McBride and Heidar Helguson tested Addicks' keeper Scott Carson. McBride again was dangerous in the 53rd minute with a volley Carson did well to save. Jensen replaced Helguson five minutes later, and immediately gave the Cottagers a sense of urgency. McBride barely missed latching onto Jensen's cross before the Dane pushed forward again, this time helping the Cottagers break the scoreless tie. Jensen floated a free kick that fell to McBride, who let fly with a 20-yard shot that found the lower right corner of the net in the 65th minute. Jensen then took it upon himself to double the lead three minutes later, collecting a long pass from Liam Rosenior and maintaining his dribble despite the efforts of defender Talal El Karkouri before clinically finishing past Carson from six yards to give Fulham a 2-0 advantage. Charlton manager Iain Dowie introduced Jerome Thomas and Marcus Bent from the bench in the 71st minute, and it was Thomas's close control and balance that gave Charlton a way back. He dribbled into the Fulham area and was able to stab a pass to Bent while being taken down by Papa Bouba-Diop, and Bent took advantage of a momentary hesitation by Fulham's defence - expecting a penalty kick to be awarded - to score his sixth goal in nine matches. The Addicks pressed for a late equaliser, but a glancing header by Herman Hreidarsson off a cross by Reid went wide of the net. (AP)