Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Queens Park Rangers

  • February 20, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Matt Phillips struck deep into stoppage time, as Queens Park Rangers stole a point in a 1-1 draw with Bolton at Macron Stadium.

Just as they did in the campaign's reverse fixture at Loftus Road, Wanderers lost points in the closing stages, this time courtesy of a 25-yard strike from Phillips that somehow squirmed underneath the body of Ben Amos.

Zach Clough, making his first start since January 2, had earlier given Neil Lennon's side the lead with a contender for Goal of the Season, but the nature of Phillips' late goal meant supporters left the ground feeling beaten, as Championship survival begins to look more unrealistic by the week.

Lennon made two changes to the team that started at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out, with Clough and Dean Moxey taking the places of both Wellington Silva and Derik Osede, who were named amongst the substitutes.

Prior to kick-off, supporters rose to their feet for a minute's applause in memory of late chairman Phil Gartside, who lost a fight against cancer on February 10.

Once the action on the field got underway, it was the visitors who had the first attempt on goal, with former Blackburn Rovers man Junior Hoilett bringing Amos into a comfortable save inside the opening five minutes.

Liam Feeney was first to try his luck at the other end, latching on to a ball from Emile Heskey before dragging a shot across goal, before the same men switched roles as Heskey prodded a near-post cross wide of the target.

Conor Washington, a January signing from Peterborough United, showed a glimpse of his potential midway through the half, winning an aerial duel against Rob Holding, putting the ball through his legs and bringing Amos into a reaction save low to his right.

Feeney's attempt to find the top corner from the edge of the box resulted in the ball sailing behind for a goal-kick on the half-hour, moments before his short corner ended with Jay Spearing drilling narrowly wide from 25 yards.

Clough then came agonisingly close to scoring in acrobatic fashion, as his overhead kick from a Josh Vela cross sailed inches wide of Alex Smithies' left-hand post, shortly before the Wanderers forward forced Smithies into a smart stop with a bullet header with what proved to be the final action of the half.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with the home side seeing appeals for a penalty turned down when Heskey went to ground under a challenge from Grant Hall.

Heskey, who had spent much of the game out on the left-hand side, was soon to be replaced after suffering what appeared to be a muscle injury to his leg, with Gary Madine coming on in his place.

After a spell of inactivity from both sides on the attacking front, Rangers should have taken the lead shortly after the hour, as James Perch somehow prodded wide of the target after stealing in unmarked six yards from goal.

That miss was to prove vital, as, five minutes later, Wanderers took the lead in spectacular style. A passing move involving Moxey, Spearing and Mark Davies ended with the latter rolling the ball to Clough, who turned away from Massimo Luongo before picking out the top corner from 25 yards via the underside of the crossbar.

QPR responded by introducing Sebastian Polter in place of the ineffective Jamie Mackie and was soon involved, laying the ball off to Phillips, who brought an easy save out of Amos from the edge of the box.

Karl Henry, who was somewhat fortunate to escape a red card earlier in the game for a poor challenge on Darren Pratley, was brought off for his own safety with 10 minutes to go, with Tjaronn Chery on as his replacement, and the visitors took full advantage in the third of four added minutes for stoppages.

Phillips latched on to a long ball into the Wanderers half and, after skipping away from the challenge of Moxey, drilled a low shot underneath the body of Amos to steal a late equaliser for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side.

Madine and Davies both saw shots fly over the crossbar as Bolton looked for a late winner, but it was yet another case of points dropped as Wanderers suffered stoppage-time heartbreak against the Rs for the second time this season.

Lennon's side continue their fight against relegation on Tuesday, when he takes his team to the scene of his first victory in charge of the club - Birmingham City.

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Vela, Dervite, Holding, Moxey, Spearing, Pratley, Davies, Clough (Danns 84), Heskey (Madine 53), Feeney
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Osede, Silva, Dobbie, Woolery
Goals: Clough 68

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky, Mackie (Polter 74), Henry (Chery 80), Luongo, Phillips, Hoilett (El Khayati 62), Washington
Subs Not Used: Angella, Tozser, Ingram, Petrasso
Booked: Henry, Luongo
Goals: Phillips 90+3

Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 14,085

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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