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16:50 20th February 2016


QPR drew 1-1 atot Bolton at the Macron Stadium this afternoon, with Matt Phillips netting a 93rd minute equaliser after the hosts had taken the lead mid-way through the second half.

In a game of few clear-cut chances in very difficult conditions, Zach Clough netted a stunning long-range strike with little over 20 minutes remaining to give the Trotters the lead.

And as the game ticked over the 90-minute mark, it looked like that moment would decide the game, before Phillips cut in from the right and tucked the ball under Ben Amos from the edge of the box to give Rangers a point for their efforts.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made two changes from the side that lost to Fulham last weekend, with Conor Washington and Karl Henry coming in for Sebastian Polter and Daniel Tozser.

It meant the R’s lined up with Alex Smithies behind a back four of, from left to right, Paul Konchesky, Grant Hall, Nedum Onuoha and James Perch.

Matt Phillips started on the left wing with Jamie Mackie on the right, and Massimo Luongo partnering Henry in the centre of the park.

Junior Hoilett played in the hole behind Washington.

After a minute’s applause for Bolton’s chairman Phil Gartside, who sadly passed away last week, it was the hosts who started on the front foot, with Liam Feeney forcing an early corner after finding space down the left.

The resultant set-piece was cleared by Henry, and QPR were soon posing questions of their own but Luongo was just unable to find Washington, while Hoilett fired a fierce drive goalwards which Ben Amos was able to gather.

Mid-way through the game, as both sides battled to gain control of the game, Henry was booked for a strong challenge on Darren Pratley, while Hall pulled off a brilliant block moments later to deny Emile Heskey, who looked to make a connection at the near post.

On 26 minutes, Washington fashioned the best chance of the game so far when he turned inside his marker before unleashing a powerful, low shot from 15 yards, which Amos did well to parry away.

Meanwhile, Jay Spearing shot wide from 20 yards following a Bolton corner.

Zach Clough almost gave Neil Lennon’s side the lead on 43 minutes in incredible fashion, with a stunning overhead kick from 12 yards which looped just beyond Smithies far post, with the R’s keeper diving full stretch to try and reach it.

And in injury time before the break, Clough again went close, this time his close-range header from Feeney’s cross being saved by Smithies.

Bolton began the second-half as they ended the first , looking to break the deadlock, but Washington nearly opened the scoring on 55 minutes with an effort from25 yards, but it flew over the bar after a good counter-attack break by the R’s.

After an hour, Hoilett was replaced by Nasser El Khayati, and the former Burton man received strong words of encouragement by Mackie as he entered the fray.

He came close to making an immediate impact, but his low delivery from the right was cut out just as Washington looked to pounce.

Roared on by 743 R’s supporters, El Khayati was at the heart of it again moments later, this time his cross from the right was converted just wide of the post by Perch.

But in the 69th minute it was Bolton who took the lead with a fine goal. Clough, who had gone close twice in the first half, picked the ball up on the edge of the box, shifted it onto his right foot and smashed the ball into the far top corner, giving Smithies absolutely no chance in the visiting goal.

It meant Bolton, who started the game seven points adrift of safety, were heading towards their third consecutive home win in the league as their survival fight gained more momentum.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Sebastian Polter was introduced at the expense of Mackie, playing alongside Washington in attack.

Phillips low shot was comfortably gathered by Amos as QPR went in search of an equaliser.

Tjaronn Chery was then introduced with ten minutes to go, replacing Henry.

The Trotters began to sit deeper and deeper as they looked to protect their lead, and QPR were finding it difficult to create the openings as the clock ticked down.

Chery saw his long-range effort loop over the bar late on as the R’s refused to give up.

And in the 93rd minute their persistence paid off, Phillips winning the ball on the right, cutting in and drilling the ball under Amos from 18 yards, to the delight of the R’s fans behind the goal.

The referee blew his whistle moments later as the spoils were shared in Lancashire.
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