ON an afternoon that conjured up a whole mixture of emotions, two-goal Jay Emmanuel-Thomas eventually proved to be the hero for QPR, after grabbing the match-winning goal in second-half stoppage time at Loftus Road.
In an incredible turn of events in this Sky Bet Championship clash, goals from Gary Madine and Liam Feeney originally gave visitors Bolton Wanderers a two-goal advantage after only 11 minutes.
However, the Hoops roared back to take a 3-2 lead, with Emmanuel-Thomas, Leroy Fer and Chery – whose strike was particularly impressive – all finding the net for QPR.
With just five minutes left to play, Bolton struck a third goal through substitute Wellington Silva that looked to have denied Chris Ramsey’s team from taking the three points.
But there was still more drama to come yet and, after Emmanuel-Thomas showed skill to free himself 25 yards from goal, he fired home in the fourth minute of added time to spark wild scenes of celebration.
Ramsey made four changes to his QPR team following last Friday’s damaging defeat at the hands of west London neighbours Fulham.
Fer, returning from a long-term lay-off, made his first start of the season, while Grant Hall, Daniel Tozser and Emmanuel-Thomas were also named in the starting XI.
Top scorer Charlie Austin (hamstring) missed out. James Perch, Ale Faurlin and Massimo Luongo all dropped to the substitutes’ bench.
After a fine start to the season, Rangers came into this contest after two draws and as many losses meant it was a winless September.
Bolton, meanwhile, 20th in the Championship table before kick-off, had enjoyed a troublesome beginning to the campaign, despite last weekend’s encouraging home draw against league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.
It was the visitors who fashioned the first couple of attempts.
Neil Danns blasted over from range early on, before Dorian Dervite flicked a header wide in the fifth minute.
R’s skipper Nedum Onuoha was the first player to test a goalkeeper, however, with his seventh-minute header from a Tozser free-kick smartly caught by Ben Amos.
But Bolton took the lead just a minute later. Feeney crossed from the left, and frontman Madine was on hand to guide the outswinging centre past Rob Green.
The Loftus Road faithful were left stunned when Wanderers added a second goal in the 11th minute.
Feeney turned from provider to goalscorer, prodding home at close range after Darren Pratley’s thump from distance could only be parried by Green.
The worst-possible start for Rangers – and the home crowd responded by bellowing out the chant of ‘Come on you R’s!’
QPR duly responded two minutes later, pulling themselves back into proceedings through Emmanuel-Thomas.
Chery was on hand with the assist, with his cross from the left nodded home by the head of the summer recruit from Bristol City.
Hope for Rangers, although Max Clayton so nearly added a third goal for Bolton in the 15th minute when a flick forward put him one-on-one with Green, who in turn came hurtling off his line.
Thankfully, that pressure was enough to see Clayton drag wide.
Some opening quarter of an hour.
Following a period of calm, the next real chance didn’t arrive until the half-hour mark, and it perhaps should have seen Rangers level.
Tozser’s free-kick from the right found Onuoha unmarked at the back post, whose header was tipped away by Amos.
Eight minutes later, passing play from the R’s ended with Tozser winding up from 25 yards, but his subsequent effort sailed over the crossbar.
In the 41st minute, Tozser combined with a fellow ex-Watford man in another chance for Rangers.
The Hungarian midfielder flighted a central free-kick into the box, before Gabriele Angella crashed his header just past the upright.
The Hoops levelled matters just a minute before half-time.
Fer’s header was parried by Amos, before the Dutchman eventually stabbed home when a goalmouth scramble then ensued.
Buoyed by their equaliser, Rangers were now rampant. Matt Phillips thundered a shot at the Bolton custodian in first-half stoppage time.
Unlike the opening half, there was little to note in terms of opportunities at the start of the closing period.
Emmanuel-Thomas’ improvised effort that forced a fine save from Amos would have been offside had it gone in, anyway, while Dervite blazed over for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Onuoha saw a header trickle just past the foot of the post on the hour mark.
But Rangers took the lead for the first time following a simply stunning strike in the 62nd minute.
Chery eventually took possession around the left-hand edge of the box and what followed was quite something, as the playmaker curled home a lovely effort into the top right-hand corner.
Just a minute later, QPR should have put themselves into a 4-2 lead.
Phillips was put in the clear and when the winger raced onto the ball, he could only skew wide of Amos’ goal from 16 yards.
After that chance, Bolton enjoyed their fair share of possession. Rangers were now having to show grit.
In the 77th minute, Sandro was introduced at the expense of Fer. It was the Brazilian’s first appearance for the R’s this season.
Soon after his introduction, the midfielder forced a great save from Amos after shooting from range.
The visitors made it 3-3 five minutes from time.
Rangers surrendered possession in their own half and when Silva intercepted the ball before galloping into the area, he arrowed an effort into the bottom right-hand corner, via the outstretched hand of Green.
Heartbreak for QPR, who continued to press forward as four minutes of second-half injury time were signalled.
But, remarkably, there was still just about time for a QPR fourth.
In the final minute of added time, Emmanuel-Thomas sidestepped his marker before curling home an exquisite effort from 25 yards, which nestled into the bottom corner.
Good job there’s a two-week international break now – time to grab some air after a breathless afternoon in W12.