Belfast Telegraph

Cottagers hold on for point

Fulham made a low-key start to life under Mark Hughes after holding on for a goalless draw at Bolton on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.

Wanderers dominated the contest and were unlucky not to secure all three points when Stuart Holden struck the post in the 78th minute.

Johan Elmander was also denied on several occasions by Cottagers goalkeeper David Stockdale, who had been selected by Hughes ahead of Arsenal target Mark Schwarzer.

The hosts had carved out the first opportunity as Elmander attempted a flick, collected the rebound and then dragged a shot wide to Stockdale's right.

At the other end, Fulham skipper Danny Murphy went closer with a low strike from outside the box.

Martin Petrov then had a fierce drive held by Stockdale, before Bobby Zamora attempted an audacious lob that drifted over Jussi Jaaskelainen's crossbar.

Fulham 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 it was Bolton who continued to make the more legitimate chances, as Elmander dispossessed Dickson Etuhu and sent a powerful strike into the arms of Stockdale.

Jaaskelainen got in a mix-up with Paul Robinson and fumbled his header, but dived on the ball before Zamora could capitalise.

Holden went closest to breaking the deadlock with just over 10 minutes to go, firing in a shot that bounced back off the woodwork.


From Belfast Telegraph