Bolton and Fulham share spoils
Fulham boss Mark Hughes clinched a point from his first game in charge after a 0-0 draw with Bolton.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 14/08/10 5:55pm
Fulham boss Mark Hughes came away with a point from his first game in charge after a 0-0 draw with Bolton.
The newly-appointed Cottagers boss brought in back-up goalkeeper David Stockdale for the game at the Reebok Stadium and the 24-year-old proved he could cut it in the top-flight in just his second Premier League game.
The young shot-stopper replaced Mark Schwarzer who is currently injured and looks likely to be unveiled at Emirates Stadium as Arsenal's new No.1.
In a sloppy game Bobby Zamora, fresh from his England debut in midweek, had the best chance of the half when he attempted a delicate chip which nestled on the roof of Jussi Jaaskelainen's net.
Bolton rarely threatened but can take positives from a hard-working display by Johan Elmander, a solid debut from new signing Martin Petrov and Stuart Holden's strike which hit the post. However, neither side really troubled the goalkeepers in a stop-start encounter.
The opening game of the season at the Reebok Stadium saw the hosts carve out the first opportunity after 10 minutes as Elmander attempted a back heel, collected the rebound and then dragged a shot wide to Stockdale's right.
A minute later at the other end, Fulham skipper Danny Murphy went closer with a low strike from outside the box.
Wanderers debutant Petrov began to make his mark on the game as the former Manchester City star cut into the box incisively after being fed by Kevin Davies, only to be halted by a wonderfully-timed challenge by John Pantsil.
Gary Cahill connected with the corner but his downward header was comfortably collected by Stockdale. The centre-back leapt again in the box soon after but was unable to meet Petrov's inswinging free-kick.
Petrov was in the midst of Bolton's attacks as he drove in a fierce effort which Stockdale did well to catch. Zamora then tried to break the deadlock with an audacious lob that drifted just over Jaaskelainen's crossbar.
Fulham then enjoyed a spell of possession with Gretar Steinsson clearing a bouncing shot from Simon Davies and Zat Knight heading behind Damien Duff's free-kick.
But Bolton continued to press as Elmander dispossessed Dickson Etuhu and sent a powerful strike into the arms of Stockdale.
Jaaskelainen had a lucky escape when he got in a mix-up with Paul Robinson and just got a hand to his defender's header back to spare his blushes.
Bolton were the brighter side as the second half got under way, with Holden firing in an ambitious effort off-target and Elmander collected Steinsson's cross to turn in the box and unleash a snap-shot which Stockdale tipped over for a corner.
Referee Stuart Attwell felt the wrath of the Bolton faithful after they felt Elmander was fouled by Hangeland on the edge of the box, however waved play on. The replay also showed the centre-back won the ball cleanly.
The official then awarded Fulham a soft-looking free-kick when Fabrice Muamba made contact with Aaron Hughes, before ignoring the home crowd's cries for a penalty as Lee Chung-yong went down in the box under a Murphy tackle, which again on the replay showed the midfielder timed his challenge beautifully.
Elmander was unlucky not to score once more after the hard working Swede found himself in a shooting position only for Stockdale to deny the opener.
Zamora became frustrated and was the next person to show his displeasure with Attwell and received a booking after raising his hands to the official and appearing to grab his shirt.
Fulham were looking frustrated in general and Holden could have won it late on for the home side with 12 minutes to go but his drilled effort bounced back off the post.Bolton boss Owen Coyle made a treble substitution in the final minutes, bringing on Matthew Taylor, Mark Davies and Ivan Klasnic for Petrov, Muamba and Elmander, but the visitors stood firm to earn their new manager his first point.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Fulham|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|5||Shots off Target||7|