Team: Smithies, Baptiste, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Scowen, Luongo, Manning (Washington), Sylla (Wheeler), Mackie (Smith), Freeman
Subs Not Used: Lumley, Furlong, Cousins, Ngbakoto
Attendance: 14,243 (including 848 R’s fans)
This was an encounter QPR could ill afford to lose and thankfully in wet and windy conditions, a point was eventually secured.
Basement boys Bolton just had the edge in the opening forty-five minutes. The hosts took the lead with a somewhat give away goal following slack marking, which annoyingly was a feature of our first-half performance.
To compound the downbeat mood the team were sloppy and a lacklustre syndrome was evident in a lot of our moves. Prospects were not looking good at the half-time interval I can tell you.
The second-half was a completely different story. Bolton for some strange reason decided after ten minutes play that they would abandon attacking intent, retreat into their shell and waste time in an endeavour to hang on to the 1-0 lead.
This then gave Rangers wholesale possession and they had as much of the ball as they wanted, leaving Alex Smithies in goal a virtual spectator.
The R’s pressed in numbers and despite numerous moves breaking down, in and around the Bolton goalmouth and chances being spurned, you could sense that the equaliser was on its way. It duly arrived when Sylla flicked home from close range in the 78th minute.
Thereafter if anyone was going to win it was going to be Rangers. Bolton were out of the picture. Sadly notwithstanding having the upper hand in those closing stages could not deliver a much needed victory..
Rangers will come up against far better teams than struggling Bolton in forthcoming fixtures. Much improvement is needed if our seven match win-less run is not to be extended.
Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)
Idrissa Sylla scored a stylish equaliser as QPR denied bottom side Bolton Wanderers a second straight win.
Wanderers led when Gary Madine knocked down Josh Vela’s corner into the path of Darren Pratley, who headed in.
Vela missed a good chance to double the lead when he shot straight at Alex Smithies from a tight angle.
Rangers pressed hard for an equaliser and were finally rewarded thanks to Sylla’s flicked finish from Luke Freeman’s cross.
Buoyed by their first win of the season and their first goals in seven league matches the previous weekend, Bolton deservedly led at half-time.
Newcastle United loanee Adam Armstrong drilled an early shot over the bar, and was then sent clear by Madine’s flick, but Hoops defender Pawel Wszolek recovered to make a last-ditch challenge.
Ian Holloway’s side started the second-half on top with Jamie Mackie’s header forcing Jak Alnwick to save, but clear chances remained few and far between.
The visitors, who have scored a single goal in each of their past nine visits to Bolton, increased the pressure, with Sylla’s flick forcing a good sprawling save from Alnwick before finding the net when he repeated the trick from Freeman’s sixth assist of the season.
The equaliser denied Bolton back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since December 2014, and they remain bottom, but with four points from their last two matches, having picked up only two from their opening 11 outings of the season.
Bolton manager Phil Parkinson: “It was a difficult game and the conditions played a massive part, but we adapted well first-half. It was a good, solid performance.”
“I feel that from where we were prior to the Sheffield Wednesday game, four points from six, we would have taken that.”
“Of course there’s some frustration because when you’re 1-0 up you feel like you should keep hold of the lead, but we don’t look like a team who are short on confidence any more.”
QPR boss Ian Holloway: “They got two free headers in our box and scored. Our players should have dealt with it, but it was against the run of play.”
“In the second-half I thought we were very professional. I want them to have more belief in themselves, and with the stats on what we created, we’re more than happy with that.”
“I think after our goal, there was only one team that was going on to win it and I think any Bolton fan watching would agree.”
We were well aware that adverse weather conditions were in store during the afternoon, and the forecast was spot on!
I met up with Bernard (aka Kerrins), outside the ground and inside was the usual pre-match social occasion of catching up with other R’s fans.
Have to say that I was disappointed that David Wheeler didn’t start (he eventually came on after 86 minutes), but we opened quite positively with some good passing moves.
Some poor marking after 20 odd minutes allowed their striker through into a goalscoring position from which he really should have scored. However, they did anyway from the resulting corner with Darren Pratley’s free header!
The weather was worsening with strong, rain-filled winds blowing across the pitch and Rangers lost their way, some long ball, poor passing at times and draining confidence.
At one stage Alex Smithies was getting more of the ball than probably anyone else and on one occasion he lost it with Pawel Wszolek. I noticed later that he did apologise, so fair play to him for that and generally he did quite well in his wing-back duties.
Rangers started off much better in the 2nd half and I was surprised at how negative Bolton became. They even took off Adam Armstrong after 66 minutes.
That said, they had come into the game having scored just six league goals all season!
QPR got the goal they deserved after 78 minutes, courtesy of another Luke Freeman assist.
As far as I’m concerned it was two points dropped against another poor side.