Queens Park Rangers 2 Nottingham Forest 5: QPR fail in bid to chop down Forest
PUBLISHED: 17:32 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:32 24 February 2018
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Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 2 (Luongo 68, Smith 78) Nottingham Forest 5 (Tomlin 37, 47, Lolley 51, Cash 76, Brereton 90+1)
Nottingham Forest ended a run of six games without a win in all competitions by brushing aside QPR 5-2 at Loftus Road.
Forest had collected only two points from an available last 15 in the Sky Bet Championship, but Lee Tomlin scored either side of half-time before Joe Lolley’s first goal for the club put them three goals to the good.
Massimo Luongo pulled one back for QPR midway through the second half but goals from Matthew Cash and Ben Brereton either side of Matt Smith’s effort sealed a comprehensive victory for Forest, who are now 10 points clear of the drop zone.
The game might have turned out very differently had Smith been clinical following Luke Freeman’s 13th-minute corner.
Nedum Onuoha headed the ball back across goal and Smith headed against the underside of the bar from close range.
QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies then denied Brereton after he had sprinted away from Jack Robinson to latch on to Ben Watson’s through ball.
Smithies denied Brereton again in the 22nd minute, this time saving with his legs to keep out the striker’s left-footed shot.
But Smithies was powerless to prevent Tomlin from breaking the deadlock after 37 minutes, with the on-loan Cardiff striker finishing coolly having been teed up by Lolley.
Tomlin was also given plenty of room for his second goal two minutes after the resumption and again capitalised, this time blasting home right-footed.
And he set up the third goal four minutes later, collecting Cash’s pass after QPR failed to clear their lines and dinking the ball towards Lolley, who made no mistake.
Luongo gave QPR hope by sliding in to apply the finishing touch after Freeman’s corner had been nudged on by Smith in the 68th minute.
Cash restored Forest’s three-goal cushion when he pounced on a loose ball to score after Smithies had failed to hold Kieran Dowell’s shot in the 76th minute.
But the visitors were pegged back two minutes later when Smith rose above Daniel Fox to head in Freeman’s left-wing cross.
Fit-again forward Paul Smyth, making his first league start since scoring on his debut last month, was lively up front for Rangers, particularly in the first half.
But the youngster missed a decent chance to further reduce Forest’s lead when he sliced a shot high and wide as QPR tried to find a way back.
And after Smith sent a left-footed shot wide of the target, Brereton netted Forest’s fifth when he turned away from Robinson and breezed past Onuoha before firing into the far corner of the net.