Duff's late goal gives Fulham some justice
Fulham 1 Bolton Wanderers 1
Monday 30 November 2009
When Ivan Klasnic gave Bolton the lead it already felt like an unjust scoreline, as Gretar Steinsson had already cleared twice from the goal-line, so when Damien Duff equalised, 15 minutes from time on Saturday, the world felt like a slightly fairer place.
For the 40 intervening minutes, the visitors had done their best – or worst – to deny Fulham space or time. Showmanship or invention is not Bolton's style, certainly not when they are on a three-game losing streak and in the relegation zone.
Six yellow cards – and the automatic £20,000 FA fine for not controlling their players – were what the Trotters took away from Craven Cottage, as well as one point. Gary Megson, their manager, took offence at the amount of cautions, but some pleasure at ending their losing run.
At least both goals were worth remembering from an otherwise largely forgettable game that Fulham dominated and which, if they had had Andy Johnson or Diomansy Kamarain attack, they might have won, although Erik Nevland was denied by one brilliant save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
If Klasnic's strike was impressive for his pirouette around Brede Hangeland and low shot, Duff's was the better for being at the end of a three-man move involving Zoltan Gera and Nevland. And for the goal coming off the winger's right foot, not his preferred left. "The fact he has worked so well on his right foot and right side has made him a much more all-round player," said Duff's manager, Roy Hodgson.
Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Pantsil (S Davies, 68), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Greening, Baird, Gera (Dikgacoi, 81); Dempsey, Nevland. Substitutes not used: Stockdale (gk), Seol, Riise, Johnson, Smalling.
Bolton (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, O'Brien, Samuel; K Davies, Gardner, McCann, Cohen (M Davies, 78), Taylor; Klasnic (Muamba, 61). Substitutes not used: Al-Habsi (gk), Elmander, Knight, Ricketts, Chung.
Referee: S Bennett (South Yorkshire).
Booked: Fulham Greening; Bolton Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Gardner, K Davies, Steinsson, McCann.
Man of the match: Steinsson.
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