Just as Wanderers fans were starting to get comfortable with the good results, and, dare I say it, actual points, Bolton pulled what can only be described as a Bolton. Of course after pulling off 3 wins in a row, Bolton had to capitulate. Obviously just as I was starting to believe Bolton will be safe from the drop this season, the team puts in a performance like that. This is by no means the end of the world that some of the more dramatic fans are making it out to be, but it is still a disappointment. Bolton remain in 16th place for today, but if they want to stay there, they'll have to stop putting in performances like today's.
The game got off to a rather scrappy start, as it took both teams time to settle in. Unfortunately for the home side, Fulham seemed to settle in much more effectively and made themselves right at home. The first fright cam in the 23rd minute when Clint Dempsey slammed the ball home, but was called back for offside. The near goal only whetted his appetite though, and just 6 minutes later he got on the score sheet with a beautifully curled free kick that gave Adam Bogdan no chance.
The goal did wake Bolton up to an extent, but as so often happens any coherent attack failed to prove anywhere close to lethal once it reached the box. The Wanderers looked like they could have gotten a foot in the game, but Clint Dempsey's second goal just before halftime took the wind out of Boltonian sails. Damien Duff once again beat Marcos Alonso, who was doing his best Paul Robinson impression throughout the match, and Dempsey headed his cross home.
Unusually Coyle made 2 changes at halftime, putting Kevin Davies on for Darren Pratley, changing the formation from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2, and also Chris Eagles on for Ryo Miyaichi. The substitutes did manage to breathe some life back into the home side, but were unable to translate that into goals. David Ngog made a good run into the box, but was pulled down in what on another day might have earned a penalty. In the 80th minute Mahamadou Diarra put the game to bed from close range.
It was most certainly an afternoon to forget for the Trotters, but it was not the worst match of the season either. Bolton must now look to Monday's match with Newcastle and focus on getting back to winning ways.