QPR fall short to Rovers despite late fight back

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers celebrates scoring a goal (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers celebrates scoring a goal (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Championship: QPR 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

Massimo Luongo of Queens Park Rangers (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Massimo Luongo of Queens Park Rangers (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Queens Park Rangers fell to a 2-1 defeat to mid-table Blackburn Rovers but reamin eight points clear of the Championship relegation zone with three matches left to play.

Goals from Danny Graham and Bradley Dack in either half sealed a third consecutive win for the Rovers at Loftus Road Stadium - despite a late consolation goal from substitute Matt Smith.

Caretaker manager John Eustace was forced to make two changes for the fixture with Angel Rangel and Toni Leistner being ruled out through injury.

Joel Lynch and Pawel Wszolek were brought in to replace the pair with the later being slotted in at right-back to fill the void as the boss opted to go for a 4-3-3.

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Rovers however only made one change with goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler coming in and David Raya dropping to the bench.

The Rovers got the better of the opening proceedings but had their first effort from attacking midfielder Bradley Dack blocked in the fifth minute.

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Five minutes later winger Adam Armstrong raced down the right and crossed in for Dack, but the 25-year-old had to slid in to reach the ball, and could only steer it wide of the post.

The visitors continued to pile the pressure on as midfielder Corry Evans was teed up by the former Gillingham man Dack.

The Northern Irish man Evans scuffed his shot but goalkeeper Joe Lumley still had to push it wide for a corner in the 14th minute.

Tony Mowbray’s side failed to take advantage of the corner but they did however win a free-kick shortly after.

Joe Rothwell picked out defender Darragh Lenihan but his header went wide of the far post.

In the 21st minute Rovers were awarded a penalty as Josh Scowen brought down Lewis Travis after he raced into the box with the ball.

Striker Danny Graham stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom right corner to break the deadlock, although Lumley did manage to get his hand to it.

Bright Osayi-Samuel cut in and curled an effort just wide after played in by Tomer Hemed in the 25th minute.

The 21-year-old was the R’s main threat as he burst into the box a number of times but fired over the bar on all occasions.

Three minutes before the break Rovers Adam Armstrong brought a long ball down in stride, raced through, but his effort hits the side netting.

The hosts then created a few chances of their own and won three consecutive corners – they couldn’t however capitalise before the whistle.

A minute into Dack doubled his side’s lead to 2-0 as he got on the end of an Armstrong cross.

His original header was denied by Lumley but bundled the ball into the back of the net.

Both side’s pressed hard but neither could muster up any real chances with a number of attempts being blocked until the 75th minute when R’s defender Darnell Furlong had to slid in to deny Rovers subsitute Jack Rodwell from scoring a third for the visitors.

Four minutes later hosts’ substitute Nakhi Wells volleyed an effort over at the back post after Manning broke into the box and picked the striker out.

In the 85th minute Rovers danger man Dack almost nabbed his second of the match as he fired an effort across goal but it was put out for a corner.

Substitute Matt Smith clawed one back for the R’s as he headed home a Luke Freeman cross in the 92nd minute to give his side a life line.

QPR: Lumley, Wszolek (Eze 73), Furlong, Lynch, Manning, Cousins (Wells 51), Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Hemed (Smith 65), Osayi-Samuel.

Unused subs: Ingram, Cameron, Walker, Tilt.

Blackburn Rovers: Leutwiler, Bennett, Lenihan, Williams, Bell, Travis, Evans (Rodwell 65), Rothwell, Dack, Armstrong (Brereton 86), Graham (Nuttall 67)

Unused subs: Raya, Nyambe, Smallwood, Mulgrew.

Attendance: 13,632 (964 away).

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