Bolton suffered late heartbreak at Loftus Road as they came out on the wrong side of a 4-3 thriller with Queens Park Rangers.
Wanderers had opened the scoring in what proved to be a first half goal fest through Gary Madine inside eight minutes, with Liam Feeney doubling the visitors’ advantage shortly after.
Moments later however, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas pulled the home side back into contention while on the stroke of half time, Leroy Fer drew QPR level after scrambling the ball home from close range.
Tjaronn Chery then put Chris Ramsey’s side ahead shortly after the hour mark with a curled effort from just outside the area, only to be pegged back by Wellington Silva’s first goal for the club five minutes from time.
Both sides pushed late on for a winning goal, but it was Rangers who struck the decisive effort deep into stoppage time with Emmanuel-Thomas doubling his tally and earning all three points for QPR.
There were two changes for Wanderers, with Darren Pratley and Dorian Dervite coming into the starting XI in place of David Wheater and Wellington respectively.
With proceedings getting underway in the hazy London sunshine, Wanderers enjoyed the first opportunity of the game but saw Neil Danns’ long range effort clear Rob Green’s crossbar inside the opening 90 seconds.
Bolton were the side enjoying the majority of possession early on, although they were unable to really trouble Green in the QPR goal, while Nedum Onuoha forced Ben Amos into a smart save to keep out his far post header.
With just eight minutes gone however, Wanderers broke the deadlock through Gary Madine with the frontman connecting with Liam Feeney’s cross to head home from close range.
A deserved goal given the Whites’ early efforts, the home side were visibly shaken and Wanderers took advantage in the 11th minute as Green parried Pratley’s initial shot into the path of Feeney who poked home from a matter of yards out.
The goal fest continued, however this time it fell in favour of the hosts as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas nodded home a cross from the left flank to halve the deficit in the 13th minute and lift the home faithful out of their seats.
With everybody inside Loftus Road struggling to catch their breath, Max Clayton scurried goalwards shortly after the restart in an attempt to chase a loose ball, but the heroics of Green denied him and kept QPR in the clash and Wanderers’ lead at just one goal.
Following such a feisty start to the game, the tempo of the clash did calm down a little as the half came to its midway point but both teams were still looking dangerous on the counter attack.
It was certainly not a game lacking in tempestuousness, with tackles flying in left, right and centre.
Onuoha looked to have drawn QPR level on the half hour mark as he found space at the far post and headed the ball goalwards, but Amos somehow managed to palm his effort away from danger with his fingertips at the death.
With less than ten minutes to go to the break, Daniel Tozser attempted to beat the Bolton keeper from just outside the box, but his strike was always rising as it cleared the crossbar by some distance.
Chances in front of goal became sparse as the first period drew to its conclusion, but on the stroke of half time the home side drew level as Leroy Fer bundled the ball home from a matter of yards out after Amos had initially saved and parried his header from close range.
A scoreline which was harsh on Wanderers, Matt Phillips almost completed QPR’s comeback in added time with a stinging shot from 20 yards which Amos had to be on his toes to keep out and ensure that the half ended all square.
The break saw the introduction of Wheater in place of Francesco Pisano, while the first pressure applied in the second period came from the hosts with Wanderers having to be on their guard early on.
There was certainly more of an air of tentativeness in the opening stages of the second period as opposed to that of the first, with neither side really able to work their way into each team’s respective penalty areas too often.
Wanderers were the team being forced onto the backfoot more though, with Amos somehow keeping out an Emmanuel-Thomas effort while the offside flag also came to Bolton’s rescue in the 53rd minute.
Some clever link-up play between Clayton and Dorian Dervite soon after almost proved fruitful for the Whites, but the Frenchman’s final effort failed to hit the target.
It was anybody’s game with chances going begging at both ends, but it was the home side who struck next with Chery’s curled effort from just outside the area eluding Amos to put QPR ahead in the clash with 62 minutes gone.
Phillips almost extended their lead moments later after finding himself in on goal, only to somehow drag his effort wide of the mark.
Pratley was then replaced by Jay Spearing as Wanderers went in search of an equaliser, with Bolton finding themselves creeping more up field as the time progressed although the home side were still causing problems on the counter attack.
Although they were finding more space in QPR’s half, Bolton were struggling to make any real inroads with the hosts packing out their penalty area with bodies in a bid to protect their lead.
The introduction of Wellington with ten minutes remaining signalled all-out attack for the Whites, with the Brazilian making his presence known from the outset with a couple of mazy runs into the box.
Emmanuel-Thomas almost doubled his tally for the afternoon with seven minutes to go meanwhile, only to be denied by the fingertips of Amos.
Having proved himself a nuisance since his arrival into the game, Wellington made his mark with the equalising goal in the 85th minute, collecting the ball deep into QPR territory before firing into Green’s bottom hand corner.
It was end to end stuff at Loftus Road, with neither side ready to settle for a point in the encounter as chances went begging in both penalty areas.
With four minutes of additional time indicated, it was all out attack for both Wanderers and QPR with the visitors seeing a Danns effort chalked off, but it was the home side who were rewarded deep into stoppage time as Emmanuel-Thomas struck from distance to ensure QPR took all three points.