Football: Late winner from Darren Bent lifts Fulham to victory over Stoke

Fulham's Darren Bent runs to celebrate after scoring against Stoke City during an English Premier League football match at the Craven Cottage ground in London, Saturday, Oct 5, 2013. Fulham won the match 1-0. -- PHOTO: AP
Fulham's Darren Bent runs to celebrate after scoring against Stoke City during an English Premier League football match at the Craven Cottage ground in London, Saturday, Oct 5, 2013. Fulham won the match 1-0. -- PHOTO: AP

LONDON (AFP) - A late goal from substitute Darren Bent helped relieve some of the pressure on beleaguered manager Martin Jol with a valuable 1-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday.

Bent, who was brought to Fulham by the Dutchman after falling out of favour at Aston Villa, came on after 65 minutes in place of injured Dimitar Berbatov.

And he scored what could be an important goal in keeping Jol in his job seven minutes from time as he picked up a pass from midfielder Patjim Kasami to fire past Bosnia Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal.

The goal put an end to one of Fulham's worst winless streaks at Craven Cottage going back to April and lifted the team out of the relegation zone.

Stoke had made most of the early running dominating the first half with both Marko Arnautovic and Geoff Cameron missing early chances to take the lead.

Stoke were denied a penalty when Philippe Senderos tackled Stephen Ireland.

Back after the break Kieran Richardson had replaced captain Brede Hangeland in the home line-up as Fulham pushed for an opener.

Bulgarian Berbatov, brought down by Glenn Whelan, was then replaced by Bent.

The striker made the desired impact when he picked up a deflected Kasami shot to cheer up Craven Cottage with his third goal of the season.

Stoke pushed for a late leveller with Erik Pieters and Arnautovic both hitting wide, but Fulham held out for just their second clean sheet in 18 home matches.

Both sides are two points above the drop zone.