Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Queens Park Rangers

  • September 15, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton ended a difficult week off the field with a poor performance on it, as they were beaten 2-1 by Queens Park Rangers at the University of Bolton Stadium.

International breaks are usually quiet affairs but the past fortnight has been hardly that for Wanderers, who successfully survived an administration scare only to be rocked by the passing of club president and former owner Eddie Davies.

A minute's applause was held for Davies prior to kick-off, observed perfectly by players and fans of both sides, but that was where QPR's courtesy came to an end - with goals either side of the break from Luke Freeman and Eberechi Eze putting them into a 2-0 lead inside an hour.

Substitute Josh Magennis, who had been an injury doubt in the build-up to the game, reduced the deficit with a free-kick that squirmed through a wall and the legs of Joe Lumley, but the hosts couldn't get themselves back on level terms as they suffered back-to-back home defeats - dropping to 10th in the Championship as a result.

Two weeks after coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Preston North End, Bolton lined up with three changes to the team that started at Deepdale as Jonathan Grounds, Craig Noone and debutant Christian Doidge came in at the expense of Josh Magennis, Yanic Wildschut and the injured Andrew Taylor.

Both sides had early chances to break the deadlock, with Nahki Wells seeing a shot cleared off the line for the visitors inside the opening 90 seconds, before Sammy Ameobi headed over the crossbar as he got on the end of a free-kick at the other end shortly thereafter.

A mix-up in the Rangers defence between Lumley and Angel Rangel almost resulted in an own-goal on 18 minutes, moments before Angel was involved at the opposite end when his low cross was fired over the crossbar by Eze.

The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes, however, with the away side taking the lead. An advancing Freeman spread the ball out to Wells on the right-hand side, who played the return into the penalty area for Freedman to steal in ahead of David Wheater and slide into the bottom corner.

Jonathan Cousins failed to hit the target with a 30-yarder as QPR looked to double their advantage, while Wheater was alert to deny Freeman a second as he once again linked up with Wells on the edge of the Wanderers box.

Bolton were forced into a change on 35 minutes after Ameobi failed to respond to treatment for an injury, giving Wildschut an opportunity to increase his minutes on the pitch.

The substitute was in the thick of the action before the break, linking up with Joe Williams to provide Noone with a change to equalise, but the winger's bending effort flashed wide of the goal when he was perhaps better placed to have put his laces through the ball.

The scoreline remained at 1-0 going into the interval, during which neither manager looked to their substitutes.

It was Bolton who created the first chance of the second period, with Wheater heading behind from a Gary O'Neil corner, but the visitors doubled their lead just two minutes after that in the most simplest of fashion.

Freeman did superbly well to work his way beyond Pawel Olkowski, Jason Lowe and Wheater before crossing to Eze, who beat Grounds to the ball before firing low and hard into the bottom corner of Alnwick's net for 2-0.

That prompted the Trotters boss to turn to Magennis, who emerged from the substitutes' bench to pull once back within six minutes of his introduction.

After Doidge was fouled on the edge of the Rangers box, Magennis immediately claimed possession of the ball. After placing it on the floor and his eyes on the goal, the Northern Ireland international struck straight through the wall and the body of goalkeeper Lumley to bring Wanderers back in it at 2-1.

A free-kick from Wells at the other end was deflected behind with 13 minutes to play, moments before a stinging drive from Olkowski had to be tipped over the crossbar by Lumley.

Bolton came even closer on 85 minutes after an acrobatic cross from Noone was only half-cleared. O'Neil recycled possession before playing a square ball to substitute Erhun Oztumer, whose first-time strike deflected off Doidge before being turned away by Lumley.

That would ultimately prove to be the final piece of goalmouth action, as Bolton failed to repeat their heroics of a fortnight ago - with the initial two-goal cushion afforded to their opposition this time proving too much to turn around.

Parkinson's side return to action on Wednesday evening, when they face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Grounds (Oztumer 82), Beevers, Wheater, Olkowski, Lowe (Magennis 60), O'Neil, J Williams, Ameobi (Wildschut 35), Noone, Doidge
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Vela, Hobbs, Wilson
Booked: Noone
Goals: Magennis 69

Queens Park Rangers: Lumley, Rangel, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell, Eze, Cousins, Luongo, Freeman (Scowen 83), Wells (Smith 87), Hemed (Cameron 73)
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel, Wszolek
Goals: Freeman 26, Eze 56

Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 13,581

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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