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Berbatov's strike lifts Fulham over Stoke in clunky game

Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Dimitar Berbatov's wondrous volley was all that Fulham needed to hold off Stoke at Craven Cottage.

LONDON (AP) --? Dimitar Berbatov's crisp volley gave Fulham a 1-0 victory over Stoke in a rare moment of quality in a drab Premier League match on Saturday.

The Bulgarian striker struck the ball powerfully past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic at the near post in the 45th minute at Craven Cottage for his ninth goal of the season.

Stoke forward Jonathan Walters missed a second-half penalty after Ashkan Dejagah had blocked a cross from Brek Shea with his arm.

Shea, a United States winger, replaced the injured Matthew Etherington in the 24th minute to make his first appearance for Stoke since joining from Major League Soccer club FC Dallas last month.

Fulham moved up to 11th in the standings, within a point of Stoke.

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