QPR suffer heavy home loss to Preston
PUBLISHED: 16:59 19 January 2019
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Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 1 (Smith 84) Preston North End 4 (Stockley 14, Storey 68, Browne 82, Potts 87)
Queens Park Rangers suffered a second straight defeat in the Sky Bet Championship, going down 4-1 at home to Preston North End.
The Rs turned in a tepid display in the first half, capped by a horrendous from Josh Scowen that led to the Lilywhites opening the scoring.
The second half was only slightly better from the hosts, but even a Matt Smith goal only proved to be a consolation effort.
Despite suffering a loss at Sheffield United last weekend, QPR boss Steve McClaren opted to name an unchanged XI.
That meant Jordan Cousins and Scowen remained in midfield as they looked to impress with Geoff Cameron injured and Massimo Luongo on international duty.
Home boss McClaren opted to name an attack-minded bench, with centre-back Grant Hall the only defender among the seven replacements.
There was a nervy moment for the Rs in just the fifth minute when Paul Gallagher’s cross from the right was nearly deflected into his own net by home skipper Toni Leistner, but instead went behind for a corner that came to nothing.
Preston were having the better chances early on, with a dipping half-volley from Alan Browne flying just over eight minutes later.
From the resulting goal kick, QPR keeper Joe Lumley played it short to Scowen, who was standing on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Scowen, though, was robbed of possession by Browne, who pushed the ball into the path of Jayden Stockley, who curled past Lumley with a delightful first-time shot.
It took until the 25th minute for QPR to have an effort at goal, but even then it was off target as Joel Lynch headed a Pawel Wszolek cross over the bar.
The first shot on target for the hosts came four minutes later, but Ebere Eze’s powerful drive from 20 yards was straight at keeper Declan Rudd.
Wszolek was next to go close in the 34th minute when found by a Luke Freeman cross from the left, but was also guilty to heading straight at Rudd.
The Lilywhites, meanwhile, nearly added a second in the 40th minute, but Sean Maguire’s curling effort from 18 yards went narrowly wide.
There were no further goals, though, before the break as QPR trailed to Stockley’s opener.
McClaren opted to bring on attacker Smith for Jordan Cousins at the break and he made his presence felt early in the second half.
Smith knocked a long ball down into the path of Nahki Wells, whose brilliant left-footed half-volley from 20 yards was pushed behind for a corner.
From the resulting set-piece, there was a small scramble in the box, before Darnell Furlong nodded over.
It proved a costly miss as Preston were able to double their advantage in the 68th minute.
A free-kick from the right was flicked on by Ben Davies to the back post where his centre-back partner Jordan Storey was on hand to fire home.
The Lilywhites could have had a third nine minutes from time, but Lumley got down well to keep out an effort from substitute Tom Barkhuizen.
There was to be a third a minute later, though, as Alan Browne headed in from a corner at one end while a pitch invader tried to evade the stewards at the other.
The hosts were given hope in the 84th minute when Smith headed a Bidwell cross into the goal to get one back.
The Rs’ hope was fleeting, though, as Brad Potts added a fourth for Preston three minutes later, firing home on the rebound after Lumley had parried the initial effort from replacement Lukas Nmecha.
It confirmed a rather disappointing defeat for the Rs and McClaren will hope for better at Portsmouth in the FA Cup fourth round next weekend.
QPR (4-4-1-1): Lumley; Furlong, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek (Osayi-Samuel 76), Cousins, Scowen (Smith 46), Freeman; Eze (Smyth 84), Wells.
Subs: Ingram (GK), Hall, Manning, Oteh.
Preston (4-2-3-1): Rudd; Fisher, Storey, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Potts; Gallagher, Browne, Maguire (Barkhuizen 69); Stockley (Nmecha 77).
Subs: Ripley (GK), Johnson, Woods, Ledson, Huntington.
Referee: Andrew Madley.
Attendance: 13,736 (including 1,272 Preston fans).
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