Fulham’s play-off hopes were dealt a body blow at the Reebok Stadium this afternoon as a brace from Dean Holdsworth powered Bolton Wanderers to a big win.
Former Crazy Gang cult hero Holdsworth took his Wanderers’ league haul into double figures with double either side of half-time that knocked the stuffing out of Paul Bracewell’s visitors. He broke the deadlock just before half time with a penalty awarded after Eidur Gudjohnsen had been brought down in the area by Terry Phelan and got a bit of fortune five minutes into the second half when Maik Taylor failed to keep out a mishit shot.
Holdsworth could easily have registered his first Trotters hat trick since moving north from Wimbledon for £3.5m in October 1997 but failed to make the most of two very presentable headed chances. That allowed Lee Clark to give Fulham a lifeline with nineteen minutes to go, but Icelandic forward Gudjohnsen grabbed his seventeenth goal of the season in stoppage time to secure all three points for the hosts.
BOLTON WANDERERS (5-3-2): Jaaskelainen; Johnston, Bergsson, Elliott, Whitlow, Fish; Ritchie, Johansen, Jensen; Holdsworth (Nolan 84); Gudjohnsen. Subs (not used): Banks, O’Kane, Hansen, B. Taylor.
BOLTON WANDERERS (5-3-2): Jaaskelainen; Bergsson, Elliott, Ritchie, Fish, Whitlow; Johansen, Johnston, Jensen; Holdsworth (Nolan 84), Gudjohnsen. Subs (not used): Banks, O’Kane, Hansen, B. Taylor.
GOALS: Holdsworth (pen 45, 50), Gudjohnsen (90).
FULHAM (5-4-1): M. Taylor; Finnan, Phelan, Morgan (Davis 76), Melville, Coleman; Ball, Hayward, Goldbaek, Clark; Hayles. Subs (not used): Hahnemann, Symons, Trollope, W. Collins.
BOOKED: Ball, Clark, Phelan, Goldbaek.
GOAL: Clark (71).
REFEREE: Kevin Lynch (North Yorkshire).