Bolton Wanderers 0-3 Fulham

  • April 07, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's run of three consecutive Premier League wins came to an end as they were brought back to Earth with a bump, losing 3-0 at home to Fulham.

Wanderers went into the game on the back of three consecutive league victories for the first time in six years, but rarely got out of first gear as Martin Jol's side ran out comfortable winners at the Reebok Stadium.

A brace from Clint Dempsey gave the visitors a two-goal cushion going into the break and they sealed the points with ten minutes of the match remaining, as Mahamadou Diarra prodded home from close range.

Both teams were slow to get going and it took 13 minutes for the first chance of the game to arrive. A neat move from Bolton involving Mark Davies, Darren Pratley and David Ngog resulted in the ball being pulled back to Ryo Miyaichi, who shot high and wide of the target.

Moments later, Ngog shot from the edge of the box, only to see the ball roll straight to Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal.

The visitors created their first chance on 20 minutes, as Damien Duff cut inside from the right flank, before dragging an effort narrowly wide of Adam Bogdan's left-hand post.

They had the ball in the net just after the midway point of the half, but Dempsey's strike was ruled out for offside as he pounced on a deflected shot from Duff.

Dempsey beat Bogdan again on the half hour, but the big difference this time is that it was allowed to stand. Fulham were awarded a free-kick 35 yards from goal after Ngog had fouled Diarra and Dempsey stepped up to fire an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

As often the case, the United States international was Fulham's biggest goal threat and he tried his luck again five minutes later, only to send the ball over the crossbar with a spectacular bicycle kick.

Schwarzer was called upon to save poor strikes from Ngog and then Nigel Reo-Coker, but it was only a temporary push from Bolton as Fulham doubled their lead in stoppage time at the end of the half.

Duff was proving a constant menace to Marcos Alonso on the right and he turned the Spaniard inside out before crossing for Dempsey to head home unopposed from close range as Fulham went in 2-0 up at the break.

Wanderers boss Owen Coyle reacted to the half time deficit by introducing Kevin Davies and Chris Eagles in the place of Darren Pratley and Miyaichi for the second 45 minutes.

The changes almost had an immediate impact as Eagles curled a free-kick inches wide of the Fulham goal within 90 seconds of the restart.

Just before the hour, Duff cut inside Alonso once again, only to be denied a goal as his shot was pushed away by the outstretched arm of Bogdan.

Ngog saw appeals for a penalty rejected soon after, moments before Dempsey played a smart one-two on the edge of the Bolton box, before shooting wide of the target when it looked easier to score.

Bogdan denied Duff on two more occasions as the game approached the midway point of the second half, before Fulham ended the game as a contest with ten minutes remaining.

John Arne Riise broke away from Sam Ricketts down the Fulham left and his low cross was put on a plate for Diarra, who made no mistake in putting the ball past Bogdan from inside the six-yard box.

Eagles shot wide as Bolton looked for a consolation and substitute Marcello Trotta shot straight at Bogdan in stoppage time, but that was the best either side had to offer in the latter stages as Fulham settled on their well deserved three-goal victory.

Bolton will have to dust themselves down and start again as they return to action in less than 48 hours against Newcastle United at the Sports Direct Arena.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Wheater, Ream, Alonso, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley (K Davies 46), Miyaichi (Eagles 46), Ngog (Klasnic 60), Petrov
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Sordell
Booked: Ricketts

Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff (Frei 83), Dembele, Diarra, Kacaniklic (Trotta 88), Ruiz (Etuhu 73), Dempsey
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Baird, Senderos, Davies
Goals: Dempsey 30,45, Diarra 80

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 21,939

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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