QPR 1-0 Barnsley: Josh Scowen stunners haunts Tykes
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/02/18 7:29pm
Josh Scowen's superb strike against his former club gave QPR a 1-0 victory at home to Barnsley.
Scowen scored a couple of minutes into the second half at Loftus Road, where Rangers played the final 19 minutes with 10 men after Ryan Manning was sent off for a challenge on Matt Mills shortly after coming on as a substitute.
Scowen's goal was his first since joining Rangers from Barnsley last summer. The midfielder collected the ball 25 yards out and bent a glorious shot beyond goalkeeper Nick Townsend and into the far corner of the net.
Relegation-threatened Barnsley, whose head coach Paul Heckingbottom signed a new contract this week, have won just one of their last 15 league games. And they have now lost on 11 consecutive visits to QPR, where the Tykes have not won since 1950.
But they were the better side for much of the first half and would have gone ahead just before the interval had 'keeper Alex Smithies not produced a brilliant save to claw away Adam Hammill's right-footed effort.
Smithies had earlier gathered a low shot from George Moncur before Mills, on his Barnsley debut, hooked the ball over from close range after the home side struggled to deal with Hammill's free-kick. Smithies was called into action again when Kieffer Moore sent a weak shot straight at him after being set up by Moncur.
Rangers' best moments of the first half came when Joel Lynch's left-wing cross just evaded Pawel Wszolek at the far post and when Luke Freeman's corner was headed over by James Perch, who played for the first time since suffering a broken kneecap in August. Scowen's decisive strike soon after the restart settled the hosts, and took the wind out of their visitors' sails.
Having looked lively before going behind, Barnsley ran out of ideas and struggled to create chances even after Manning's red card.
Tom Bradshaw had a decent opportunity but fired straight at Smithies and Lynch prevented a late equaliser by blocking Moncur's goal-bound shot.
At the other end, Conor Washington twice failed to find a way past Townsend, first after Perch had headed down Freeman's free-kick and then when the striker was through on goal following Jack Robinson's throw-in.
Townsend produced a similar stop in stoppage time when he saved at the feet of QPR substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Ian Holloway: "It was a huge performance and result, especially as we didn't play that well. We ground it out. You don't always flow. This is a learning thing for us. How we didn't score a couple more I don't know, but I felt totally exhilarated with the pace of our breaks late on.
"This is why I'm getting pretty excited. Some of these young lads will have to be played and they will get better. That's what I want the fans to understand. Please be with them and support them. I love the way the young lads are going to come through."
Paul Heckingbottom: "When we were on top we couldn't capitalise and that's what costs you. That's been our season. QPR had a spell in the second half where they got some momentum and I thought that was the only spell in the game where they won the duels.
"They managed to score in their spell and we didn't in ours. Sometimes it's hard against 10 men. You saw that most of our chances came in the first half when we found space. In the last 20 minutes, when they had 10 men, they killed the space and it was difficult and credit to QPR as they defended well."