Saturday, 28 November 2009

Fulham 1 - 1 Bolton Wanderers

A game very reminisicent of Wednesday's game against Blackburn, the main difference being that Bolton took their chances and were a lot dirtier. The tactic was set as early as the second minute when Kavin Davies was given a yellow card for booting Hangeland. I think another six Bolton players were booked during the game making them by far the worst team to visit the Cottage - and that inlcudes Liverpool who picked up two reds!
Fulham had a bit more of the first half than they did against Blackburn, but not much. Nevland had a shot blocked off the line by a Bolton defender but there wasn't much else. Down the other end Bolton took advantage of pressure from a free kick (and Greening losing two headers) with Krasnic sweeping the ball past the helpess Schwarzer. Picking the ball out of the net was practically the last thing the Aussie keeper had to do in the game.
Once again, the second half saw Fulham start brightly and continue to apply pressure although it really looked like it wouldn't be their day. Dempsey had a header cleared off the line, Jaaskelainen tipped over a cracking Nevland strike and Bolton's centre halves provided several important tackles.
It wasn't long before Gary Megson decided his team should stick with what they had and took his goal scorer off for Muamba - a very defensive substitution. Hodgson surprisingly reacted in kind by switching Johnny Paintsil with Simon Davies to add weight to the attack. It eventually paid off with Duff cutting in from the right and seeing a slightly deflected shot fit snugly into the net next to the far post. A much deserved equaliser and the Fulham fans were keen to see a second. Only Bolton suddenly decided that they wanted to play after all and the game was pretty even but with no real chances for the rest of the game.
It is easy to see why the Bolton fans don't particularly like Megson. His team's football is really appalling to watch, however effective it might be. Which is a shame as several of the players showed enough glimpses of skill to suggest there's a more flamboyant team keen to express themselves.
While a point might seem a let down, it was actually welcome in a game which felt it was being held on 'one of those days'. Given the current paucity of attacking options, I'm sure Hodgson is also content at the final reckoning.

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