Bobby Zamora Image 1
Fulham 0-1 Bolton Wanderers
BOBBY Zamora's shock return failed to inspire Fulham as they missed out on an FA Cup quarter-final trip to Birmingham City today.
The England hit-man was back after injury to lead the Fulham attack as a 67th minute substitute for Zoltan Gera, but a first-half strike from Ivan Klasnic was enough to take Owen Coyle's men through.
Wanderers grabbed the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute after Fulham failed to deal with a Fabrice Muamba cross and Klasnic needed no second invitation to shoot emphatically past Mark Schwarzer.
The Cottagers should have been in front by that time as Moussa Dembele was put clean through, but he took too long to get his shot away and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan got down well to save.
The hosts produced a spirited response to falling behind and had Owen Coyle's men pinned in their own half for long spells of the first-half.
However, the visitors produced a stubborn resistance and Fulham only came close when Clint Dempsey fired wide from just outside the area.
Though Fulham continued to dominate possession in the second-half, they struggled to find a cutting edge and the impressive Fabrice Muamba almost made them pay with a 25-yard screamer that fizzed just wide.
The home faithful vented their fury with referee Stuart Attwell after he failed to punish a string of nasty fouls from the visitors, in particular Martin Petrov escaping with just a yellow card for appearing to elbow Chris Baird in the face.
Fulham hero Zamora made his long-awaited return as a 67th minute substitute for Zoltan Gera, but Mark Hughes' men should have been killed off when Klasnic fired a great chance too close to Schwarzer.
Dempsey had a shot deflected wide as Fulham belatedly turned up the heat on the visitors, but they failed to find the equaliser and slipped to their first defeat in seven home matches.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Salcido, Hangeland, Baird, Sidwell, Johnson, Gera (Zamora 67), Murphy, Hughes, Dempsey, Dembele