West London Sport

QPR closer to safety after seeing off 10-man Bolton

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QPR 2 Bolton 0

Goals from Joel Lynch and Matt Smith gave QPR victory over 10-man Bolton at Loftus Road.

Lynch nodded in the opener on 72 minutes and Smith headed home in injury time.

Wanderers right-back Mark Little was harshly given a straight red card for a challenge on Massimo Luongo near the left-hand touchline four minutes for the second half.

The visitors defended resolutely but were undone when Smith met Luke Freeman’s left-wing free-kick with a far-post header and Lynch applied the finishing touch from a yard out.

And Smith sealed Rangers’ win after being found by a right-wing cross from substitute Paul Smyth.

It took QPR 11 points clear of the drop zone, while Bolton remain in the thick of the battle against relegation and have now lost six of their last seven away matches in the Sky Bet Championship.

Ian Holloway’s verdict: “We were professional and we did what we needed to do. I’m delighted with that. Even though we didn’t get what we deserved in the first half, we still kept going and we looked dangerous.”

Rangers were on top for much of the game, although keeper Alex Smithies produced a superb save to prevent them going behind early on when he kept out Derik Osede’s header from Josh Vela’s right-wing corner

It came soon after Jack Robinson’s shot brought a save from Bolton keeper Ben Alnwick with a shot following Freeman’s corner.

Rangers responded after the early scare and went close to scoring when Smith’s header from Jake Bidwell’s cross was pushed away by Alnwick.

Reece Burke then turned the ball into his own net after Conor Washington and Smith had both failed to connect with Pawel Wszolek’s low cross, but the on-loan defender’s blushes were spared by an offside flag.

Target man Smith also headed over from a long Robinson throw-in and, in the final seconds of the first half, he headed over from Bidwell’s free-kick.

Smithies was called into action a couple of minutes into the second half, stopping David Wheater’s far-post header from Sammy Ameobi’s free-kick.

And after Little’s dismissal, Tyler Walker missed a decent chance for Bolton when he fired wide after being found by Jem Karacan.

Wanderers were then put under sustained pressure, with Alnwick tipping over a shot from Freeman and Smith heading over before the deadlock was eventually broken.

Lynch almost scored a second but was just unable to connect after Nedum Onuoha had headed the ball back across goal.

Having missed a number of chances, Smith was rewarded for his persistence – his goal was the striker’s seventh of the season.

QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Lynch, Robinson, Wszolek, Scowen, Luongo, Freeman, Bidwell (Smyth 64), Smith, Washington (Eze 82).
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Baptiste, Chair, Osay-Samuel.