Bolton Wanderers 0 Fulham 2

Last updated : 15 May 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Two goals by Brian McBride spoiled the Trotters party as they prepared to celebrate their best ever season in the Premiership.

The home side started the game looking for their sixth win on the trot - their best run in the top division since the 1911-12 season.

But despite dominating the 90 minutes they were guilty of missing a glut of chances, with Jay-Jay Okocha ending the campaign without a goal - the first time he has ever failed to score in a season.

Yet while Bolton fluffed their lines Fulham took full advantage of what was offered.

Twice they broke away from defensive duties to catch out the Bolton cover and twice McBride was left at the far post to knock home simple chances.

It was a lesson Bolton will do well to learn but they still bowed out with a top-ten finish and the promise to do better next time.

Kevin Davies has been one of the plusses this season after Southampton released him in the summer. An ever-present this term along with keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, he should have given the Trotters an 18th minute lead when he latched onto a superb throughball from Okocha.

After shrugging off the tackle of Ian Pearce he was faced by only Edwin Van der Sar to beat but played the ball right into the keeper's hands.

And then Okocha, who holds the unwanted statistic of having the most shots in the Premiership without scoring, came within inches of putting attempt number 108 in the back of the net only to see a 25-yard free-kick beat van der Sar but crash against the crossbar.

In between Fulham offered little to lift the game until five minutes before half-time when Volz danced past three defenders and looked set to strike until he was foiled by a brave save from Jaaskelainen.

That sparked Bolton into action but again their finishing let them down as Ivan Campo headed Youri Djorkaeff's cross just over the bar from a good position.

Yet in the 44th minute Fulham had the final word of the half, McBride climbing at the far post to head Luis Boa Morte's cross past Jaaskelainen.

Bolton gave a second-half start to Ricardo Gardner, out of action since damaging cruciate ligaments in January, but it was Fulham who produced the early threats through McBride and Boa Morte.

Yet the clear-cut chances came the way of the home side and they should have at least got on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute.

Henrik Pedersen, a second-half substitute for Djorkaeff set up the first chance with a pinpoint cross into the six-yard box, but as Davies slid in he could only direct the ball at the keeper.

Okocha then looked as if he had ended his scoring famine when he flashed a header at goal only to see it deflected away for a corner.

Van der Sar then kept Bolton out when he dived at the feet of Kevin Nolan and when Okocha went down in a heap under Carlos Bocanegra's challenge, the home side yelled for a penalty, but referee Barber would have none of it.

And then Fulham really spoiled the party as McBride grabbed his second goal. It was a typical break against the run of play, the ball reaching Steed Malbranque, whose 78th minute cross was met by the onrushing American at the far post.

Bolton showed just why they finished the game pointless as Davies went clear only to put Pedersen's cross wide when in front of goal.