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Another win for resurgent QPR

PUBLISHED: 21:44 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:58 08 March 2017

Idrissa Sylla scored for QPR against Barnsley. Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/EMPICS SPORT

Idrissa Sylla scored for QPR against Barnsley. Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/EMPICS SPORT

EMPICS Sport

Idrissa Sylla was on target as resurgent QPR continued their improvement under Ian Holloway by beating Barnsley.

The 2-1 success made it four wins out of five and lifted Rangers up to 14th in the table.

Sylla got them off to a flyer after just seven minutes and thought he had doubled his, and his side’s, tally with a second midway through the second period.

Replays later showed, however, that the final touch had come off visiting defender Angus MacDonald.

But what had been comfortable became very nervous when Tom Bradshaw netted with 11 minutes to go.

And they had to defend more than they would have wanted to take the three points.

Sylla’s goal was the perfect start even if the actual act of scoring will never ever be seen in any coaching manual.

James Perch sent a great cross in from the right and the striker was there to meet it, although it seemed to hit his standing foot. That was enough though and it dribbled into the corner of Adam Davies’ net.

What followed was a thoroughly entertaining half with chances at both ends.

Luke Freeman was pulling the strings in QPR’s midfield and from one of his crosses Sylla rattled the crossbar with a thumping header. Yeni Ngbakoto then forced Davies into a good stop low down at his near post.

At the other end, Marley Watkins needed more power to fully test Alex Smithies and then Adam Armstrong was denied by a good block from Grant Hall.

The nearest they came to equalising was just before half-time. Armstrong did well to hold the ball up and slip it inside to Watkins. His shot went beyond Smithies but not Ryan Bidwell who raced back to clear it off the line.

And the second half continued in the same vein, although the majority of chances in the early stages fell to the home side.

Freeman had the first after eventually finding room in the box but it was blocked by Andy Yiadom, with some claiming handball.

Ngbakoto had a glorious opportunity on 63 minutes but he could only guide Bidwell’s mishit effort wide.

It didn’t matter as Sylla darted towards the near post just three minutes later to meet Pawel Wszolek’s right-wing cross. Unfortunately for him, but not for the Hoops, MacDonald was there first and turned the ball into his own net.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom rang the changes inside the last 20 minutes as he tried to get the Tykes back in the game.

And it was one of the replacements that scored out of the blue to set up a stirring finish.

Bradshaw had arrived at half-time and he nipped in ahead of Hall and poked the ball under Smithies.

And what had been comfortable became a touch nervous as Barnsley piled forward.

But Rangers hung on to a huge cheer at the end.

QPR: Smithies, Freeman, Bidwell, Hall, Onuoha, Wszolek (Washington 70), Luongo, Ngbakoto (Morrison 87), Perch (Furlong 48), Sylla, Manning

Subs (not used): Ingram, Goss, Doughty, Smith

Goals: Sylla 7, MacDonald (og) 66

Barnsley: Davies, Roberts, MacDonald, Scowen, Watkins (Hammill 73), Yiadom, Mowatt (Bradshaw 46), Armstrong, James, Elder, Kent (Hedges 73)

Subs (not used): Townsend, Moncur, Jackson, Jones

Goals: Bradshaw 79

HT: Queens Park Rangers 1 Barnsley 0

Attendance: 11,635 (526 from Barnsley)

Referee: Tony Harrington

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