Fulham see off Bolton
By Andrew Scurr. Last Updated: 19/08/07 5:53pm
Smertin: Scored winner
Fulham inflicted a second successive defeat on Bolton and in turn picked up their first three points of the new Premier League season.
Lawrie Sanchez's side had to do it the hard way, though, coming from behind after Tony Warner dropped the ball at Heidar Helguson's feet to gift Bolton the opener.
But Fulham fought back and drew level when David Healy pounced to finish into the top corner after Helguson's poor defensive header.
Minutes later Alexei Smertin fired home the winner from the edge of the area, but with some help from Gerald Cid who deflected the drive into the opposite corner.
Nicolas Anelka went closest to equalising in the second half but Sammy Lee is still searching for his first league win as Bolton boss.
Warner had performed admirably at Arsenal on Sunday after first choice Antti Niemi had been injured in the warm-up but was hugely at fault as he somehow dropped a ball into Helguson's path in the 13th minute.
A bump against the huge frame of Zat Knight following Nicky Hunt's huge throw had occurred but still his slip appeared to be completely avoidable.
Helguson, who cost the Trotters £2.1million, then helped his old club equalise and again it was from a long throw.
Knight was also involved again, heading the ball into the air, and when Helguson tried to nod away he succeeded only in clashing with Abdoulaye Meite and diverting the ball towards his own goal.
Healy was on it in a flash, controlling, turning and firing past Jussi Jaaskelainen in an instant to add to his opening day strike at Arsenal - which had also been a gift from a goalkeeper.
Jaaskelainen was given no chance three minutes later when Smertin tried his luck from outside the box and saw his drive veer off Cid and into the far corner of the net.
But fortune did favour the Finn just before the break when he opted to bounce rather than grab a ball to the very edge of his box.
Brian McBride challenged and came away with the ball only for referee Lee Probert to award a free-kick to Bolton.
El Hadji Diouf, who had been unhappy at not starting against Newcastle, showed Lee what he can do straight after the restart when he whipped in a cross from the left that Nolan somehow put wide at the back post.
Warner then redeemed himself for his earlier error by pulling off an acrobatic tip-round to deny Anelka, who had been teed up for a curling effort inside the box by Cid, who stayed up to plant a free header wide.
Diouf then sent an angled effort just wide and Anelka, who had been quiet for a while, saw Chris Baird throw himself in the way of a drive.
Substitute Diomansy Kamara was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty when sandwiched between Cid and Hunt in the box. Referee Probert thought otherwise however.
Bolton threw men forward as the minutes ticked away, including Jaaskelainen in stoppage time, but Fulham held on to get their season off to a winning start at the second attempt.
|Fulham||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||5|
|2||Shots off Target||7|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||23||36|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||23||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||23||19|