This clash of two of the newly-promoted sides won’t live long in the memory. A dreary stalemate saw Fulham extend their unbeaten run to five games, whilst Bolton – picking up just their second point in the same sequence – will view it as an opportunity for a rare victory that went begging. In truth, this wasn’t the finest advert for Premiership football that the world will see this weekend: a match high on industry and organisation, if not incident.

Sam Allardyce was pleased with the way in which his experienced centre halves nullified the threat posed by Louis Saha and Barry Hayles, but found himself frustrated with Bolton’s finishing at the other end of the field. Top scorer Michael Ricketts spurned their best opening early on – not generating enough power behind a looping header to seriously test Edwin van der Sar in the Fulham goal after an encouraging home move.

Sylvain Legwinski replied with a tame effort from range before Mike Whitlow was lucky to escape a booking for a wild challenge from behind on Saha, whose pace periodically caused problems for Wanderers. Per Frandsen drilled an effort wide of goal after strong hold up play for Ricketts had fashioned an opportunity, before van der Sar was almost punished for trying to dribble around Rod Wallace. Fortunately for Fulham, the goalkeeper’s overconfidence caused no lasting damage as the cross was easily cleared away. van der Sar made amends by making an excellent diving save to keep out a Kevin Nolan drive.

Bolton continued to probe after the interval, although they lacked quality in their final ball. Their best distribution came from Frandsen but Riccardo Gardner wasted one wonderful ball by screwing a shot well wide after running out of room as he pulled the trigger. Hayles hammered a shot high over the bar and Luis Boa Morte, only a substitute on his return from suspension, almost created a winner for Sean Davis after skipping around Jaaskelainen but the midfielder lifted his finish woefully into the crowd.

BOLTON WANDERERS (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; N’Gotty, Whitlow, Bergsson, Charlton; Nolan, Warhurst, Frandsen (Farrelly 84), Gardner (Holdsworth 76); Wallace, Ricketts. Subs (not used): Poole, Barness, Johnson.

BOOKED: Holdsworth.

FULHAM (4-4-2): van der Sar; Finnan, Brevett, Goma, Melville; Davis, Collins, Legwinski, Malbranque (Clark 69); Saha, Hayles (Boa Morte 68). Subs (not used): Taylor, Symons, Goldbaek.

BOOKED: Brevett.

REFEREE: Mike Dean (The Wirrall).