Osayi-Samuel on target as QPR progress past Rovers in cup
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Carabao Cup second round: Queens Park Rangers 3 (Osayi-Samuel 4, Wszolek 18, Smith 64) Bristol Rovers 1 (Kakay o.g. 87)
Queens Park Rangers progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 win over Sky Bet League One side Bristol Rovers.
Goals in the first half from Bright Osayi-Samuel and Pawel Wszolek gave the Rs the lead at the break, though the Gasheads had certainly had their moments.
Matt Smith added a third for the Rs after the break and though Osman Kakay conceded an own goal towards the end, it did not hamper the hosts’ progress.
QPR boss Steve McClaren said in the build-up to the game he would make changes to his starting line-up, and so it proved as he named an entirely new XI.
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Matt Ingram was among those recalled as he returned in goal after being dropped for the Sky Bet Championship victory at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, while Grant Hall made his first appearance for the west Londoners since January.
Much like they did in the previous round against Peterborough United, the Loftus Road club opened the scoring early with Osayi-Samuel netting in the fourth minute.
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The Rs launched a quick counter-attack through Conor Washington, who fed the ball to Osayi-Samuel just inside the Rovers half.
The winger turned on the afterburners to speed past his marker, before firing past Adam Smith from 10 yards.
QPR could have added to their lead 11 minutes later when Osayi-Samuel passed to Alex Baptiste on the edge of the box, but the defender put his effort high and wide of the target, and into the away fans behind the goal.
The Rs did have a second in the 18th minute, though, as Wszolek netted for the second Carabao Cup round in succession.
The Polish international received the ball on the edge of the box and delivered a driven effort that flew low past Smith and into the net.
A third nearly arrived three minutes later, with Baptiste heading over from near the penalty spot following a corner from the right.
In a bright spell for the hosts, QPR tested Rovers stopper Smith twice in quick succession in the 22nd minute.
First Conor Washington fired a half-volley from 18 yards that the Gashead keeper could only parry away, before Matt Smith prodded the rebound straight at his namesake.
Ingram had to be at his best to deny Rovers a goal with a quarter of an hour remaining in the half, pushing a deflected effort from Sam Matthews behind for a corner.
Rovers kept the pressure on from the set-piece, but Kyle Bennett was ultimately unable to get enough curl on an effort from 18 yards to get it on target, watching it go wide instead.
McClaren’s men had only themselves to blame for not adding a third in the 34th minute when a goalbound effort from Hall following a corner hit Matt Smith on the line.
Rovers, meanwhile, continued to have their moments, with Ingram only collecting a stinging shot from Bennett as the second attempt with four minutes to go in the half.
Bennett was involved again in stoppage time, with Ingram having to push the midfielder’s effort from the edge of the area behind for a corner.
That proved to be the last time either goal was threatened in the opening half, as the Rs took their two-goal advantage into the break.
Rovers began the second half brightly, though, with both Bennett and Michael Kellu shooting narrowly wide in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
That seemed to spark the Rs into life, with Osayi-Samuel providing some strong runs down the left, but unable to find help the hosts to a third.
Darrell Clarke’s men were nearly handed a lifeline in the 59th minute when Ed Upson delivered a teasing ball into the box, but Alex Rodman headed over at the far post.
It was QPR, though, that grabbed the third goal through Matt Smith five minutes later.
Full-back Kakay delivered a ball in from the right and the Rs’ Smith rose highest to head past Rovers’ Smith to extend the hosts’ lead.
Smith could have added his second of the match six minutes from time, but headed over from close range after Osayi-Samuel crossed from the left.
There was still time for still time for a consolation goal for Rovers in the 87th minute when Kakay netted an own goal in comical fashion.
McClaren will surely be disappointed not to see QPR record a clean sheet in the win, but will hope his side record a third straight win in all competitions when the visit Birmingham City in the league on Saturday.
QPR (4-4-2): Ingram; Kakay, Baptiste, Hall (Owens 65), Hamalainen; Wszolek, Chair (Smyth 60), Cousins, Osayi-Samuel (Bettache 85); Smith, Washington.
Subs: Lumley (GK), Oteh, Owens, Fox, Felix,
Bristol R (4-4-2): Smith; J Clarke (Broadbent 57), Lockyer, Craig, Kelly; Rodman, O Clarke, Upson, Matthews (Reilly 67); Payne (Nichols 67), Bennett.
Subs: Bonham (GK), Mensah, Jakubiak, Russe.
Referee: Charles Breakspear.
Attendance: 5,007 (including 1,750 Rovers fans).