Queens Park Rangers 2 Bolton Wanderers 0: Joel Lynch goal helps QPR down Trotters
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Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 2 (Lynch 72, Smith 90+1) Bolton Wanderers 0
Two second-half goals saw Queens Park Rangers enjoy a 2-0 win over struggling Bolton Wanderers in the Championship.
The Rs enjoyed a dominant first half, but, despite numerous efforts on goal, were unable to make their dominance tell.
Goals from first Joel Lynch and then Matt Smith ensured the west Londoners were not goalless in the second half as the hosts triumphed over a Wanderers team who had Mark Little dismissed shortly after the break.
QPR boss Ian Holloway made two changes to his starting line-up following last week’s loss at Wolverhmapton Wanderers.
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Jordan Cousins and James Perch both missed out through injury, with Massimo Luongo and Smith recalled to the starting XI.
Karl Henry, who left the west Londoners in the summer, started in midfield for Wanderers.
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The Rs had a chance to take the lead in the sixth minute when a corner eventually dropped to Jack Robinson, but the defender shot straight at Ben Alnwick in goal.
Three minutes later, only a fine stop from home keeper Alex Smithies prevented Derik Osede from opening the scoring for Phil Parkinson’s men.
In a frantic opening to the game, Luke Freeman drew a fine save at close range from Alnwick in the 11th minute after Robinson launched a long throw to the back post.
The Trotters stopper was a busy man early on, preventing a Luongo through ball from reaching Conor Washington, who surely would have scored, a minute later.
Alnwick was at it again in the 20th minute, keeping out a Smith header at full stretch after Jake Bidwell delivered a cross into the box from the left.
Holloway’s men thought they had taken the lead a minute later when Reece Burke scored an own goal, only for it to be ruled out for offside earlier in the move.
Bidwell found Smith in the box again in the 23rd minute, but the former Fulham forward was once more thwarted by Alnwick after heading at goal.
Smith was causing the Trotters defence all kinds of problems, nodding another long throw into the box from Robinson over the bar six minutes later.
In a rare foray forward, Bolton forward Tyler Walker tried his luck from 25 yards in the 31st minute, but Smithies was comfortably behind the effort.
With seven minutes left in the half, Bidwell was next to go close for the Rs, nodding a free kick at Alnwick.
Less than a minute later, the Rs appealed for a penalty after Smith went down in the box, while Wszolek was unable to turn a Bidwell cross in at the back post.
In a bright period for the hosts, Luongo then flashed a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal in the 39th minute.
On the stroke of half time, another Smith header flashed over the bar as the Rs struggled to make their dominance tell before the break.
Just three minutes into the second half, a fine save from Smithies kept out a header from Bolton defender David Wheater at the back post.
The Rs were given a boost in the 54th minute when Mark Little was dismissed for the visitors after a poorly-timed challenge on Luongo.
Despite being a man light, the Trotters almost hit the front five minutes later, but Walker’s powerful effort from a tight angle flash wide of the target.
Freeman was found in space in the box in the 66th minute and forced a good save from Alnwick with a strong drive.
The Rs finally made the breakthrough five minutes later when defender Lynch scored on the line.
Smith nodded a Freeman free kick back across goal, and the Wales international was on hand to get the final touch.
Lynch could have added a second with 11 minutes remaining, but narrowly missed out on getting on the end of a flick across goal from skipper Nedum Onuoha.
QPR made sure of the points in stoppage time, when a cross from substitute Paul Smyth was headed home by Smith.
The Rs will hope for another win on Tuesday night when they make the trip to Sheffield United in the league.
QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Onuoha, Robinson, Lynch; Wszolek, Luongo, Freeman, Scowen, Bidwell (Smyth 64); Washington (Eze 82), Smith.
Subs: Ingram (GK), Furlong, Baptiste, Chair, Osayi-Samuel.
Bolton (3-5-2): Alnwick; Burke, Wheater, Beevers; Little, Henry, Vela (Karacan 46), Osede (Morais 81), Robinson; Ameobi, Walker (Le Fondre 69).
Subs: Howard (GK), Taylor, Dervite, Clough.
Sent off: Little 54.
Attendance: 12,638 (including 1,096 Bolton fans).
Referee: Scott Duncan.