Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday September 13 2008
Fulham got off to their best start in the Premier League today with a win over Bolton Wanderers.
The win, their third in a row came after two first half goals had left us in a comfortable position; unfortunately, it became a nervy finish as Bolton launched their normal arsenal of set-pieces towards a target man.
As promised before the game, Roy Hodgson did start with Andy Johnson choosing to partner him with Bobby Zamora in attack. It was a decision that worked well and if both can stay fit Fulham it augers well for the rest of the season.
After home wins over Arsenal and Leicester, preceding the two and a half week break, confidence must have been high in the squad and it showed in the early exchanges.
Bobby Zamora had a goal disallowed and Zoltan Gera went close with an effort. It looked only a matter of time before Fulham would open the scoring with Bolton offering very little in the way of attacking football.
As it happened we had to wait until the 15th minute for the deadlock to be broken. Zamora saw his cross headed away by J Lloyd-Samuel and when the ball fell to Gera he coolly drilled it into the bottom corner past Jaaskelainen.
Jimmy Bullard, fresh from his European tour with England, looked very comfortable in midfield and the front two of Johnson and Zamora were looking impressive. In fact it was only through the good work of Jaaskelainen that Fulham didn`t run riot.
But a second goal did come before half time and what a fine goal it was. Paul Koncheskey found Zamora and with an intricate bit of skill the striker dumfounded two defenders before shooting past the keeper.
With a 2-0 half time lead much of the talk was about how many we`d score. But as is often the case we failed to step up a gear and crush inferior opposition. The visitors started the half crisper but Fulham soon began to dominate again but without getting that crucial third goal.
Probably the best chance came when Gera hit the bar but all credit to Bolton for launching something like a late rescue act. With eight minutes left on the clock they reduced the arrears when Jasaskelainen launched a free kick towards Kevin Davies. The target man knocked it on and Helgusson got the minimum of contact to steer it home.
The last eight minutes, plus stoppage time were nervy but thankfully we weathered the storm and as we said at the start of this report, it`s out best Premier League start for five years, now let`s kick on and make it a successful season.
Date:Saturday September 13 2008
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