Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Fulham

  • February 10, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Adam Le Fondre netted a Goal of the Season contender, as Bolton came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Macron Stadium.

Le Fondre, whose only previous goal this campaign came from the penalty spot on opening day, had only been on the field for two minutes when he latched on to a flick from Antonee Robinson before volleying beyond Marcus Bettinelli from a seemingly impossible angle.

Fulham had led inside four minutes, as Matt Targett headed home from close range, but the visitors were unable to make a dominant first-half display count as the shares were spoilt between the teams for the second time this season.

Eight days on from victory over Bristol City, Phil Parkinson made just one change to the Bolton team - with Zach Clough starting for the first time since joining on loan, at the expense of his fellow Nottingham Forest forward Tyler Walker.

They couldn't have got off to a worse start, however, as Fulham went ahead with less than four minutes played.

Having avoided handball appeals from the home supporters, the visitors played on and when Ryan Sessegnon's cross was headed back across goal by Lucas Piazon, Targett had the simple task of nodding past a helpless Ben Alnwick from six yards.

Fulham should have doubled their lead just three minutes later, with Piazon put clean through on goal. But with only Alnwick left to beat, the Wanderers goalkeeper stood tall to make a block with his leg.

With an air of frustration coming over the Macron, Mark Little was the first player to enter the referee's notebook on 17 minutes, as an off-field collision with Targett left the Fulham man requiring treatment for a facial wound.

A rare venture forward almost brought an equalising goal for Bolton on 20 minutes, with Clough's turn and bending strike from the left forcing Bettinelli into a fingertip save.

Clough had an even better chance to level the scores 10 minutes before the break, latching on to a through ball from Sammy Ameobi before shooting straight into the body of Bettinelli when it had looked easier to find the net.

Bettinelli denied Clough one last time before the interval, which was greeted with a chorus of boos from the home support who had been left feeling aggrieved at the referee's performance.

There were no changes to either side as the players arrived back on the field for the start of the second-half, although it wasn't long before the visitors made a double substitution - waiting just six minutes to introduce both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara in place of Rui Fonte and Piazon.

One of those arrivals, Kamara, almost made an instant impact, breaking free of the Bolton defence before being found unmarked inside the box, only to slice his effort horribly wide of Alnwick's target.

Failing to make a mark on the game, Wanderers made a double change of their own shortly before the hour as Le Fondre and Filipe Morais came on for Clough and Little.

If Kamara's impact was instant, then Le Fondre's was out of this world. Within 90 seconds of coming into the action, a long clearance from Alnwick was flicked on by Robinson, allowing Le Fondre to volley past a backpedaling Bettinelli to bring the game level at 1-1.

That sparked a new sense of urgency in the hosts, who came close to taking the lead moments later when Karl Henry fired over from a Josh Vela corner.

Le Fondre tried his luck again on 69 minutes, seeing a deflected strike parried away by Bettinelli, shortly before Vela took the ball down on his chest before volleying inches over the crossbar.

Ameobi had the ball in the net with 18 minutes to play, only to see the goal correctly ruled out for an illegal challenge on the Fulham goalkeeper, before David Wheater kept his concentration at the other end to deny Kamara an almost certain goal.

After scoring the winning goal last time out, Ameobi looked to repeat that achievement when he shot just wide inside the final 10 minutes, but it was Fulham who looked the more dangerous in the closing stages as Mitrovic curled agonisingly wide of Alnwick's far post.

Mitrovic was thwarted by Alnwick again on 88 minutes, just before Stefan Johansen dribbled beyond multiple defenders inside the Bolton box before side-footing his shot against the outside of the post.

Four minutes of time were added for stoppages at the end of the game, but neither side could find a way through as they were made to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The point moves Bolton back up to 19th position in the Championship table, two points clear of the drop zone ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Cardiff City.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, Little (Morais 59), Osede, Henry, Vela, Ameobi (Walker 89), Clough (Le Fondre 59)
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Flanagan, Burke
Booked: Little, Henry
Goals: Le Fondre 61

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Targett, Norwood (Cairney 74), McDonald, Piazon (Kamara 51), Johansen, Sessegnon, Fonte (Mitrovic 51)
Subs Not Used: Button, Odoi, Ayite, Christie
Booked: Johansen
Goals: Targett 4

Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 14,386

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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