Half-time: Fulham 3 Nottingham Forest 1

The outstanding Ross McCormack netted a first-half hat-trick as Fulham raced into a three-goal lead at Craven Cottage before the visitors pulled one back just before the interval.

McCormack troubled Nottingham Forest’s defence from the start and went close to scoring after three minutes when his fine strike from near the edge of the penalty area was tipped over by keeper Dorius De Vries.

The striker then scored twice from a similar distance in the space of 10 minutes, firing home after Hugo Rodallega’s lay-off and then sending a curling shot beyond De Vries and in off the post.

It put Fulham in a commanding position, although they needed keeper Marcus Bettinelli to come to their rescue following an error by Kostas Stafylidis.

The Greek’s daft back-header was a gift for the lurking Britt Assombalonga, but Bettinelli was swiftly off his line to make the save.

Fulham remained in control and more good work by McCormack almost led to a goal for Seko Fofana.

McCormack cleverly found Alex Kacaniklic who pulled the ball back from the left for the on-loan Manchester City midfielder, whose first-time effort was kept out by De Vries.

There was nothing De Vries could do, however, when McCormack once more tried his luck from near the edge of the box and this time the ball looped into the net after taking a heavy deflection off Forest’s on-loan Chelsea defender Todd Kane.

Struggling Forest, with only one win from their last 10 matches, were given hope when Henri Lansbury’s nicely-struck free-kick reduced the deficit.

Fulham (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Grimmer, Hutchinson, Bodurov, Stafylidis; Parker; Fofana, Tunnicliffe, Kacaniklic; McCormack, Rodallega.
Subs: Kiraly, Ruiz, Roberts, Woodrow, Dembele, Williams, Burn.

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