Queens Park Rangers 1 Barnsley 0: Josh Scowen strike secures success for QPR against Tykes
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Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 1 (Scowen 48) Barnsley 0
Josh Scowen scored the only goal against his former side as current club Queens Park Rangers beat Barnsley 1-0 at home in the Championship.
In a first half that lacked chances of any note, the Rs overcame a bright start from the Yorkshire outfit to find their feet in the game.
Early in the second half, though, Scowen opened the scoring in expert fashion, but the west Londoners had to see out the final 20 minutes with 10 men after substitute Ryan Manning saw red.
QPR made five changes for the clash following last Saturday’s loss at Bristol City, with James Perch, Joel Lynch, Pawel Wszolek, Jordan Cousins and Matt Smith all recalled to the starting XI.
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Jake Bidwell, Alex Baptiste and Aramide Oteh all dropped to the bench, while Massimo Luongo and Darnell Furlong missed out through injury.
Rs stopper Alex Smithies was forced into early action, saving a 20-yard effort from George Moncur in the fifth minute.
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Two minutes later, Ian Holloway’s men were fortunate not to concede the opener from a free-kick.
Barnsley forward Kieffer Moore nodded Adam Hammill’s set-piece back across goal, but defender Matt Mills scooped over the bar from three yards.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men were enjoying a bright start to the match, with Moore shooting straight at Smithies following a quick break in the 10th minute.
QPR had a great chance to open the scoring 17 minutes later when the ball fell kindly for Cousins in the box.
However, the ball just would not sit down for the midfielder, who failed to get it under control which allowed the Tykes to clear their lines.
Despite playing at centre-back, Lynch embarked on a fine run down the left flank in the 28th minute, but his resulting cross narrowly evaded Wsozlek at the back post.
The Loftus Road outfit were growing into the game, with Perch heading a corner over four minutes later.
Barnsley so nearly took the lead in the 45th minute, but Alex Smithies pushed Hammill’s dipping half-volley from the edge of the box over for a corner.
That proved to be the last effort on goal of the half as the sides went into the interval with the score goalless.
Just three minutes after the restart, though, the Rs hit the front with Scowen on target against his former side.
The ball fell to the midfielder in the middle of the pitch around 25 yards out, and after taking a touch to set himself, Scowen curled the ball into the top-right corner.
In the build-up to the goal, though, the hosts could have been awarded a penalty after Smith went down under pressure in the box.
Keen to follow Scowen’s lead, fellow midfielder Luke Freeman curled an effort wide in the 50th minute.
The Tykes went close to equalising six minutes later, but Smithies got down well to keep out a shot on the turn from Tom Bradshaw six yards out.
With 29 minutes remaining, QPR nearly added a second, but a looping header from Smith following a free-kick went wide of the target.
Despite being ahead, Holloway’s men suffered a blow in the 71st minute when substitute Manning was dismissed.
Less than four minutes after coming on for Cousins, the midfielder mistimed his challenge on Barnsley defender Matt Mills, with referee Tony Harrington issuing a red card.
Even with their numerical disadvantage, QPR could have added to their lead in the 81st minute.
Nedum Onuoha headed a free-kick back across goal, but Conor Washington was narrowly beaten to the ball by Tykes stopper Nick Townsend.
Down the 10 men, the Rs were having to hang on at the end, with Lynch deflecting a George Moncur shot behind for a corner in the 87th minute.
A minute later, Washington had a glorious chance to finish the game after being played through one-on-one, but took too long to shot, allowing Townsend to come out and smother his effort.
Replacement Bright Osayi-Samuel could also have secured the win in stoppage time after breaking through, but also saw his effort saved by Townsend.
Thankfully those misses did not prove costly as the Rs held on to win, much to the delight of the home faithful.
QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Lynch; Wszolek, Cousins (Manning 67), Scowen, Freeman, Robinson; Washington (Bidwell 90), Smith (Osayi-Samuel 78)
Subs: Ingram (GK), Baptiste, Eze, Oteh.
Sent off: Manning 71 (dangerous foul).
Barnsley (4-4-2): Townsend; Yiadom, Mills, Lindsay, Pinillos (Mahoney 80); Moncur, Gardner, Williams, Hammill (Hedges 68); Bradshaw, Moore (McBurnie 68).
Subs: Davies, Thiam, Pearson, Mallan.
Referee: Tony Harrington.
Attendance: 12,413 (including 737 Barnsley fans).