views

Greening strikes as Roy cheers the joy of six

JONATHAN GREENING fired his first goal for Fulham to end their five-match losing streak and heap more misery on cash-strapped Portsmouth.

The former West Brom midfielder lashed home the winner from Damien Duff’s 74th minute cross after new signing Stefano Okaka had missed a first-half sitter.

The result was a little harsh on Avram Grant’s Pompey, who showed more endeavour with the return of their Africa Cup of Nations trio and fit-again Kevin-Prince Boateng.

But not for the first time, Grant was left to rue a number of missed chances – Frederic Piquionne firing the best of them straight at keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Hodgson handed debuts to Okaka and full-back Nicky Shorey, but his side, looking to win for the first time since Boxing Day, began sluggishly.

Instead, Portsmouth, whose players were paid late for a fourth month running prior to kick-off, who started the brighter with Schwarzer denying Picquionne and Boateng firing wide.

But when Hodgson’s men finally awoke from their slumber, Okaka, just three days after scoring a wonderful back-heeled goal for Roma, somehow headed well wide from just two yards out.

Bobby Zamora had an effort saved by David James while substiute Erik Nevland went close with a dipping 30-yard volley.

But with 16 minutes remaining, Fulham capitalised on some sloppy defending to carve out a winner. Duff raced down the right and crossed for unmarked Greening to calmly side-foot home.