George Newell with decisive goal in win at Macron Stadium
Bolton Wanderers’ under-21s returned to winning ways after a solitary goal from George Newell secured victory over QPR at Macron Stadium.
Striker Newell got the goal his performance deserved on the stroke of half time, tapping home after the goalkeeper had failed to deal with Tyrell Palmer’s deflected shot.
In truth, Bolton were the better side over the piece and the margin of victory would probably have been greater had it not been for a combination of good goalkeeping and a slight lack of cutting edge in the final third.
Bolton were on top from the off, though it took until the 16th minute for the game’s first effort of any real note.
Callum Spooner overlapped well down the right side to latch onto a pass. After surging forward his low cross took a slight deflection on its way into the area, with the ball falling to the onrushing Jack Earing who failed to keep his first-time shot down.
Enock Likoy-Elumba and, in particular, Newell worked the frontline tirelessly for Bolton. On one occasion Newell almost caught QPR stopper Conor Hudnott out only for a covering defender to tidy up.
The visitors rarely threatened. Shodipo managed their only shots of the half, twice cutting in from the left to see effort fly narrowly wide of Ross Fitzsimon’s far post.
Palmer’s impact on the game grew as the half wore on. He began to see more of the ball and caused no end of problems for Hoops right-back Andreas Komodikis.
On 39 minutes Wanderers worked two smart reflex saves from Hudnott, with Palmer and Alex Perry both denied in quick succession.
But just four minutes later Bolton had the lead. Palmer once again caused problems down the left, jinking inside his marker before seeing a curling effort deflect onto the far post. Newell was on hand to convert the rebound from point blank range.
Bolton were deservedly in front at the interval.
The second half was a little more disjointed, though Bolton were still the ones who looked the most likely in front of goal.
Palmer saw a tame shot from the left easily saved by the goalkeeper.
The game began to peter out at around the hour mark, with neither side able to really work a shot on target.
QPR sub Josh Bowler added an extra dimension to the visitors’ attacking play. He worked space on the right side of the area only to be denied by Fitzsimons.
But towards the end of the game Bolton should have had a second goal.
Likoy-Elumba rolled two defenders on the right flank before his cross was inches off the head of Newell inside the area.
Jordan Lussey then latched onto a ball inside the area only to fire over the bar before Alex Perry’s drive from distance was tipped around the post.
There were a few nervy moments late on, as QPR penned Bolton inside their own half but in the end Newell’s goal would decisive.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Spooner, Garratt, Phillips, Honeyball, Perry, Earing (Grant 72), Lussey, Newell, Likoy-Elumba, Palmer
Unused subs: Turner, Allen, Griffiths, Brockbank
QPR: Hudnott, Komodikis, Lubjit (Williams 64), Manning, Eales, Hamalainen, Crichlow, Paul, N'Guessen, Folkes (Bowler 59), Shodipo
Unused subs: Brzsowski