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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 07:41 GMT
Bore draw for promoted rivals
Bergsson and Malbranque race for the ball in the first half
The match was fiercely contested by both teams
Bolton 0-0 Fulham
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Bolton will be disappointed not to have taken all three points against Fulham after creating the majority of the chances at the Reebok Stadium.

Dutch goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar produced two brilliant first-half saves to deny Kevin Nolan.

Michael Ricketts came close to scoring moments before half time but, after successfully lobbing Van der Sar, he could only watch as the ball drifted inches wide.

  Key moments
36 mins: Nolan denied by Van der Sar
39 mins: Nolan again denied by Van der Sar
41 mins: Ricketts just wide after lobbing Van der Sar

Chances were at an absolute premium in the second half and the first ever Premiership meeting between these two sides disappointingly petered out.

Despite failing to trouble Trotters goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, the draw means Fulham remain unbeaten throughout November while Bolton have not won at home in the Premiership since they beat Liverpool on 27 August.

Bolton began the game in determined fashion, with Ricketts causing the Fulham defence problems.

The Trotters' top scorer had three attempts at goal in the opening 10 minutes.


I thought we did everything to deserve to win the game today
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
Midway through the first half Per Frandsen shot from the edge of the area but the ball drifted wide of Van der Sar's goal.

Just before the half-hour mark the home supporters thought Bolton should have been awarded a penalty after Rod Wallace went down under a challenge from Van der Sar but referee Mike Dean waved play on.

Van der Sar denied Kevin Nolan a spectacular long-range goal with a brilliant athletic save eight minutes from half time.

Three minutes later Van der Sar again denied Nolan with another excellent save.


We didn't create good scoring chances but we did try to play all the time.
Fulham assistant boss Christian Damiano
With half-time looming Ricketts tried to chip Van der Sar but, having lifted the ball over the Dutch keeper, the Bolton striker could only watch as his audacious attempt narrowly missed.

Fulham attempted to impress their style of play upon the game in the second half but Bolton continued to deny the Cottagers space and time in midfield.

Tigana introduced Lee Clark and Luis Boa Morte for Barry Hayles and Steen Malbranque after 67 minutes but it did not lead to any tangible improvement.

Allardyce introduced Dean Holdsworth for Bolton but he failed to cause the Fulham defence any problems as the two team's cancelled each other out.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N'Gotty, Whitlow, Bergsson, Charlton, Nolan, Warhurst, Frandsen, Gardner, Wallace, Ricketts. Subs: Poole, Holdsworth, Farrelly, Barness, Johnson.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Goma, Melville, Brevett, Collins, Malbranque, Davis, Legwinski, Saha, Hayles. Subs: Taylor, Symons, Clark, Goldbaek, Boa Morte.

Referee: M Dean (The Wirral).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Stuart Hall
"Bolton's football flowed with a sweet rhythm"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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