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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 17:26 UK

Fulham 2-1 Bolton

By Russell Barder

Bobby Zamora
Zamora's first-half strike was his first goal for Fulham

Goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora helped steer an impressive Fulham to victory over Bolton at Craven Cottage.

Hungary international Gera put the home side in front as he swept home a half-volley from the edge of the area.

Zamora had a goal ruled out for a foul on Jussi Jaaskelainen, but he made it 2-0 as he turned smartly before burying the ball in for his first Fulham goal.

Gera hit the bar as Fulham looked to be cruising to victory, but Kevin Davies headed in late on for the visitors.

The goal from Davies made the scoreline look more respectable for Bolton, who had been outplayed for most of the match, and the winning margin could, and perhaps should, have been greater as the visitors rarely threatened their hosts.

Hodgson happy with another home win

Andy Johnson, making his Fulham debut, and Zamora struck up an immediate understanding as the Bolton defence failed to cope with the pair's pace and movement.

Gera was a constant threat down the left and within two minutes the impressive Hungarian scooped over when unmarked in the box.

Fulham did have the ball in the back of the net 10 minutes later, but Zamora's thunderous drive was ruled out after he was adjudged to have fouled Jaaskelainen.

However, Fulham fans did not have to wait too long for their team to take the lead as Gera swept the ball home from the edge if the area after Zamora's cross from the left was only half cleared.

Megson admits Bolton were 'below par'

Bolton rarely threatened Mark Schwarzer's goal, but Davies went close with an attempted lob before the Bolton striker saw his long-range effort turned over by the Fulham goalkeeper.

Another flowing Fulham move ended with Zamora heading straight at Jaaskelainen but the former West Ham man did double his side's lead before half time.

Paul Konchesky fed Zamora the ball on the edge of the area and the big striker expertly evaded the challenges of Danny Shittu and Gavin McCann before drilling the ball low into the right hand corner of Jaaskelainen's goal.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Bolton struggling to get any kind of foothold in the game.

606: DEBATE
Davies and Murphy both tested Jaaskelainen, while every Fulham pass was greeted by an "ole" from the home fans as their slick brand of passing football proved to be too much for Bolton.

Trotters manager Gary Megson brought on former Fulham striker Heidar Helguson for defender Gretar Steinsson in attempt to galvanise his team, but Fulham never looked like surrendering their lead.

In fact Gera had the chance to double his tally but saw his header rebound off the bar, while Zamora went close with a shot that was deflected wide.

Bullard hails 'awesome' Fulham fans

Bolton pulled an unlikely goal back in the final 10 minutes as Davies headed Jaaskelainen's long punt forward into the path of Heidar Helguson, but the Iceland international failed to get a touch as the ball found a way past Schwarzer.

Fulham fended off a late rally from Bolton and Simon Davies had a chance to make sure of the result as he raced clear before firing straight at Jaaskelainen, but the home side still managed to hold on for a deserved victory.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson on the burgeoning strike partnership of Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora:
"They are both intelligent players, they are both players who we know can score goals and they're players that with their qualities and characteristics compliment each other.

"I'm hoping that the more they play together the better their partnership will become.

"They must be delighted. Bobby scored a very good goal and Andy set up several chances."

Bolton manager Gary Megson:
"It was certianly below-par and therefore it was a bad day at the office.

"I think the only people who can be remotely pleased with the way they played is Kevin Davies and Ricardo Garnder, everyone else was below-par.

"If you've got that kind of game with nine players playing not as well as they can then you're going to struggle."


Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Gera, Zamora (Nevland 84), Johnson (Ki-Hyeon 75).
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Teymourian, Stoor, Dempsey, Kallio.

Booked: Ki-Hyeon.

Goals: Gera 15, Zamora 41.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson (Helguson 64), Shittu, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Gardner, Muamba, Nolan, McCann (Riga 51), Joey O'Brien, Davies.
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Vaz Te, Cohen, Fojut.

Booked: Nolan.

Goals: Davies 82.

Att: 23,656

Ref: Steve Tanner (Somerset).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Fulham's Zoltan Gera 8.67 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.




see also
Premier League as it happened
13 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
13 Sep 08 |  Football


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