Preview: QPR (H)

Report: Wanderers 0-1 QPR

Andy Johnson’s second half goal handed QPR all three points in the weekend’s early kick-off at the Reebok Stadium.

The former Everton and Crystal Palace man bundled home from close range after a low cross from Clint Hill to end Wanderers unbeaten run at home in the Championship in 2013.

The Whites’ best opportunity fell to Medo Kamara in the first half, but the midfielder’s effort was pushed against the post by Hoops stopper Robert Green.

Wanderers made three changes from last weekend’s visit to the City Ground. USA international Tim Ream made his first league start of the season for the club, whilst there were also places in Dougie Freedman’s eleven for David Ngog and Jermaine Beckford.

Opposition boss Harry Redknapp fielded a strong line-up blessed with Premier League experience including the likes of Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Before kick-off, the club unveiled the Nat Lofthouse OBE Statue, with a strong number turning out to show their appreciation for the man who scored over 250 goals for the club.

Beckford, back in the side for Bolton’s second game live on the sky cameras this season, created the game’s first opportunity on the quarter hour mark after picking up a wayward pass from Barton.  

Racing away from Rangers defenders Richard Dunne and Clint Hill, Beckford had a clear sight on goal but was unable to hit the target, dragging his shot wide of the mark.

Seven minutes later, Wanderers yet again came close as number six Spearing curled a delightful free-kick from the left channel, only to parried over the cross bar by England international Green.

Former Burnley frontman Charlie Austin, quiet as a mouse for the opening 25 minutes, demonstrated his credentials when presented with a goal scoring opportunity by driving an ambitious 35-yard strike goal bound, whistling inches over Adam Bogdan’s goal.

Wanderers’ best chance of the opening 45 came through Sierra Leone international Medo Kamara on the half hour mark.

As he did against Reading a fortnight ago, the 25-year-old hit a stereotypical thunderous effort from 20-yards which was superbly tipped against the post by Green.

After a tightly fought first half, referee James Adcock brought proceedings to a close with all to play for in the second period.

Bolton began the second half well, with Spearing again trying his luck with a close range free-kick, before Karl Henry made a crucial interception to prevent Lee inside the penalty area minutes later.

However, it was the visitors who found their finishing touch first to take the lead at the Reebok Stadium after 54 minutes.

Wright Phillips and Hill linked up well on the left hand side, allowing the latter to fizz a low cross into the danger area for Johnson to tap home.

Manager Freedman reacted to QPR’s goal by taking Beckford and Ngog off, with Craig Davies and Andre Moritz coming on for the Whites as they searched for an equaliser.

Substitute Moritz looked to make an immediate impression, but fired wide from 20-yards when he was picked out by Medo, who was operating on the right channel.

Ream was the final player to be replaced after a solid performance in the heart of midfield, with tricky winger Robert Hall coming on to add more attacking options for the Whites.

Bolton’s patience for an equaliser nearly paid off eight minutes before the end when two of Freedman’s substitutes combined, as Hall slipped the ball through to Davies, but goalkeeper Green quickly got down to low to prevent the striker from grabbing his first of the season.

But Bolton couldn’t find a way past the QPR backline as the visitors held out for their first ever win at the Reebok Stadium.

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