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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Fulham 2-0 Bolton
Andy Cole

Andy Cole's brace ensured Fulham made a triumphant return to Craven Cottage.

In a thrilling opening five minutes Sylvain Legwinski hit the woodwork before Cole deflected Zat Knight's shot past Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Cole, who was on loan at Fulham in 1991, proved a major irritant to the Bolton defence and just before the interval the striker also hit the post.

Late on the former England forward capped a superb peformance by drilling the ball past Jaaskelainen.

Fulham have been away from Craven Cottage for the last two seasons, but if the opening passage of play was anything to go by their supporters are in for exciting times back at their home ground.

Within the first minute Edwin van der Sar had to fist away an Okocha shot after the Nigerian international created an opening with a trademark dribble.

Play quickly switched to the other end and Legwinski crashed a shot against the post after good work by Cole with Jaaskelainen only able to watch as the ball rebounded to safety.

The Finn was equally relieved when a Pape Bouba Diop header was deflected away from goal by Tomasz Radzinski, before Jaaskelainen made his first save of the game, getting down quickly to save Claus Jensen's low shot.

Had it not been for Jaaskelainen, Fulham's win would have been more comprehensive.

Midway through the second half he made three superb stops, palming away Moritz Volz's dipping effort, rushing out to block a Cole shot and then making a reaction save to deny Luis Boa Morte.

But Jaaskelainen could do nothing to keep the ball out when Cole got a touch to Zat Knight's deflected shot in the fifth minute.

In between Fulham's frequent sorties forward Bolton claimed a penalty when Van der Sar clambered over Henrik Pedersen to the ball.

Cole's forward partner Collins John gradually started to come into the game and he went desperately close when his intelligent run saw him latch on to Jensen's pass over Ivan Campo.

The youngster easily shrugged off Julio Cesar's challenge only to then send a shot across goal which went the wrong side of the post.

Just before the interval Fulham hit the woodwork for a second time following a lazy backpass from Campo.

Cole was quick to pick up the ball and round Jaaskelainen, but the angle was just too tight and his shot came back off the post.

After the interval Cole continued to lead the line with aplomb, cutting the ball back for Diop, who blasted over.

Diop and Jensen were so dominant in the midfield that early in the second half Bolton manager Sam Allardyce introduced Anthony Barness and Stylianos Giannakopoulos.

The arrival of the Greek international marginally pepped up Bolton's attack, Giannakopoulos immediately sending in a cross.

His presence in the box also unsettled Van der Sar following a Kevin Nolan effort.

But Fulham wrapped up a deserved win thanks to Jensen's vision and Cole's movement.

The Danish midfielder slipped a superb reverse pass through to Cole, who buried his shot into the corner past Jaaskelainen.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz, Goma, Knight, Bocanegra, Diop, Legwinski, John (Boa Morte 65), Jensen (Pembridge 85), Radzinski (McBride 69), Cole.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Pearce.

Goals: Cole 5, 82.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N'Gotty, Cesar, Gardner (Hierro 75), Okocha, Campo (Barness 55), Speed, Nolan, Davies, Pedersen (Giannakopoulos 51). Subs Not Used: Poole, Ben Haim.

Att: 17,541.

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

Interviews: Coleman, Allardyce and Cole

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