Wednesday 23 August 2006, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Bullard 90'
Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers
1
Diouf (pen) 73'
An injury time penalty from Jimmy Bullard rescues a point for Fulham against Bolton at Craven Cottage.

90' Goal

Jimmy Bullard

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Heidar Helguson

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Michael Brown

73' Penalty

El Hadji Diouf

12' Yellow Card

Kevin Davies Card was given for a foul

72' Yellow Card

El Hadji Diouf Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

Kevin Nolan Card was given for a foul

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Abdoulaye Faye
Off:Kevin Davies

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Jimmy Bullard held his nerve to give Fulham a point from the penalty spot in the final minute of regular time.

With both side looking to wear their opponents down, it was unsurprising to see the goals come from the penalty spot, in what turned out to be a gruelling war of attrition.

The first signs of danger for Fulham came in the 4th minute when Kevin Davies found himself in acres of space in Fulham’s penalty area with no White shirt within ten yards. Fortunately for the Whites, the big Bolton front man took an age to bring the ball under control which allowed Heidar Helguson to nip across and block the shot.

Fulham started to settle into their normal rhythm following a nervy start, although the slick surface meant that any through balls needed to be perfectly weighted.

Brian McBride, making his first start of the season, came close to giving Fulham the lead in the 11th minute after a well taken Jimmy Bullard free kick.

Bullard was again supplying the ammunition just a minute later when his delivery found both Pearce and Helguson lurking at the back post – neither managed to make significant contact with the ball.

With the slippery surface making it nearly impossible for either side to construct any sweeping attacking moves, both teams were reduced choosing from a limited set of attacking options; either a direct pass to the front line or working tight passing moves in dangerous areas. Fulham were certainly trying to employ the latter tactic on a more regular basis, yet as the first half drew to a close neither ‘keeper had been called into serious action.

Fulham, having learned the lesson that trying to pass through the middle of a congested central area was not a totally effective tactic, started the second half actively trying to bring the full backs more into play.

That approach certainly brought some early success when the usual flow of direct play was held up and Fulham spread the play wide to Rosenior, who was in plenty of space. The right back advanced and played a diagonal into the box which Helguson headed just wide, having worked well to find the space.

Whilst the visitors were working hard to deny Fulham space, their resolve was showing signs of weakening as Fulham started to gain the upper hand in possession. Michael Brown came close to finding the net in the 58th minute when a good passing move culminated in Boa Morte swinging in a dangerous delivery for the former Spurs midfielder to force Jaaskelainen into a low save.

It was panic stations for the Bolton defence on 68 minutes when Boa Morte seized on a loose pass from Campo in the corner and made his way across the by-line towards goal. McBride was his only option but the Portuguese international misplaced his pass which allowed a Bolton defender to clear.

Bolton were awarded a penalty in puzzling circumstances in the 71st minute after Luis Boa Morte was adjudged to have brought down Gary Speed in the area as a cross drifted over the pair and they tumbled to the ground. El-Hadji Diouf placed his spot kick in the top corner.

Soon after Fulham had a penalty appeal of their own turned down when John, having worked his way clear of the Bolton defence, was clattered by Jaaskelainen.

With just ten minutes remaining, Coleman replaced Michael Brown with Tomasz Radzinski and the move almost reaped immediate rewards when the Canada international fired in a shot from an awkward angle which Tal Ben Haim cleared off the line.

With time running out Fulham started to push players forward in search of an equaliser. Through sheer weight of numbers the Whites forced a throw which Radzinski launched to Diop who had taken up dangerous position on the by-line. The big Senegal midfielder won the header and knocked the ball against the hand of Faye. It was a clear penalty. Jimmy Bullard stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past Jaaskelainen’s right hand.

The Whites tried hard to find the winner but Bolton were typically stubborn and held out until the final whistle.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Wednesday 23 August 2006
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 18,559

Referee: Alan Wiley

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Rosenior, Pearce, Christanval, Queudrue; Bullard, Diop, Brown (Radzinski 81'), Boa Morte; Helguson (John 69'), McBride

Unused substitutes: Warner, Volz, Bocanegra

Bolton Wanderers

Line-up: Jääskeläinen; Hunt, Méité, Ben Haim, Speed; Diouf, Nolan, Ivan Campo, Fortune; Vaz Te, Davies (Faye 60')

Unused substitutes: Walker, Giannakopoulos, Thompson, Tal

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 2 6
2 Portsmouth 2 4
3 West Ham United 2 4
4 Bolton Wanderers 2 4
5 Aston Villa 2 4
6 Everton 2 4
7 Chelsea 2 3
8 Newcastle United 1 3
9 Middlesbrough 2 3
10 Reading 2 3
11 Tottenham Hotspur 2 3
12 Arsenal 1 1
13 Liverpool 1 1
14 Watford 2 1
15 Sheffield United 2 1
16 Blackburn Rovers 2 1
17 Manchester City 2 1
18 Fulham 2 1
19 Wigan Athletic 1 0
20 Charlton Athletic 2 0
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 7Liam Rosenior
  • 19Ian Pearce
  • 5Philippe Christanval
  • 4Franck Queudrue
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 8Michael Brown
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 9Heidar Helguson
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 30Tony Warner
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 15Collins John
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2)
  • 22Jussi Jääskeläinen
  • 2Nicky Hunt
  • 5Abdoulaye Méité
  • 26Tal Ben Haim
  • 6Gary Speed
  • 21El Hadji Diouf
  • 4Kevin Nolan
  • 8Ivan Campo
  • 17Quinton Fortune
  • 20Ricardo Vaz Te
  • 14Kevin Davies
Substitutes
  • 12Ian Walker
  • 25Abdoulaye Faye
  • 7Stelios Giannakopoulos
  • 15David Thompson
  • 23Idan Tal