QPR 2 Plymouth Argyle 0
By Ben Kosky A GOAL in either half was enough for Rangers to continue their revival – and record a clean sheet for the first time since October. Three managers and 23 matches have come and gone since the Rs previous shut-out, a 4-0 walloping of Preston a
By Ben Kosky
A GOAL in either half was enough for Rangers to continue their revival - and record a clean sheet for the first time since October.
Three managers and 23 matches have come and gone since the Rs' previous shut-out, a 4-0 walloping of Preston at a time when a play-off spot seemed a formality.
Rangers' performance on Tuesday wasn't quite in that class, but it was more than enough to see off struggling Plymouth courtesy of Adel Taarabt's penalty and a Damion Stewart header.
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Taarabt was in majestic form early on - and the rapid transformation of this team was underlined by the fact that the Moroccan's own tackle on Karl Duguid enabled him to set up a chance for Hogan Ephraim.
The finish was easily gathered by goalkeeper David Stockdale, and Jay Simpson dragged a better opportunity wide after Taarabt's pass had pierced the Plymouth defence.
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Rangers remained patient and restricted the visitors to rare openings - the best of them in the 25th minute when Alan Judge swung in a free-kick and Carl Fletcher's header sailed over.
But the breakthrough arrived 10 minutes later when Matthew Connolly whipped a ball into the box and Tamas Priskin, with his back to goal, was struggling to reach it, but was clumsily pulled down by Kari Arnason.
The referee pointed to the spot and Taarabt confidently slotted the kick low to Stockdale's right, encouraging Rangers to push forward in search of a second goal before half-time.
They nearly got it as Stewart flashed a header over from Kaspars Gorkss' flick-on and then the diving Simpson was inches away from reaching Ephraim's cross.
But the Rs only had to wait another five minutes after the restart to double their advantage as Taarabt was fouled by Duguid and got up to deliver the free-kick for Stewart to head home.
The home side could certainly have added further goals, with Alejandro Faurlin - who has yet to open his QPR account - squandering two opportunities.
And Simpson should have made it 3-0 when Mikele Leigertwood bustled into the box to set him up, but the striker got into a tangle and bundled the chance wide.