An extra time goal from Stelios was enough to send the visitors through to the next round of the Carling Cup in a tight encounter at Craven Cottage. Bolton opened the scoring through Danny Guthrie before second half substitute David Healy restored parity. The Whites twice hit the woodwork and had a goal ruled out for offside before Stelios’ late winner settled the tie.
With both sides lining up with lone strikers, the midfield area was typically congested, particularly for Fulham who were looking to pass through the middle third more so than their opponents.
Fulham had their first attempt on goal on eight minutes when Danny Murphy was brought down within shooting distance. Hameur Bouazza stepped up but only managed to curl his effort into the arms of Ali Al Habsi.
The Whites continued to push for the opening goal, spreading the ball around the pitch in flowing, one-touch moves which resulted in half-chances for Simon Davies and Clint Dempsey.
Nonetheless it was the visitors who could have taken the lead very much against the run of play when Mikel Alonso’s deflected shot from the edge of the area spun just wide of Kasey Keller’s left hand post.
The Whites continued to look the more threatening and Clint Dempsey was only a matter of inches away from being put through on goal by Bouazza, unfortunately Michalik toed the ball away just in time.
Bolton came close to taking the lead when Keller plucked a goal bound header off the line but Fulham were soon back on the front foot. Clint Dempsey did a fine job of holding up play before laying the ball off to Danny Murphy whose side footed shot was just wide of the post.
The Trotters missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 25th minute when the lively Daniel Braaten found himself in a one-on-one with Keller. However, the Bolton winger’s final touch was too heavy allowing Keller to smother the ball.
As the first half progressed, the visitors gathered momentum as an attacking force, with most of their opportunities coming from good work down their right flank between Braaten, Alonso and Hunt.
As the half time interval approached, Fulham were once again in the ascendancy and came close to scoring the opener when a Simon Davies corner found its way to Bouazza on the left of the penalty area – his low, drilled cross flashed across the face of goal evading all in the area.
Simon Davies was next to try his luck when, just as he did in the first half against Manchester City at the weekend, he took aim from the outside right position in an attempt to catch the goalkeeper unawares.
The Whites switched to a 4-4-2 line-up for the second period with Seol Ki-Hyeon moving up alongside Clint Dempsey up front.
56 mins – Goal Bolton – Danny Guthrie
Danny Guthrie volleyed the visitors into the lead in the 56th minute following undoubtedly their best attacking spell of the match. Their pressure culminated in Chris Baird’s clearance falling to Guthrie whose first time hit flew past Keller into the top corner.
62 mins - Fulham substitution – Bouazza OFF, Kamara ON
Lawrie Sanchez gave the Fulham front line a pair of fresh legs in the shape of Diomansy Kamara. Seol Ki-Hyeon moved out to the left flask to accommodate the Senegal forward.
Bolton were reverting to their form of last season and looking a far tougher side to beat, however the Whites could have drawn level in the 67th minute when a long Baird throw was allowed to bounce into the path of Dempsey, who had sneaked goal side of his marker. The American attacker took the opportunity whilst off balance and scuffed his effort to Al Habsi.
71 mins - Fulham substitution – Baird OFF, Healy ON
Fulham added another attacker to the mix with David Healy replacing Chris Baird. Simon Davies dropped back to the right back position.
77 mins - Goal Fulham – David Healy
The Whites were finally back on level terms through David Healy following good work from Seol down the left flank. The South Korean international beat Cid to the touchline and lofted a deep cross to the far post where Healy was lurking. The Northern Ireland striker took a touch before hitting a right footed shot past Al Habsi.
With extra time fast approaching, Bolton had one last roll of the dice when Cid’s cross was met in the area by Wilhelmsson who directed his header just wide.
Carlos Bocanegra twice connected with headers from Seol corners. The Fulham Captain’s first effort was deflected wide for another corner kick. At the second time of asking, Bocanegra drifted to the back post and forced Al Habsi into a save.
There was controversy in the 97th minute when Diomansy Kamara latched on to a David Healy shot to poke the ball over the line. As the players turned away in celebration, they soon realised the goal would not stand as Kamara was judged to be in an offside position when Healy stuck the ball. Replays conclusively showed the Senegal striker was onside.
The Whites upped the pace of the game and almost took the lead when Miete misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing Healy in. The Northern Ireland striker almost executed a perfect volleyed lob, with only the post denying Fulham a goal.
112 mins – Goal Bolton – Stelios
The visitors went back in front in somewhat contentious circumstances when Stelios looked to have shoved Konchesky away from the ball before finishing past Keller from close range.
A Diomansy Kamara goal bound header was brilliantly saved by Ali Habsi down low to his left as Fulham looked to get back into the match.
Simon Davies delivered a teasing free kick into the area which beats Ali Habsi but skims off the crossbar.
Competition: Carling Cup
Date: Wednesday 26 September 2007
Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Team line-up is not available.
Team line-up is not available.