Fulham 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • May 07, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/9a144

Bolton set a new club record of 26 defeats in a league season, after losing 1-0 at Fulham on the final day of the Championship season.

After picking up a rare victory against play-off qualifiers Hull City last weekend, Wanderers went in search of another three-point haul at Craven Cottage but ultimately fell short, setting that unwanted record whilst also completing a full season without an away win for only the third time in club history.

Tom Cairney scored the only goal in the capital, bending a curling strike into the far corner with 13 minutes to play after some typically hesitant defending from the division's bottom side.

Interim manager Jimmy Phillips made one change to the Wanderers side that started against Hull last time out, with Oscar Threlkeld returning from injury to replace Rob Holding, who was left out of the squad amid speculation that transfer offers from both Arsenal and Everton had been received.

Fulham started the better of the sides at the Cottage, with Matt Smith coming close to opening the scoring inside two minutes, before he and Dan Burn were denied in a goalmouth scramble moments later.

Cairney fired narrowly over the top of Ben Amos' crossbar and Lasse Vigen Christensen had a shot charged down by Threlkeld as the clock ticked towards the half-hour, before Bolton carved out their first shooting opportunity when Darren Pratley dragged an effort wide of the far post.

Wanderers survived a major scare when Smith pulled a shot wide when found one-on-one with Amos, who was then required to turn away a long-range effort from Cairney that had goal written all over it.

Amos was beaten with five minutes of the half remaining, but Dan Burn's shot from the edge of the box crashed back off the post, before expert defending from David Wheater halted Ross McCormack as the sides went in scoreless at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, which started with Emile Heskey heading inches over the top after a looping ball into the box from Lawrie Wilson.

Smith should have put Fulham ahead on the hour, but he somehow headed wide after being picked out by McCormack.

Amos was at his best to deny Smith once more as the game entered the final 20 minutes, but he was finally beaten with 77 minutes on the clock as the hosts took a deserved lead.

After yet another save to prevent Smith at the far post, the ball fell kindly to Cairney who shot on the turn and picked out the top corner to put the final nail in the coffin that was Bolton's season.

Cairney almost doubled his tally in the closing stages, shooting wide at the end of a swift counter attack, before supporters rose to applaud Amos following an outstanding double save in which he stopped McCormack and then Smith from adding to Fulham's advantage.

Neil Danns came agonisingly close to claiming an unlikely point for the visitors in stoppage time, but his deflected shot from 25 yards flashed inches wide of the target as Wanderers fell to another defeat which confirmed their status as the worst performing side in club history - having been beaten 26 times in league competition.

Bolton face a summer of rebuilding ahead of life in League One, with many senior professionals set to depart at the end of their contracts. The new campaign will kick-off on August 6, with fixtures due to be revealed at 9am on Wednesday 22nd June 2016.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks (Stearman 18), Hutchinson, Burn, Ream (Garbutt 74), Cairney, Parker, Tunnicliffe, Christensen (Hyndman 57), McCormack, Smith
Subs Not Used: Woodrow, O'Hara, Lonergan, Ince
Goals: Cairney 77

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Wilson, Osede (Dobbie 85), Wheater, Garratt, Threlkeld, Davies, Danns, Pratley (Newell 79), Clough, Heskey (Woolery 62)
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Moxey, Finney, Walker

Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 17,207

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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