Duff strike denies plucky Wanderers

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Fulham winger Damien Duff grabbed a second-half equaliser to deny Bolton their first win in four games following a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

Ivan Klasnic put Wanderers in front in the 34th minute when he fired home from close range.

But a second-half onslaught from Fulham finally paid off when Duff drilled a right-foot shot into the bottom corner to earn Roy Hodgson's side a share of the spoils at Craven Cottage.

The result keeps Bolton entrenched in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League while Fulham stay 10th.

Bolton had six players booked during the contest with captain Kevin Davies receiving his yellow card for a poor challenge on Fulham defender Brede Hangeland in only the second minute.

Fulham almost went in front in the 16th minute but a superb goalline clearance from Gretar Steinsson prevented Erik Nevland from putting the ball into the net from six yards.

Nevland was a constant threat to the Bolton rearguard but he lacked the necessary support from midfield.

In the 21st minute, he almost supplied the perfect pass for Zoltan Gera but again Steinsson read the danger before the Fulham man could execute a finish.

Steinsson found himself in Bennett's notebook moments later though when he brought down Clint Dempsey with a clumsy challenge.

Hangeland, who signed a new contract with Fulham in midweek, was having a difficult afternoon up against Davies.

Jonathan Greening should have done better after robbing Bolton's Gavin McCann of possession in the centre-circle.

The Fulham midfielder raced towards the Bolton goal but despite options either side of him, Greening chose to try his luck from 20 yards.

But his shot was greeted with groans of disappointment from the home fans when it flew high over the crossbar.

Greening was booked for a foul on Cohen seconds later but TV replays clearly showed the Bolton man had dived and the Fulham midfielder had made no contact with him whatsoever.

Bolton were looking to avoid their fourth successive Premier League defeat and Gary Megson's side took a shock lead in the 34th minute through Ivan Klasnic.

The Bolton striker collected a header from Gary Cahill, turned Hangeland on the edge of the six-yard box and fired past Mark Schwarzer.

It was only Bolton's second goal in four games and came totally against the run of play.

Fulham came back strongly at the start of the second half but Bolton's defence, not known for its solidarity, held firm.

The visitors had conceded 11 goals in their last three games but were clearly determined to keep a clean sheet on this occasion.

In the 52nd minute Gera was fouled by McCann and the tackle earned the Bolton man a yellow card.

In the 57th minute it took another fabulous goalline clearance from Steinsson to deny Fulham an equaliser.

The Bolton right-back blocked a header from Dempsey by the right-hand upright as the home side piled on the pressure.

Moments later Gera sent a volley flashing wide of the post while at the opposite end, Taylor could have done better with a 20-yard drive that was well off target.

It was all Fulham now and Damien Duff was thwarted by a diving save from Jaaskelainen when the Irishman tried to curl a shot into the bottom corner in the 61st minute.

Moments later the Bolton 'keeper was booked for time wasting and Megson opted to replace goalscorer Klasnic with Fabrice Muamba. It was Bolton's fifth yellow card of the afternoon.

But Jaaskelainen redeemed himself in the 66th minute with a flying save to keep Nevland's shot from finding the top corner of the net.

Fulham finally got their reward in the 75th minute when Duff collected a pass from Nevland and drilled a right-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Duff was just a yard away from scoring a winner in the 84th minute when a 20-yard drive flashed wide of the post.

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Jonathan Greening
Ivan Klasnic
Mark Schwarzer
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Brede Hangeland
Fabrice Muamba
Zoltan Gera
Damien Duff
Gavin McCann
Gary Cahill
Kevin Davies
Clint Dempsey

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