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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 QPR

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Deja vu for Bolton

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers find themselves six points adrift from safety after conceding a last gasp equaliser at home to Queens Park Rangers.

Neil Lennon had made two changes to the team from last weekends 3-2 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion, with Zach Clough and Dean Moxey replacing Wellington Silva and Derek Osede.

Prior to kick off, there was a minute's applause in memory of Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside, who sadly passed away at the age of 63 after a short battle with cancer.

Bolton started the game with a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Zach Clough supporting the 'strikers' Emile Heskey and Liam Feeney. It was QPR who started the match brightly, with Junior Hoilett having a tame effort from distance comfortably saved by Ben Amos.

The majority of the first half was filled with cheap fouls and 'fouls' that the referee failed to give. For the first half hour, the game had the feel of a derby, despite the two teams never having any kind of rivalry. This was demonstrated the most twenty minutes in, when midfielder Karl Henry mauled Darren Pratley, and was very lucky to stay on the pitch.

The referee, Jeremy Simpson, absolutely bottled it. Every week it seems the standard of refereeing can't get any worse, and yet it does.

QPR again threatened the Bolton goal, with Amos making a smart save to deny Conor Washington's strike.

Bolton then grew into the half. On the half hour mark, Liam Feeney shot a curling effort well over the bar, then Jay Spearing drilled a shot wide from Feeney's corner two minutes later.

Zach Clough then had the Bolton's two best chances of the half.

Josh Vela crossed and Clough saw his superb overhead kick fly narrowly past Alex Smithies' goal. The second one came when Liam Feeney's cross was met by the head of Clough, but his header was straight at Smithies.

Bolton had a penalty shout to start the second half. Emile Heskey looked to have been fouled by Grant Hall, but nothing was given.

Five minutes later, Heskey was replaced by Gary Madine. Heskey looked to be carrying an injury but injury or not it was a change that needed to happen. There was no chance Heskey was going to make the full 90, and with Madine now back from injury, it's unlikely we're going to see Heskey start again.

QPR had the first best chance of the second 60 minutes or so into the game. James Perch should have scored, but dragged his shot wide from six yards out.

Perch's miss would come back to haunt him just five minutes later. Mark Davies passed the ball out wide to Dean Moxey, who cut it back for Zach Clough to curl beautifully into the top right corner of the goal. 1-0. If you wasn't there, watch the clip below. My words can't do this goal justice.

Zach Clough goal

LOCAL HEROZach Clough joined Bolton Wanderers Official as an 8 year old in 2003... ... 13 years later he did this.Watch all the Football League goals from 9pm tonight on Channel 5.

Posted by Football On 5 on Saturday, 20 February 2016

The goal was Clough's tenth in a Wanderers shirt (4th for the season), and arguably his best one to date.

QPR responded by bringing on Sebastian Polter, who quickly set up Matt Phillips, but his effort was easily saved by Ben Amos.

Karl Henry then should have seen red for the second or third time. Firstly, he barged Pratley over. No second yellow. He then tried to kick off with Pratley, and once again, the referee failed to act. QPR then took substituted him for Tjaronn Chery. I think everyone in the ground knew Rangers should have been down to ten men except from Jeremy Simpson.

Zach Clough left the field to a standing ovation, to be replaced by Neil Danns with 84 minutes gone.

The game entered four minutes and stoppage time and Bolton had looked to have the game wrapped up.

But, this is Bolton Wanderers, and nothing is ever that easy.

In the 93rd minute, Wanderers failed to keep the ball in the corner, QPR broke and the ball found its way to Matt Phillips. Dean Moxey flew into a tackle and missed Phillips, who easily made his way to the edge of the box. Phillips shot and the ball went under Ben Amos and into the net. 1-1.

Despite looking like a fairly decent goalkeeper most of the time, I can't count the number of times Amos has failed to save an effort from distance that's cost Bolton either a draw or the win. Fulham at home springs to mind, and also the reverse QPR fixture, when they scored from distance in the 94th minute to win 4-3.

Anyway, Bolton had one more chance to win the game, when Mark Davies fired a shot high and wide after Gary Madine had an effort blocked. And that was that. Full time. 1-1.

So, Bolton had once again thrown away a good result late on. The draw leaves Bolton 23rd in the table and six points from safety, when we were nearly 22nd and four points from safety.

Obviously, the result puts more pressure on Bolton to get a result away at Birmingham City on Tuesday night.

Saying that, there might not be a Bolton Wanderers to support come Tuesday night.

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Vela, Dervite, Holding, Moxey, Spearing, Pratley, Davies, Clough (Danns 84), Heskey (Madine 53), Feeney

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky, Mackie (Polter 74), Henry (Chery 80), Luongo, Phillips, Hoilett (El Khayati 62), Washington