Date: 14th March 2009 at 11:52pm
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It is customary for disaffected football supporters to boo if their team`s performance or effort falls well short of the required standard, but they normally leave it until the end of the game. Bolton fans, however, were so appalled by their side`s inability to perform even the most basic of tasks, that they commenced hostilities mid-way through the second half. It wasn`t difficult to see why.

This was never likely to be a classic encounter. Fulham play pretty passing football which lacks penetration in the final third of the pitch while Bolton`s lumpen, unintelligent hoof and hope routine lacks everything. Even so, it was the home side which had the best early chance. Johan Elmander`s free kick looked to be tame, but goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer fumbled it leaving Gary Cahill a shot on goal which was blocked. The ball eventually fell to Gavin McCann who launched it into the sparse group of away supporters.

When the breakthrough came, it was at the other end, and via a comical piece of defending that Bolton followers will laugh about. Eventually. There seemed little danger from Simon Davies`s attempted through pass to Andrew Johnson, but centre-back Andy O`Brien cunningly took the ball around his own keeper, before allowing the Fulham striker to prod it into the empty net. That the ball rolled pathetically across the line seemed fitting.

A minute into stoppage time the Whites were level. Kevin Davies chested down Gary Cahill`s long punt to namesake Mark and on receiving the return ball stiffed Paul Konchesky before firing home with aplomb. It was the one notable moment of skill from the home side in the entire match.

Respite was short-lived. Ten minutes into the second half O`Brien was once again the principle culprit, surrendering possession to Johnson inside the Bolton half. He lost the ball inside the penalty area, but it fell to Danny Murphy who cannoned a shot against the bar and the rebound fell to Simon Davies. His shot on goal was unconvincing, but Jlloyd Samuel fell over when he had the chance to clear it.

The visitors wrapped up the points three minutes from time, when McCann played a ball into midfield, for reasons that weren`t apparent to anyone. Clint Dempsey took the opportunity to play in Diomansy Kamara and he made no mistake from twelve yards out.

The reception for Gary Megson`s men at the final whistle would have been worse, but many fans had already gone home. The Ginger One was accurate in his assessment of the team`s performance without giving any indication that he knows what to do about it.

‘We haven’t played well throughout the game, but the goals Fulham scored, we were culpable in every one,` he said.

‘Everybody is culpable for a performance like that but the goals are individual errors.`

Hopefully he realises that the culpability starts with him.

 

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