Cottagers cruise past Trotters

Date published: Saturday 7th April 2012 5:13

The American took his season’s tally to 21 with a superb free-kick and a firm header before Mahamadou Diarra wrapped up a convincing Premier League win at the Reebok Stadium.

Bolton paid the price for a lacklustre first-half display and remain deep in trouble after their three-game winning run was brought to an end.

They had entered the game with confidence but must now regroup quickly for a tough trip to Newcastle on Monday.

The Trotters made just one change by replacing striker Ivan Klasnic with fit-again midfielder Darren Pratley.

That meant captain Kevin Davies was again on the bench despite scoring on his last two appearances but Bolton might have done with his aggression as they failed to take an early grip.

Fulham were without veteran midfielder Danny Murphy and new strike star Pavel Pogrebnyak but were the more energetic with Damien Duff on song and Dempsey adding the cutting edge.

The game’s opening exchanges were quiet and it was not until the 13th minute either side created a serious opportunity as Bolton’s David Ngog broke clear on the right only for Ryo Miyaichi to side-foot over.

Duff found space outside the area to hit Fulham’s first attempt on goal but his effort found only the side-netting.

Dempsey turned the ball into the net for the first time after 24 minutes when a deflected Duff shot rolled into his path but the flag was raised for offside.

But the American had better luck on the half-hour as he lined up a free-kick 30 yards out after Pratley fouled Diarra.

Dempsey was keen to take it ahead of John Arne Riise and Bryan Ruiz and justified his confidence as he connected sweetly to fire into the top corner.

Bolton were slow to respond and Fulham pushed them back again before Dempsey sliced well wide with an ambitious overhead kick.

The Trotters finally showed some intent as Marcos Alonso came forward but shot harmlessly at Mark Schwarzer from distance.

Martin Petrov then looked for Ngog with a cross but Aaron Hughes cleared and Nigel Reo-Coker also shot at Schwarzer.

Yet Fulham continued to look the more dangerous in attack and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Duff beat Alonso on the outside and crossed to the back post for Dempsey to head his second.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle attempted to inject some urgency by sending on Davies and Chris Eagles for Pratley and Miyaichi at the start of the second half.

The rewards were almost immediate as Alonso was tripped just outside the area and Eagles curled a free-kick narrowly wide.

Eagles then had a fierce shot from the edge of the area blocked after the ball came back to him from a corner he had taken.

Petrov tried to control an awkward ball from Davies but volleyed wide from 18 yards as Bolton continued to press for an opening.

Eagles clipped a cross into the area but Ngog collided with Davies and could not keep his header on target.

Bolton were almost caught out as Duff again tricked his way past Alonso to get a clear sight of goal but Adam Bogdan palmed away his low strike.

Ngog beat Brede Hangeland to race towards the Fulham goal but was bundled off the ball by Riise on the edge of the area and referee Mike Dean ignored his appeals for a penalty.

Dempsey spurned a good chance to claim a hat-trick when he shot wide after finding room just inside the Bolton box.

Bolton ignored an injury to Ruiz to continue an attack but Fulham held firm.

The Costa Rican received treatment when play was eventually stopped but was unable to continue and was carried off and replaced by Dickson Etuhu.

Fulham ended the game as a contest 10 minutes from time as Riise burst clear unchecked on the left and crossed low for Diarra to slide in a third.

Moussa Dembele threatened another with a good run in the closing moments but was crowded off the ball.

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Cottagers cruise past Trotters

Date published: Saturday 17th December 2011 5:02

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.

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Cottagers cruise past Trotters

Date published: Saturday 17th December 2011 5:02

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.

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