Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 28, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/e8976

Bolton were beaten 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night, a result which leaves them just four points above the Championship relegation zone.

Wanderers enjoyed the better of the first half at Loftus Road, but went in behind at the break after Charlie Austin headed past Andy Lonergan four minutes before the interval.

A stunning volley from Karl Henry doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart and Harry Redknapp's side held on to claim the victory, despite a late consolation from Jay Spearing giving the visiting fans something to cheer about on a bitterly cold night in London.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made two changes to the side that was beaten by Cardiff City on Saturday, as Mark Davies and Darren Pratley took the places of Chris Eagles and Lee Chung-Yong - who were both named on the bench, along with new signing Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Unfortunately, for the visiting side, they were forced into a change early on, as Tim Ream suffered a head injury inside the opening 30 seconds. He was treated for around five minutes, before leaving the field to be replaced by debutant Hayden White.

The first attacking move of the game arrived with seven minutes on the clock, as Mark Davies embarked on a 30-yard run before being halted on the edge of the Rangers box.

Davies was involved again moments later, winning the ball just inside the area and cutting it back to Pratley - whose shot was charged down and then saved on the line by Robert Green.

Niko Kranjcar was inches away from diverting a Matt Phillips cross into the Bolton net on 12 minutes, before a screaming shot from Pratley flashed agonisingly wide of the target at the other end.

An injury to Austin then stopped play, but he managed to make his way back on to the field of play despite Bobby Zamora being stripped and ready to be introduced on the sidelines.

Pratley and Mark Davies were Wanderers' most dangerous attacking threats in the opening 45 minutes and they combined again midway through the half, but Davies was thwarted by a last-ditch challenge from Clint Hill.

The travelling supporters thought their side had taken the lead on 25 minutes, but their celebrations were cut short when they realised Craig Davies had struck into the side netting of Green's goal.

Davies came even closer, 10 minutes before the break, as his curling shot from outside the box cannonned back off the angle of post and crossbar - with Green routed to the spot on his line.

Andy Johnson fired into the stands in a rare Rangers attack moments later, before the hosts went ahead as an unmarked Austin headed low and hard beyond Lonergan with four minutes left before the break.

Lonergan did well to push a Tom Carroll strike around the post, but there were no further goals in seven minutes of stoppage time as QPR took their one-goal lead into the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, but any hopes of Wanderers getting back into the game were extinguished five minutes after the restart as Henry fired through a host of players to double Rangers' advantage.

Pratley almost pulled one back immediately with a chipped attempt that landed just wide of the target, before Chung-Yong came on to replace Neil Danns in an attacking change from Freedman.

Zat Knight did well to charge down a goalbound attempt from Austin just after the hour, before Green produced two outstanding saves to keep the visitors out.

After denying Chung-Yong, the former England international made a full-stretch stop to stop a long-range attempt from Medo Kamara flying into the top corner.

Jutkiewicz came on for his Trotters debut at the midway point of the half, with Craig Davies the man to make way. The R's replied by bringing Bobby Zamora on for one of their goalscorers, Austin.

With 15 minutes to go, the home fans appealed desperately for a penalty as Johnson went down inside the box under a challenge from Lonergan. Everybody inside the stadium expected referee Andy D'Urso to point to the spot, but, instead, he ordered play to continue.

Chung-Yong was denied by a last-ditch challenge from Richard Dunne at the other end, before Jutkiewicz's goalbound header deflected behind off Zamora.

Both sides wasted opportunities as the game entered the final 10 minutes, before Bolton pulled one back on 85 minutes as Spearing's shot deflected off Dunne and found its way past a stranded Green to make the scores 2-1.

Chung-Yong and Jutkiewicz both came close to equalising in the latter stages, but QPR held on to claim a win that their performance just about deserved. Wanderers were much improved from their recent displays, but a lack of killer instinct in the final third once again cost them dear.

Freedman's side return to action on Saturday, when they hit the road once again. This time, they face Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Assou-Ekotto, Dunne, Hill, Traore, Phillips, Carroll, Henry, Kranjcar (Wright-Phillips 77), Johnson, Austin (Zamora 70)
Subs Not Used: Hoilett, Diakite, Murphy, Ehmer, O'Neil
Goals: Austin 41, Henry 50

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Baptiste, Mills, Knight, Ream (White 5), Spearing, Kamara, Pratley, M Davies, Danns (Chung-Yong 58), C Davies (Jutkiewicz 67)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Eagles, Moritz, Vela
Goals: Spearing 85

Referee: Andy D'Urso
Attendance: 15,097

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