Bolton 2-1 QPR: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:29 10/03/12 By Derick Allsop
Bolton conjured a goal of rare composure to secure a priceless victory from this breathless basement battle.
After 86 minutes of shapeless – at times even brainless – football, punctuated by controversial decisions and the latest open-and-shut case for goal-line technology, the improbable unfolded.
Ryo Miyaichi cleverly created the opening and Croatian substitute Ivan Klasnic steadied himself before calmly beating goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.
Bolton’s elation was matched by Rangers’ despair.
They were aggrieved they had been denied at least a point and perhaps even all three, considering the goal that should have been.
That crucial incident came in the 20th minute, when defender Clint Hill surged into the six-yard area to head Joey Barton’s corner. Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan beat out the ball but it had clearly crossed the line.
But to Rangers’ horror, assistant Bob Pollock kept his flag down and referee Martin Atkinson let play go on.
Pollock is no stranger to the spotlight for the wrong reason, after he wrongly disallowed a goal by Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor in their 2-1 defeat at Stoke three months ago.
Darren Pratley’s first league goal for Bolton added to Rangers’ anger, yet they drew level through Djibril Cisse when he appeared offside.
Rangers boss Mark Hughes confronted the officials in the tunnel at the end and was still bristling an hour-and-a-half after the match.
He said: “All you ask is that the officials get the key decisions right. In fairness to Martin Atkinson, he was let down by his assistants. Scoring first, away from home, would have been key for us.
“They even got our goal wrong. They missed a penalty and the guy on our side of the pitch (Jake Collin) lost his nerve in the end.
“Who knows how costly that decision might be at the end of the season?
“We deserved something from the match. We just want a level playing field.
“And then the FA come out calling for goal-line technology. Of course it should come in, but that’s no excuse for the assistants not doing their job. They are just protecting their officials. It’s
Bolton boss Owen Coyle accepted Hill’s goal should have stood and reiterated his support for technology.
“Nobody is a bigger advocate than myself for goal-line technology,” he said. “We saw it with England in the World Cup and it happened to us with Kevin Davies against Chelsea earlier this season.
“But we’ve been undone by a clearly offside goal. We stood up to it, put on Klasnic to win it and he did just that. Ryo showed his skill and it was a wonderful finish.”
Bolton had started brightly, Bobby Zamora repelling an early threat from David Wheater’s header before Rangers demonstrated their attacking threat.
Barton had a shot deflected wide and Zamora smashed a left-foot effort against the face of Bolton’s crossbar.
Then Barton delivered the corner for Hill to score the goal that never was.
Rangers’ dismay turned to a deeper sense of injustice as Pratley put Bolton in front with an angled shot.
Early in the second half came another critical decision and with it a distinct mood swing. Shaun Wright-Phillips’ pass found Cisse beyond the Wanderers defence and the striker equalised.
Bolton appealed for offside but again the flag stayed down and this time accusing eyes focused on assistant Collin.
But the home side had the final word through Klasnic.