Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Queens Park Rangers

  • August 24, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton are still searching for their first league win of the season, after losing 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

Andrew Johnson scored the only goal of the game at the Reebok Stadium, slotting the ball home from close range ten minutes after the break - after Clint Hill had got in behind Alex Baptiste on the left-hand side.

Wanderers came close on a couple of occasions, and hit the post through Medo Kamara with the game goalless in the first half, but they lacked that creativity and cutting edge in the final third as the visitors held on to reach the summit of the Championship table.

After a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest last time out, Trotters boss Dougie Freedman made three changes to his team. In came Tim Ream, David Ngog and Jermaine Beckford, as they took the places of Robert Hall, Craig Davies and the suspended Darren Pratley.

With an unchanged back four, Wanderers set-up in a diamond 4-4-2 formation with Ream acting as a holding midfielder behind the duo of Jay Spearing and Medo Kamara, and Lee Chung-Yong providing the attacking momentum in behind the forward line of Ngog and Beckford.

Much of the early play was in the middle of the field, with a couple of harmless free-kicks falling the way of the hosts. The first real chance arrived on 12 minutes but Beckford dragged a weak shot wide from 25 yards, moments after he had been clattered by a late challenge from Richard Dunne, who was shown a yellow card by referee James Adcock.

Beckford was handed an opportunity to try for goal again as the 15 minute mark approached. He pounced on a poor pass from Joey Barton, raced clear of Dunne and found himself one-on-one with Robert Green in goal. As he reached the edge of the box, he took aim at goal but dragged his shot wide once again.

QPR's first chance arrived with 20 minutes played, but Gary O'Neil hit his shot into the ground and, in the end, it was a comfortable save for Adam Bogdan.

Charlie Austin came close to breaking the deadlock shortly before the half-hour. His shot from distance took a nick off a defender and fizzed inches over the crossbar, with the Wanderers goalkeeper left clawing at thin air.

At the other end, Bolton came even closer. After striking the post in Wanderers' last home match against Reading, Medo took aim at goal with yet another 25 yard effort. His shot was on target this time, but Green made a superb fingertip save to push the ball onto the post and keep the game goalless.

QPR ended the first half on top in terms of possession, but neither side managed to find a way through as the first half came to an end with the scores level.

Both sides returned without any changes for the start of the second period, and the first chance fell the way of the hosts. After Chung-Yong was fouled on the left wing, Spearing's free-kick was flicked towards goal by David Wheater. The defender's attempt found a way through a body of players, but fell kindly into the grasp of Green.

With ten minutes of the second half played, QPR exploited the lack of width in the Bolton team and took the lead in front of the travelling supporters. Good play from Hill resulted in him getting round the back of Baptiste, before playing a low ball across the Wanderers box and into the path of Johnson, who couldn't miss from inside the six-yard box.

Comfortable with their lead, Rangers looked to soak up the minimal pressure being put on them by Bolton. The next chance fell to Medo, who sliced a shot wide of the target at the midway stage of the half.

Moments after coming on as a substitute for Ngog, Andre Moritz took aim at goal but also failed to test Green as his shot flashed well wide.

Robert Hall, who had also come on, this time for an injured Tim Ream, almost had an immediate impact. He looked set to play Chung-Yong clean through on goal, but the final pass just had a little too much pace for the South Korea international.

Hall was involved again at the match entered the final 10 minutes. He slid Craig Davies, another substitute, in behind the QPR defence and his shot brought a smart stop out of Green.

Wanderers pushed men forward in the latter stages, as Zat Knight took up a free role in the attack, but they failed to find a way through a resilient Rangers backline as they fired a blank for the second week running.

Defeat means Bolton's return of two points from the opening four games is their worst start to a season since 2003, while Freedman's side occupy 19th place in the Championship table ahead of the afternoon fixtures. The Trotters return to action on Tuesday night, when they travel to Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Baptiste, Knight, Wheater, Tierney, Kamara, Ream (Hall 72), Spearing, Chung-Yong, Ngog (Moritz 67), Beckford (C Davies 63)
Subs Not Used: Mears, Mills, Lonergan, Odelusi
Booked: Tierney

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Wright-Phillips (Traore 77), Barton, Henry, O'Neil, Austin (Zamora 71), Johnson (Jenas 84)
Subs Not Used: Suk-Young, Murphy, Hitchcock, Faurlin
Booked: Dunne, Barton, Henry, Austin, Simpson, Onuoha
Goals: Johnson 54

Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 14,999

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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