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Match Reports

Queens Park Rangers 1 Preston North End 2

14 April 2018

Alan Browne’s eighth goal of the season gave the Lilywhites three points as they again came from behind to take the three points at Loftus Road.

Queens Park Rangers had taken an early lead, when Matt Smith slid the ball home from close range, but Callum Robinson equalised in the final minute of the first half and Browne headed home with a quarter of an hour left from substitute Paul Gallagher’s cross.

There were three changes made by manager Alex Neil, with Sean Maguire missing out through injury and Gallagher on the bench with Ben Davies; Daniel Johnson and Darnell Fisher both returning after illness and injury respectively.

Wearing green once again, the visitors started brightly with Greg Cunningham volleying at goal from Clarke’s hooked ball onwards, but Matt Ingram, making his first league start of the season, saved well at the second attempt.

But it was Ian Holloway’s team that took the lead as Galway-man Ryan Manning crossed from the left and the big frontman Smith ghosted in at the back post to slide the ball into the net, played onside by the outrushing North End defence.

And it could have been two before the 20 minute mark only for Declan Rudd to make a fine save to deny Manning – a neighbour of Greg Cunningham growing up – headed goalwards after Smith’s flick on from a long ball forward.

Seven minutes before the break there was a controversial moment when Ingram brought down Browne, who had closed down the keeper and was one on one, but only a yellow card from referee Rob Jones came out, when it could have been a red. From Billy Bodin’s free kick there was a header down by Paul Huntington, former North End loanee Alex Baptiste clearing from inside the six yard box.

But the equaliser came on the stroke of half-time. Darnell Fisher drove down the right and into the corner of the box by the byline – having collected the ball Billy Bodin - and he drilled the ball into the six yard box and Robinson nipped in, in front of Baptiste, to force the ball over the line – the goalline technology used as Ingram tried to claw it out.

The second half saw a different North End, as they controlled the game from the off and chances started to come regularly.

Firstly, Robinson dragged shot across face of goal after Gallagher’s first touch of the game was a superb ball for Tom Barkhuizen who played the goal off for the equalising goalscorer.

Moments later Robinson again saw a shot blocked from a corner following another superb Fisher run and pull back down the right and into the box.

And what proved to be the winner came on 74 minutes. It was another brilliant delivery from Gallagher, from a free kick on the left, where Browne rose powerfully 15 yards out to the right of the goal, the ball flying past Ingram, with Robinson getting a touch, but the goalline technology showing it had already crossed the line, giving the Irish No.8 his eighth goal of a productive season.

QPR line-up: Ingram, Furlong, Bidwell, Cousins (Freeman, 73), Manning, Smith (Sylla, 62), Robinson (c), Baptiste, Luongo, Eze Osayi-Samuel (Smyth, 63). Subs not used: Smithies, Scowen, Wszolek, Kakay.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Cunningham, Pearson, Clarke (c), Huntington, Bodin (Gallagher, 63), Browne, Robinson (Horgan, 90), Johnson (Harrop, 63), Barkhuizen. Subs not used: Maxwell, Davies, Moult, Earl.

Attendance: 13,760 (1,257 PNE fans)

Referee: Mr R Jones

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