QPR beaten after Freeman sees red
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Preston North End 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
Jordan Hugill’s strike completed a Preston comeback as they beat Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale for their third win in four games.
Kazenga LuaLua’s sublime backheel gave the Hoops an advantage, but Aiden McGeady’s curling effort from 20 yards levelled before half-time.
Hugill’s close-range winner with less than 20 minutes left was his 10th Sky Bet Championship goal of the season, while QPR midfielder Luke Freeman was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
An early Hoops penalty appeal was turned down by referee David Coote when Matt Smith collided with Paul Huntington in the box and went down.
QPR’s Pawel Wszolek received Jake Bidwell’s 28th-minute free-kick on the edge of the area and fired straight at Chris Maxwell through a crowd.
North End responded when Daryl Horgan’s corner on the half-hour mark was met by Hugill and Alex Smithies displayed quick reflexes to parry the header over.
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And the R’s took the lead when the Preston rearguard failed to clear Darnell Furlong’s 36th-minute throw-in and Brighton loanee LuaLua backheeled past Maxwell for his first Hoops goal.
Callum Robinson charged at the visiting defence two minutes before the break, but dragged a low shot straight at Smithies.
But the in-form McGeady drew the Lilywhites level on the stroke of half-time after cutting inside and curling a right-footed shot past Smithies for his third goal in four games.
Ryan Manning evaded challenges on the edge of the Preston box two minutes after the restart to dart into the box and unleash a thundering effort just over.
But Greg Cunningham nearly rounded off an impressive North End attacking move by dragging a low 51st-minute shot just wide.
Horgan led the charge on the hour and clipped in a teasing cross for Robinson, who was denied by Nedum Onuoha’s crucial challenge.
Robinson thought he had given the Lilywhites a lead after 64 minutes when he poked Cunningham’s cross home but was flagged offside.
But Hugill handed Preston the advantage by tapping home after Smithies had made a brilliant save from the striker’s initial 72nd-minute effort.
Bidwell denied Hugill a second moments after the restart with a key challenge, before Freeman was shown a second yellow card 12 minutes from the end.
Joel Lynch’s attempted 88th-minute clearance struck the bar before Smithies smothered Hugill’s follow-up, and the QPR shot-stopper also denied Preston substitute Tom Barkhuizen late on, but could not stop his side slipping to defeat.
QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Perch, Lynch, Furlong (N’Gbakoto 68), Manning, Freeman, Bidwell, Wszolek, Lua Lua (Mackie 73), Smith (Sylla 67). Unused subs: Goss, Ingram, Luongo, Petrasso.