FULHAM 1 BOLTON 1 A TITANIC battle between Division One's top two clubs ended all square at Craven Cottage yesterday even with Fulham reduced to 10 men after Luis Boa Morte was ordered off for retaliation.

A Per Frandsen free kick five minutes into the second half rescued a point for Bolton after a dominant first half performance from the hosts had threatened to blow them away.

Barry Hayles notched his 18th goal of the campaign after a lovely turn and shot on the edge of the box, but it could and should have been so much more.

Former Scottish international John Collins was presented with a simple chance from six yards, but could only find the outside of the post after a mistake from Colin Hendry.

The lively movement of Hayles and Luis Saha up front was causing masses of trouble for Bolton's experienced defenders and Hayles danced magnificently past three men before cutting his shot across the face of goal.

Bolton's battling qualities were arrayed for all to see as they stuck to their task and prevented Fulham from adding to their lead and just after the break they got their just rewards.

Dean Holdsworth was hauled to the ground by Kit Symons and Frandsen struck the resulting free kick sweetly past an unsighted Maik Taylor and into the bottom corner.

Collins was then denied by the woodwork once more after a free kick had been moved forward 10 yards into the Bolton area.

Saha's original smash was blocked by Tommy Wright and then Collins' glorious chip from the rebound bounced off the bar.

Boa Morte was dismissed after a foul by Robbie Elliott. The Portuguese striker reacted angrily and caused a few tempers to flare up slightly. The referee duly showed a red car to the second half substitute who then faced an embarrassing walk past the Bolton fans to the dressing rooms.

Sean Davis could have won the game for Fulham in the dying seconds, but saw his header shave the top of the bar.

Bolton now stand two points clear of third placed Rovers with the latter having two games in hand.

Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce admitted his side had some luck for the draw.

He said: "We got out of jail. We had to defend very desperately and we needed a bit of luck and we had that.

"We played far too deep in the first half and gave Fulham too much space -- as a result they scored and they deserved it.

"But our equaliser was a super free-kick. Whether we deserved the draw or not is not the point at this stage of the season.

"We had a bit of luck and if we'd lost the players would have lost confidence after the Blackburn game and this one.

"They battled hard to get a draw and Fulham will be frustrated with just one point."

Meanwhile Fulham midfielder Lee Clark claimed that his team-mates needed to be more ruthless if they wanted to secure Premiership promotion as soon as possible.

He said: "We are very disappointed. We dominated the game but we didn't finish them off -- we need to be more ruthless in front of goal.

"It's in our own hands now but the promotion battle won't be settled until the last few weeks of the season."