Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Queens Park Rangers

  • October 21, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton were denied back-to-back wins at Championship level for the first time since December 2014, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Queens Park Rangers.

Wanderers had led at Macron Stadium, with Darren Pratley heading home from close range midway through the first-half, but Rangers earned a point 12 minutes from time after Idrissa Sylla picked out the top corner with a stylish flick from inside the six-yard box.

Both sides struggled in their attempts to push for a late winner, with the surface starting to become waterlogged, but referee James Linington allowed play to continue with all involved seemingly content with a point apiece.

After beating Sheffield Wednesday in their last outing, Wanderers started with the same team as manager Phil Parkinson opted against recalling the likes of Jem Karacan, Derik Osede and Aaron Wilbraham.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, with Karl Henry, a recent signing from QPR, firing harmlessly wide inside two minutes after an initial free-kick from Adam Armstrong was blocked by the wall.

Armstrong was involved again moments later, shooting narrowly wide of Alex Smithies' right-hand post with a drive from 30 yards, before Ryan Manning failed to hit the target at the other end as he pounced on a poor clearance from Gary Madine.

Josh Cowen was next to try his luck for the visitors, with Ben Alnwick alert to make the save at his near post, shortly before a last-ditch challenge from Pawel Wszolek denied Armstrong a certain goal as he raced clean through one-on-one with Smithies.

The ball was in the net from the resulting corner, however, as Josh Vela's cross into the box was headed back across goal by Madine, where Pratley was on-hand to nod home from close range to break the deadlock.

In truth, there was little else to call as the rest of the opening period drew to a close, aside from Rangers boss Ian Holloway making a tactical switch on 38 minutes, with Conor Washington being brought on in place of Manning.

With Wanderers leading 1-0 at the break, there were no further changes to either side as the players jogged out for the start of the second period.

Once again, it was the hosts who created the first chance of the half, with Madine taking the ball down on his chest before seeing a goalbound effort blocked by Alex Baptiste.

Rangers had their first attempt of the half shortly before the hour, with Alnwick getting down well to keep out a header from Jamie Mackie, moments before a break from Bolton ended with Sammy Ameobi seeing a bending strike deflect behind off Joel Lynch.

Wanderers had a golden chance to double their lead on 61 minutes, as David Wheater put Vela clean through on goal. With the angle narrowing, however, Vela failed to get the desired curl on his shot and could only find the waiting gloves of Smithies.

Alnwick was alert to the danger once again with 20 minutes to play, getting down low to make an outstanding reaction save from Sylla, but the Rangers forward had the last laugh as he found the net 11 minutes from time, latching on to a cross from Luke Freeman to flick into the top corner from close range.

Parkinson made a late change, introducing Adam Le Fondre in place of Vela in an attempt to find a late winner, but it wasn't forthcoming.

Filipe Morais and Wheater both saw chances come and go in the latter stages, but difficult conditions at the Macron meant the two teams were made to settle for a 1-1 draw and another point on the board.

That point, Bolton's fourth from two games, fails to lift them off the foot of the table. They trail Sunderland by three, but remain six from safety ahead of next weekend's trip to Fulham.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Little, Henry, Pratley, Vela (Le Fondre 83), Ameobi (Morais 62), Armstrong (Noone 66), Madine
Subs Not Used: Howard, Robinson, Cullen, Burke
Goals: Pratley 22

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Baptiste, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Scowen, Luongo, Manning (Washington 38), Mackie (Smith 61), Freeman, Sylla (Wheeler 85)
Subs Not Used: Lumley, Furlong, Cousins, N'Gbakoto
Goals: Sylla 78

Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 14,243

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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