QPR 1-0 Leeds: Super sub Austin secures welcome win for Rangers
PUBLISHED: 21:15 28 November 2015
Charlie Austin scored with his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute to give QPR a morale-boosting win against Leeds at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Austin, who has been nursing a calf problem, headed home Alejandro Faurlin’s 58th-minute corner - his eighth goal of the season and Rangers’ first goal in five matches.
That was enough for the west London side to pick up a valuable three points - which moves them to within just five points off sixth placed Birmingham City - with a new head coach set to be in place for Thursday night’s game at Reading.
Troubled Leeds, meanwhile, have won only two of their last 10 matches and their fans again chanted for owner Massimo Cellino to sell up, with Steve Evans’ side taking 82 minutes to register their first shot on target in an lethargic away performance.
Austin brought the game to life following a drab first half in which Chris Wood had Leeds’ best chance and Grant Hall went closest for Rangers.
Liam Cooper lifted the ball forward and Wood rounded the hesitant Robert Green, but was left at an acute angle and the QPR No 1 had time to get back into position before the striker sliced a shot high and wide of the target.
At the other end, Rangers felt they might have had a penalty for a push by Giuseppe Bellusci on Junior Hoilett. Seconds later, Hall headed over from Faurlin’s right-wing corner.
And, a couple of minutes before the interval, QPR captain Nedum Onuoha fired narrowly over with a firmly-struck 30-yarder.
Otherwise, the hosts struggled to create chances before Warnock, who handed 20-year-old winger Michael Petrasso his full QPR debut, made a double change by bringing on Austin and Dutch midfielder Tjaronn Chery.
The deadlock was broken less than two minutes later and Austin then headed wide from Matt Phillips’ free-kick.
Austin remained in the thick of the action and would have netted again had Marco Silvestri not produced a fine save to keep out his header from Phillips’ corner.
By this stage it was one-way traffic and Faurlin and Phillips both fired wide, before Silvestri saved at point-blank range from Chery, who should have scored after being teed up by Austin.
The Leeds supporters’ frustration was summed up by their ironic cheers as their team finally registered a shot on target eight minutes from the end, with substitute Lee Erwin’s weak effort comfortably gathered by Green.
Evans’ side did threaten in the closing minutes and Stuart Dallas had a shot blocked by Onuoha, before Lewis Cook sent a shot wide.
And there was an anxious moment for QPR in injury time when Green parried Dallas’ low cross and was relieved to see the loose ball drop to Paul Konchesky, who was able to clear the danger, but the Rs held on for a precious three points.