QPR 1-2 Carlisle: Rangers’ cup hoodoo continues as League Two side secure cup win at Loftus Road
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
QPR’s dreadful run in cup competitions continued on Tuesday night as Carlisle United beat the Championship side 2-1 in the Capital One Cup second round.
Derek Asamoah’s first-half goal was quickly cancelled out by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas before the break, but Jason Kennedy’s close-range strike on 79 minutes was enough to secure victory for the League Two side.
The Rs have now been eliminated from the League Cup by lower-league opposition in seven of the last 10 seasons.
Chris Ramsey made ten changes to the side which beat Rotherham 4-2 on Saturday. Only Grant Hall retained his place in the starting XI as the Rs head coach rang the changes against the Cumbrians with one eye on the trip to Huddersfield at the weekend.
After a quiet opening 15 minutes it was Junior Hoilett who carved out the first real opportunity of the game, with his drilled right footed area from the edge of the area falling into the path of youngster Reece Grego-Cox and his shot was tipped away smartly by Mark Gillespie.
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Up the other end hesitant defending from Clint Hill resulted in Asamoah finding space inside the penalty area, but he drove his shot well wide of goal.
Sebastian Polter wasted a golden opportunity to give the hosts the lead after the half-hour mark, turning his marker with ease before firing his shot well over from 18 yards.
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Hoilett, by far the Rs most creative player in the first half, used his pace and trickery to get himself into a shooting position in the box but fired over from a tight angle.
It was to be the visitors who took the lead just eight minutes before the break though, with more poor defending from the hosts their downfall.
Antony Sweeney rounded debutant Smithies in the Rs goal, before teeing up Asamoah who slotted the ball home from close range for his first goal of the season.
Undeterred Rangers reacted almost instantly with Emmanuel-Thomas finding space just outside the area before unleashing a fierce left-footed drive towards the bottom corner, which Gillespie could only palm into the net.
Deep into stoppage time at the end of the half it was the former Bristol City forward who nearly gave Ramsey’s side the lead, swivelling the ball onto his left foot before dragging his shot just wide of Gillespie’s near post.
Neither side made any changes at the break, with Polter and Hoilett both going close for the hosts just after the interval, as Alexander McQueen thundered a close-range shot off the crossbar in between for the visitors.
The Cumbrians then went agonisingly close to retaking with Hill coming to the rescue as the veteran centre half headed the ball clear off the line.
Within a minute Rangers had two opportunities to take the lead, with Hoilett’s audacious volley bringing a smart save out of Gillespie, before Polter poked the ball wide from a dangerous position.
It was the visitors who took the decisive lead with 11 minutes remaining with Asamoah the architect as susbsitute Kennedy stole in at the far post to tap the ball home and send the away faithful into raptures.
Massimo Luongo and Tjaronn Chery both came on for the Rs in the second half as they eyed a late leveller to take the game into extra-time, but it was to no avail as a chorus of boos was met with at the full-time whistle at Loftus Road as the Rs yet again suffered agony in the cup.
QPR: Smithies; Furlong, Hall, Hill, Kpekawa; Doughty, Gobern (Comley, 67); Grego-Cox (Chery, 82), Emmanuel-Thomas, Hoilett (Luongo, 72).
Subs: Lumley, Perch, Phillips, Blackwood.