Queens Park Rangers 0 Bournemouth 1: QPR honour Stan Bowles, but Jordon Ibe gives Cherries the win
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Stan Bowles Benefit Match: Queens Park Rangers 0 Bournemouth 1 (Ibe 41)
Queens Park Rangers paid tribute to the iconic Stan Bowles against Bournemouth, but were unable to do so in the perfect way as the Premier League side triumphed at Loftus Road.
After a bright opening 25 minutes for QPR, the Cherries grew into the game, taking the lead through Jordon Ibe in the 41st minute.
With both sides making plenty of changes in the second period, the tempo slowed a little, though Yeni Ngbakoto went close with a late free-kick for the west Londoners that hit the post.
In his programme notes, Rs boss Ian Holloway said: “Today is about Stan, and he will always be an iconic figure for both QPR and football.”
With the west Londoners honouring one of their greats from the past in the fixture, Holloway gave a glimpse of what the future may hold with his team selection.
The QPR manager opted for a 3-5-2 formation in the final pre-season friendly before the new Championship season begins at home to Reading next Saturday.
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Alex Smithies was in goal, while James Perch, Nedum Onuoha and Joel Lynch linked up as a back three, with Pawel Wszolek and Jack Robinson acting as wing-backs.
Massimo Luongo, Josh Scowen and Luke Freeman were the three Holloway went for in the middle of the park, with Conor Washington and Matt Smith up top.
For any Rs fans hoping to see some of Bournemouth’s summer signings in action, they were left disappointed with Jermain Defore, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake all missing.
Despite Defoe’s absence, the Cherries almost took the lead inside the first minute through Joshua King.
The Norwegian forward slipped the ball to Max Gradel on the left, who sped down the line before crossing for King, whose shot from just inside the area went over the bar.
Just a touch over 60 seconds later, QPR were nearly gifted the lead when an Artur Boruc clearance hit Scowen inside the area, but the Bournemouth stopper was able to collect the ball ahead of any home player.
It was certainly a frantic start at Loftus Road, with Smith also going close inside the opening four minutes.
A cross from the left by Robinson went all the way across the box to Wszolek, whose shot was deflected into the path of Smith, but the Rs attacker fired wide from 12 yards.
When the clock struck 10 minutes, the entire crowd rose to their feet to chant Bowles’ name and applaud the legendary winger.
On the pitch, Washington nearly opened the scoring for the Rs, but stuck a Luongo cross from the right wide of the far post.
Two minutes later, strike partner Smith was in on the action himself, this time heading over a Scowen ball from the right.
The game slowed a little from there, but the Loftus Road outfit were still creating more than enough chances.
In the 23rd minute, a quick counter-attack saw Luongo slip the ball to Washington inside the area, but the Northern Irish striker’s effort was always curling away from goal.
At the other end a minute later, the Rs had a let off when Ibe slid the ball across goal, but there were no Cherries colleagues to tap home what would have been the opener.
It seemed to switch the momentum in the south coast side’s favour, with Bournemouth dominating possession until half time.
With five minutes to go until the interval, the Dean Court club worked the ball to Lys Mousset in the box, but the French forward dragged his effort wide.
A minute later, Mousset went close again, narrowly failing to get on the end of a Max Gradel ball from the left.
Ibe was able to pick the ball up before it went out of play and showed quick feet to get past Robinson, allowing the Cherries man the chance to slam the ball into the net for the opener in the 41st minute.
Charlie Daniels went close to a second for the Premier League outfit four minutes later, but Smithies was able to just about push it behind for a corner.
Thankfully for the west Londoners, there was to be no second Bournemouth before the break as QPR went into half-time only a goal down.
At the break, Darnell Furlong replaced Lynch, with Holloway’s men reverting to a back four.
Nine minutes into the second half, Mousset looked to have played King in for Bournemouth’s second, only for a superb last-ditch challenge from Perch ensured the Rs remained just a goal behind.
With 26 minutes remaining, another quick break from the visitors saw Ibe pass to Mousset on the edge of the box, but Smithies was out quickly to deny the Frenchman.
A foul on substitute Idrissa Sylla gaves Rs a chance to level in the 89th minute, but Ngbakoto’s set-piece from 25 yards hit the post and Aaron Ramsdale before the Cherries stopper collected the ball.
It proved to be the final piece of goalmouth action in the match as QPR ended their pre-season with a defeat ahead of hosting Reading next weekend.
QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Perch (Goss 71), Onuoha, Lynch (Furlong 46); Wszolek (Petrasso 68), Luongo, Scowen (Borysiuk 57), Freeman (Manning 57), Robinson (Sylla 57); Washington (Ngbakoto 57), Smith (Mackie 57).
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Boruc (Ramsdale 72); Francis, Cargill, Mings, Daniels; Ibe, Cook, Surman (Worthington 87), Gradel; Mousset (Surridge 82), King (Taylor 61).
Subs: Simpson, Cornick, Butcher, Whitfield, Harfield.
Referee: Andy Davies
Attendance: 9,386 (including 565 Bournemouth fans)