Stoke almost threw away a 3-0 half-time lead against Fulham but eventually clung on to end a run of six Barclays Premier League matches without victory, recording a 3-1 win.

The Cottagers were stunned as Tuncay Sanli, Abdoulaye Faye and Mamady Sidibe netted inside 37 minutes. Damien Duff pulled one back in the 61st minute before a stunning Clint Dempsey volley five minutes from time set up a rousing finale.

The win was the Potters' first in the league since November 22, while Fulham have now gone nine away matches without victory.

Danny Murphy sent a 28-yard free-kick just past the post before the Fulham captain was robbed of possession by Tuncay 10 yards inside his own half and it was to prove costly as the Turkey international forced a corner.

Robert Huth nodded on Etherington's inswinging delivery to the far post where Tuncay headed home from close range.

Fulham came close to an equaliser when Zoltan Gera's effort went just wide but Paul Konchesky's needless obstruction on Liam Lawrence gave Etherington another chance to whip in a dangerous cross - and once again he delivered perfectly.

The ball dropped to the far post where Faye slid in to score in the 34th minute.

Three minutes later Stoke were 3-0 up after a flowing move down their left when Tuncay and Etherington combined for the latter to cross to Danny Higginbotham in the penalty area.

He headed it to the far post where Sidibe smashed in a half-volley for his first goal of the season.

Duff hit a left-footed shot which deflected off Ryan Shawcross and past Steve Simonsen in the 61st minute and Erik Nevland's flick-on picked out Dempsey to smash in a dipping volley from 35 yards in the 85th minute. The closing stages were frantic but Stoke just held on.

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Topics:
#Mamady Sidibe
#Stoke City
#Fulham
#Steve Simonsen
#Paul Konchesky
#Danny Higginbotham
#Robert Huth
#Ryan Shawcross
#Tuncay Sanli
#Premier League
#Abdoulaye Faye
#Zoltan Gera
#Damien Duff
#Liam Lawrence
#Clint Dempsey
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