Fulham dominate Bolton at Craven Cottage

Fulham 2 Bolton 0

Fulham showed no signs of a European hangover today as they
dominated bottom side Bolton to secure a deserved victory at Craven
Cottage.

The Cottagers came into their 31st competitive match of season with added impetus after their untimely exit from the Europa League in midweek.

Martin Jol's side squandered a two-goal lead to eventually draw with Odense on Wednesday night, although there was to be no such comeback this afternoon.

Fulham attacked with intent from the offset against the under-pressure Trotters and broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Clint Dempsey nodded home Ruiz's cross.

Roles then reversed 66 seconds later when the United States international played through the summer signing, who showed exquisite composure and vision to lift the ball over the onrushing Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Bolton impressed in flashes after the break but were unable to avoid a 13th league defeat of the season as Fulham held out for a seventh clean sheet of the campaign.

Heading into the match, Fulham were hit by the news that Bobby Zamora had failed a late fitness test.

The 30-year-old missed out due to a medial ligament problem in his left knee and was replaced in attack by Andrew Johnson, who was one of seven changes made by Jol after the 2-2 draw with Odense.

Counterpart Owen Coyle, meanwhile, drafted in Marcos Alonso, Fabrice Muamba and Nigel Reo-Coker after Bolton's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend.

An edgy start by both sides was encapsulated by an uncharacteristic mistake by Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu, who was caught in possession and allowed Reo-Coker to flash a shot across goal.

The effort seemed to spur the west Londoners into life, with Johnson coming close after a neat one-two with Dempsey almost immediately.

Returning skipper Danny Murphy - who fans feared may have aggravated his ankle injury inside five minutes - showed no ill effects shortly after Johnson's effort, seeing a superbly-executed volley deflected just wide.

Johnson had a close-range shot blocked by former Fulham defender Zat Knight as the home side upped the ante, with Etuhu and Brede Hangeland then getting headers away from corners.

Darren Pratley came close with a 20-yard effort during a rare Wanderers attack, before Jaaskelainen turned wide John Arne Riise's drive from 20 yards at the other end.

Bolton were playing like a team devoid of confidence and, after Hangeland twice miscued headers, Dempsey broke the deadlock.

The United States international beat Dedryck Boyata to Ruiz's superb right-wing cross to send home a darted header in the 32nd minute.

Just 66 seconds later, Fulham doubled their advantage thanks to a moment of magic from Ruiz.

The Costa Rica international was put through on goal by Dempsey after outpacing Alonso and, having steadied himself, delightfully scooped the ball over the onrushing Jaaskelainen.

Bolton looked to reduce the deficit as half-time approached, although Ivan Klasnic and Mark Davies were both denied by Fulham's sturdy defence.

Bolton manager Coyle brought on Gretar Steinsson and Chris Eagles, having witnessed a poor first half.

Boyata and Pratley made way but the changes could not stem the Fulham tide as they continued to press for a third.

Bolton captain Kevin Davies made way for David Ngog as a result in the 56th minute, leading to a slightly improved spell from Wanderers.

Klasnic and Muamba were finding good attacking positions, while the visitors were enjoying more possession.

However, Fulham looked dangerous on the break and, after Johnson was adjudged offside when in on goal, Dempsey came agonisingly close to directing home the striker's cross at the back post.

Bolton looked desperate for a goal and, although Eagles and Muamba got efforts away, their exertions left gaping holes at the back.

Johnson and Mousa Dembele almost capitalised as Fulham hunted for a third, which proved elusive as the home side ran out 2-0 victors.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones