Cottagers too hot for Bolton
Gera and Zamora net as Fulham triumph
Last Updated: 13/09/08 6:07pm
Zamora: Crucial second
Fulham's fine start to the new season continued following a fully-deserved 2-1 success over Bolton Wanderers.
Zoltan Gera's volley fired The Cottagers ahead on 15 minutes into a lead they never look like relinquishing.
Roy Hodgson's side doubled their advantage before the break with Bobby Zamora escaping Danny Shittu's grasp before unleashing an unstoppable right-foot shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Fulham were inches from extending their lead after half-time but Gera's header from Simon Davies cross crashed off the crossbar to safety.
However, it nearly proved a decisive miss as Kevin Davies' late strike gave Bolton a life-line, although Gary Megson's side were unable to find an equaliser.
The tone was set from the opening minute when Bolton were carved open with ease only for Gera to sky his shot when it was harder to miss than score.
Andrew Johnson nodded a cross by Gera high over the bar and moments later Zamora smashed the ball into the net but referee Steve Tanner had spotted his elbow on keeper Jaaskelainen.
Bolton were coming under growing pressure as they struggled to contain Fulham's movement and in the 15th minute the home side surged ahead.
Zamora crossed from the left but the ball was only cleared to the edge of the area where the incoming Gera sent the ball screaming past an unsighted Jaaskelainen.
Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann saw an intelligent looping shot tipped off target by Mark Schwarzer but Fulham still had Craven Cottage at their mercy.
Bullard teed-up Gera with a crafty back-heal but the ensuing shot was blocked and then Paul Konchesky went marauding into space.
Zamora showed strength to fend off Andrew O'Brien only to snatch at the ball from close range and an increasingly desperate Bolton were let off the hook once again.
The former West Ham striker was clearly fired-up and after being felled in the area by a dubious tackle from Shittu, he saw a difficult low header well saved by Jaaskelainen.
But he could not be denied in the 41st minute as Fulham finally grabbed the second their dominance deserved.
Expertly spinning out of a double challenge from Shittu and McCann on the edge of the area, Zamora took a couple of paces and buried the ball in the bottom right corner of the net.
Bolton reverted to plan B early in the second half by seeking to bully Fulham into submission.
Davies took an elbow from behind and then Kevin Nolan was booked for a one-footed tackle on Jimmy Bullard, who was called-up by England last week.
Bullard almost enjoyed instant revenge when he set-up a chance for Johnson but there was too much weight on his pass and shortly after Davies went close.
There was no respite for hapless Bolton as they watched a Gera effort strike the bottom of the crossbar and bounce clear.Fulham were subjected to a nervy ending when Davies bundled a long-range free-kick into the net but Bolton's late surge went unrewarded.
|Fulham||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||7|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
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Barclays Premier League
|11||West Ham United||3||3|
|12||Queens Park Rangers||3||3|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||3||2|