Josh Bowler strikes to give Blackpool win at QPR



Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2022 by PA

Josh Bowler strikes to give Blackpool win at QPR

Josh Bowler’s goal against his former club gave Blackpool a 1-0 victory at QPR.

Rangers had plenty of possession at Loftus Road but were unable to find an equaliser after Bowler netted in first-half injury time.

Bowler cut in from the right and, after his first effort was blocked, he sent a fine strike beyond goalkeeper Seny Dieng and into the far corner of the net.

Lyndon Dykes had made a mess of a glorious chance for QPR just after the half-hour mark.

As Blackpool attempted to play out from the back, Stefan Johansen robbed Kenny Dougall near the edge of the penalty area and the ball ran to Dykes, who could only shoot tamely at keeper Dan Grimshaw.

It was a dreadful miss by the Scotland striker and had he opted to return the ball to Johansen, his captain would have been presented with a simple tap-in.

Earlier, Dykes was set up by debutant Ethan Laird but could not find a way past Grimshaw, who also kept out a low shot from Tyler Roberts.

After the interval, Grimshaw gathered another effort from Roberts, who also sent a shot wide.

But they struggled to create clear-cut chances, prompting boss Michael Beale to introduce teenage striker Sinclair Armstrong on 68 minutes.

The powerful youngster made an impact, worrying Blackpool’s defence with his pace and directness, while on-loan Manchester United right-back Laird caught the eye.

But QPR again badly missed talisman Chris Willock – a problem stretching back to last season, when he suffered a hamstring tear in March.

Willock returned for the opening-day win against Middlesbrough, producing a fine performance and scoring a brilliant goal to underline his importance to the team.

He has not featured since as Rangers look to ease him back to regular action, but Beale had expected him to be involved against the Seasiders.

His absence was a major blow for the hosts – although the result might have been very different had Dykes taken that first-half opportunity.

Rangers might also have rescued a point had Grimshaw not produced a crucial save at his near post to deny Armstrong late on.

And they would certainly have rescued one had Armstrong been able to hit the target with a header from Albert Adomah’s cross in the final seconds, but he headed over.

Blackpool, meanwhile, can feel well pleased with their response to back-to-back defeats in which they failed to score.

Bowler, who was sold to Everton in 2017 after making just one senior appearance for QPR, took his goal superbly.

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