Report: Bolton Wanderers v Fulham

Adam Le Fondre's sublime half-volley earned Wanderers a deserved draw against promotion-chasing Fulham at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors drew first blood inside five minutes, with Matt Targett’s close-range header eluding Ben Alnwick in the Bolton goal.

But Wanderers were back level just after the hour mark, with Le Fondre's sublime half-volley from 18 yards giving Marcus Bettinelli absolutely no chance whatsoever.

And despite their best efforts to take all three points, they had to settle for just the one come full time.


Wanderers made one change to the starting XI who turned out against Bristol City last time out, with Zach Clough coming into the fray in place of Tyler Walker.


The game got underway in torrid conditions at Macron Stadium, with the visitors putting Bolton under pressure from the off.

And they were rewarded inside five minutes as Lucas Piazon headed the ball across goal, with Targett finding the net from close range with Ben Alnwick unable to keep his header out.

It was almost two three minutes later as Rui Fonte dispossessed David Wheater who was attempting to deal with a ball deep into Bolton’s territory, but Alnwick came to the rescue for Wanderers with his foot keeping the forward’s effort out.

Wanderers were having to bide their time in terms of creating their own opportunities, with Fulham ruling in possession, although the Whites were keeping them confined to the middle third of the pitch for the most part.

With 18 minutes on the clock however, the Trotters tested Marcus Bettinelli for the first time, with the shot-stopper’s fingers tipping a goalbound Zach Clough effort over the crossbar with Macron Stadium already rising to its collective feet.

The chance certainly rejuvenated the home side too, with Sammy Ameobi proving himself a handful in the minutes that followed as Bolton went in search of a leveller.

A succession of Fulham injuries meanwhile saw the flow of the game stunted, with Wanderers unable to find their groove as the visitors dropped like flies.

Clough enjoyed another chance to pull Bolton back onto level terms shortly after the half hour mark as, following good work from Ameobi to pluck the ball out of the air and lay it off for the advancing forward, our No.40 was denied by a smart Bettinelli save from 12 yards.

Wanderers’ confidence was growing with each passing attack, and although the Fulham ‘keeper wasn’t having too much to deal with in terms of goalmouth action, the Cottagers were visibly panicking as they looked to clear the ball away from danger.

Following a period of Bolton pressure as the half drew to its conclusion, the visitors almost snatched a second on the stroke of half time, only for Beevers to block Ryan Sessegnon’s effort from a tight angle to ensure that it was just the one goal advantage for Fulham at the break.


With no changes for either side at the break, proceedings got back underway and it was Wanderers who looked liveliest early on.

The visitors didn’t waste much time however in making a double substitution, with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara entering the fray as the Cottagers looked to put the game beyond Bolton.

And the latter almost made the perfect introduction, only to put his effort wide of the mark with just Alnwick to beat.

Wanderers were soon back on the attack though, with some neat build-up play seeing the home faithful respond in kind with their vocal backing.

Just before the hour mark, Phil Parkinson made his first changes of the game with Filipe Morais replacing Little and Adam Le Fondre taking the place of Clough.

And Le Fondre made his mark just a matter of minutes later, with his sublime angled half-volley from the edge of the box giving Bettinelli absolutely no chance as he drew Bolton level and sent the home faithful into raptures.

Wanderers were hungry for more, and with Fulham on the ropes, they poured forward in search of a second and saw Le Fondre come close again, with his shot deflecting off a Cottagers shirt and being palmed away by Bettinelli.

The Whites were knocking, and Josh Vela saw a golden opportunity – following good hold-up play by Le Fondre – fly narrowly over the crossbar from 20 yards.

They even had the ball in the back of the net with 18 minutes remaining, but the whistle had been long blown for a foul by Ameobi on the keeper before he poked an effort home.

Fulham weren't for lying down however, with Wheater required to dispossess Kamara inside the six yard box just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Wanderers continued to press themselves, Ameobi making inroads and shrugging off a couple of challenges before firing just wide of the upright with seven minutes left.

Mitrovic came close for Fulham meanwhile, seeing a snapshot from the edge of the area whisk past the post with Alnwick stranded.

They looked set to snatch the victory too with just two minutes left as Stefan Johansen mazed into the box, but his eventual effort was the wrong side of the near post to Bolton's relief.

And with four minutes indicated at the end of the 90, both teams were throwing everything forward as the clash swung to and fro.

But come full time, the spoils were shared at Macron Stadium.


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