QPR 2 (Austin 66, 87 pen)
There wasn’t much in it at Loftus Road and the Reds can hold their heads high, but QPR claimed all three points with victory over the Reds.
It was a steady opening and neither side could muster up an attempt at goal in the opening exchanges with QPR enjoying most of the ball in the middle of the park.
Hoops did get a shot away but Kranjcar could only fluff his effort on the turn 12 yards out wide. Not long after on 17 minutes, Robert Green had to be alert to pal away Kennedy’s delivery that seemed to be heading for the top corner.
At the other end Austin saw his close-range strike blocked wide and from the resulting corner Richard Dunne rose highest to head at goal with Butland beaten but Perkins was on hand to clear off the line with 20 played.
Paddy McCourt got into the swing of things when he jinked past Barton – leaving the former Newcastle man on the deck – before laying off for Perkins to shoot wide from 25 yards.
On 36 minutes it took an incredible double save from Jack Butland to prevent the hosts from opening the scoring as Austin latched onto Assou-Ekotto’s cross. Butland spread himself well to deny Austin from 12 yards out before denying Faurlin once more from the rebound.
The Reds started the second half in confident fashion and Peter Ramage saw his header sail over from an out-swinging corner. At the other end Joseph Barton fired a free-kick well over from just over 25 yards.
On 54 minutes the Reds made their first change as Marcus Pedersen replaced Jason Scotland in attack. Paddy McCourt didn’t know it but Kranjcar’s shot was drifting wide when he cleared off the line for a corner on 58 minutes.
Rangers made their first change with Junior Hoilett replacing Faurlin and he made an immediate impact as he danced in from the left to tee up Austin who tucked home from eight yards on 66 minutes.
The injured Peter Ramage had to be replaced to on came Bobby Hassell for his first appearance of the season.
Tomasz Cywka came on for Jacob Mellis with less than 20 minutes to play as the Reds looked to freshen up their attacking options in search of a leveller.
Charlie Austin got into the area and chucked himself to the ground as Martin Cranie closed in and the referee pointed to the spot. Austin stepped up and sent Butland the wrong way for 2-0.
QPR: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Carroll, Barton, Faurlin (Hoilett 62), O’Neil (Henry 80), Kranjcar, Austin.
Subs: Murphy, Traore, Jenas, Chevanton, Ehmer.
Reds: Butland, Ramage (Hassell 67), Kennedy, Cranie, O'Grady, Perkins, Wiseman, Mellis (Cywka 71), Fox, McCourt, Scotland (Pedersen 54).
Subs: O'Brien, Dawson, Etuhu, Noble-Lazarus.
Referee: David Phillips
Attendance: 16202 (384 Reds)