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Fulham 4-0 Bolton Cham 10 1415 Bolton News

last updated Thursday 02nd October 2014, 4:15 PM


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Marc Iles at The Bolton News


Fulham (2) 4-0 (0) Bolton


IF this was the final nail in Dougie Freedman's coffin as Wanderers boss it was delivered with a sledgehammer.

Bookmakers had already opened a market on who would succeed the Scot prior to kick-off - and this performance did absolutely nothing to suggest he will escape the bullet.

Make no mistake about it, this was a result every bit as disgraceful given the circumstances as the 7-1 at Reading last season.

Fulham to their credit played some gorgeous football. Oh how Freedman must have wished he had met them a few weeks ago when they stuttered under the mad guidance of Felix Magath.

The Londoners deserved to take the three points with such swagger through goals by Hugo Rodallega, Fernando Amorbieta, Tim Hoogland and Lasse Christiensen.

But with his side now four points adrift in the relegation zone after 10 games - can Wanderers really afford to let things drag on?

Freedman had pledged to go "back to basics" and his team selection was arguably as heavyweight as it gets.

Out went Chung-Yong Lee, Mark Davies, Joe Mason and Kevin McNaughton, in came Chris Herd, Darren Pratley, Neil Danns and Craig Davies.

What the manager may have sacrificed in skill, he was hoping to make up for with power and experience.

It took the home side just eight minutes to break the deadlock, and that after Ross McCormack had seen a goal ruled out for offside.

The former Leeds United striker chipped a pass in towards Rodallega, who found himself alone in the penalty area after an unfortunate slip from Matt Mills.

Once again, the default position for the Whites had been to drop on to the edge of their own box and for a while it looked like a shoot on sight policy for Fulham.

Gradually, Freedman's side managed to get a little possession of their own and when they managed to get the ball into the Cottagers' box, they did cause a few nervous moments.

Pratley went closest with a header from Feeney's left-wing cross that skimmed the top of the crossbar.

Wanderers' chief problem was not a new one. While Craig Davies did a manful job up front on his own but was too often caught up bringing others into play, leaving little to aim at up front.

Pratley and Danns tried to break past him - but that in turn left the Whites open to the counter attack, and with Fulham operating on a completely different speed in midfield.

As the half drew to a close it was Kit Symons' side who were again in the ascendancy.

Ruiz, another relic of the Premier League days who looked a class act, curled one shot inches wide of the post after some lovely football between Scott Parker and Lasse Christiensen.

Just as Freedman would have welcomed a team-talk at 1-0, Dean Moxey conceded a needless free kick on Wanderers' left and Ruiz swung the ball in for Amorbieta to head home a second above Tim Ream.

When things showed no sign of improvement after the break, Freedman made a triple substitution, laying all his attacking cards on the table.

Switching to a three-man defence, Jermaine Beckford, Joe Mason and Mark Davies were thrown on in an effort to get back into the game.

The result was a marginal raise in tempo but the classy football was still coming from the players in white, Wanderers at this point, virtually playthings.

One move - 10-plus passes in creation - ended with a back-heel from Ruiz into the path of McCormack, whose delicate chip landed just over the bar.

That served the appetiser for a beautifully crafted third goal, laid on a plate by Rodallega for Christiansen to score from close range.

Beckford should have given his side a glimmer of hope 20 minutes before the end when he hit Feeney's cross wide.

But Fulham extinguished any chance of a comeback with another brilliantly taken goal - George Williams squaring for Tim Hoogland to side-foot past Lonergan.

Wanderers' travelling fans, who had stuck with their side all night, called for their manager's head again but their chants were drowned out by the Fulham support's demand for a fifth.

Symons had the luxury of sending on his kids towards the end - striding happily along the technical area as his chances of getting the job full-time gained momentum.

Freedman, sat dejected in the dugout, must wonder whether his time is up?























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