Reds fall to defeat at Loftus Road despite a late surge.
Tom Bradshaw’s excellent run and finish 10 minutes from time gave the Reds a life-line back into the match after a first half goal from Idrissa Sylla and an unfortunate Angus MacDonald own-goal had put the hosts 2-0 in front.
The match began with QPR taking the lead in the opening 10 minutes. A cross from the right looked to evade everyone inside the penalty area until it hit the heel of QPR forward Sylla, who knew very little about it, and the ball trickled agonisingly into the far corner.
The Reds looked to hit back quickly and came close on more than one occasion in a frantic opening period at Loftus Road. Josh Scowen and Alex Mowatt both had similar efforts, dipping their half-volleys over the Alex Smithies’ crossbar.
The R’s came back with chances of their own as Perch crashed a header against the crossbar, after Davies had made an excellent diving save to deny Ngbakoto’s volley.
The best chances were yet to come in the half though, and the majority fell to the Reds. Marley Watkins saw a header go just wide, before Armstrong blazed over following a superb chip from Matty James. As the half-time whistle drew closer, Jake Bidwell was the hero for the home side as he cleared off the line from Watkins’ effort which beat the ‘keeper.
HALF TIME: QPR (Sylla) 1-0 Reds.
The second half began with QPR on top. Following the introduction of Tom Bradshaw who replaced Alex Mowatt for the Reds, and Perch coming off to be replaced by Furlong for the home side, QPR extended their lead.
The unfortunate MacDonald looked to turn away a cross at the near post after a cross, but it deflected into his own net. Sylla ran away claiming his second goal but replays showed it was indeed MacDonald who got the final touch.
As the half went on the Reds continued to press and looked likeliest to score with all the chances they created. Scowen burst in on the R’s goal but was brought down, and from the resulting free-kick he pulled an excellent save out of Smithies. Shortly after, Hammill and Hedges replaced Watkins and Kent as Paul Heckingbottom looked for his side to get back into the game.
Hammill went close with two successive free-kicks and Hedges was a constant nuisance down the wing, before the Reds found a way back into the match.
MacDonald took the ball down at centre-back and pinged a pass over the top which Bradshaw latched onto; he rounded Smithies expertly and tucked the ball away to make it 2-1 on the night.
The QPR defence then looked - as expected - to keep hold of the ball for as long as possible and waste time as the Reds peppered them in attack.
Yellow cards for fouls were being given out with Bidwell and Manning following the previously booked Perch into the referee’s top pocket.
As five minutes of added time were announced, optimism came from Reds fans and despair from the R’s counterparts but the comeback was not to be.
Bradshaw had a half-chance with a volley from distance but it never troubled Smithes.
The full-time whistle blew and despite plenty of chances, the Reds suffered defeat away at QPR.
FULL TIME: (Sylla, MacDonald OG)QPR 2-1 Barnsley (Bradshaw)
Attendance: 11,635 – 526 Reds. Thank you for your terrific support this evening!
QPR: Smithies (GK), Freeman, Bidwell, Hall, Onouha, Wszolek (Washington 70'), Luongo, Ngabakoto (Morrison 87'), (Furlong 48')Perch , Sylla, Manning.
Subs not used: Ingram (GK), Goss, Doughty, Smith.
Reds: Davies (GK), Elder, MacDonald, Roberts (C), Yiadom, Scowen, James, Mowatt (Bradshaw 45'), Kent (Hammill 73'), Armstrong, Watkins (Hedges 73').
Subs not used: Townsend (GK), Jones, Jackson, Moncur.