QPR 1-4 Preston: Alex Neil's men turn on style in resounding victory in west London
Report and highlights as Rangers' play-off bid takes a hit
Last Updated: 19/01/19 8:27pm
Jayden Stockley and Jordan Storey both opened their accounts for Preston in a thumping 4-1 win over QPR at Loftus Road.
The visitors arrived in west London having failed to win in the last five games, but superb finishes by former Exeter team-mates Stockley and Storey put the visitors well on the way to ending their struggles.
A close-range header by Alan Browne added a third before Matt Smith's effort raised the faintest of hopes of a comeback.
Those were dashed, however, when Brad Potts scored late on as QPR suffered a setback in their promotion push.
Some bright movement from Potts and Browne caused the Rangers rearguard all sorts of problems early on and after 14 minutes the latter latched on to a ball over the top and flashed a half-volley just over Joe Lumley's goal.
Around a minute later the visitors took a deserved lead in comical circumstances as Lumley's short pass to Josh Scowen saw the midfielder set upon by Browne, with the loose ball rolling to Stockley on the edge of the area.
The 25-year-old, who joined from League Two Exeter earlier this month, curled a superb strike into the top right-hand corner which gave Lumley no chance.
Ebere Eze briefly lit up Loftus Road with a darting run through the middle followed by a one-two with Pawel Wszolek, only for his effort to be comfortably smothered by Declan Rudd.
The half-time introduction of Smith in place of Jordan Cousins gave Steve McClaren's men more of a focal point up front and it was the former Fulham man's flick-on that released Nahki Wells, with Rudd tipping his arrowed effort round the left-hand post.
Despite it only being 1-0, Preston's midfield were happy to knock the ball around and it was no surprise the visitors doubled their advantage after 68 minutes.
Paul Gallagher was brought down before delivering a perfect free-kick which took a couple of nicks before Storey met it with a cushioned volley into the net.
Preston added to their tally after 82 minutes as Ben Davies cleverly ducked out of the way of Gallagher's corner for Browne to nod home at the far post.
The home side did at least manage a consolation as Smith held off two Preston defenders to guide Jake Bidwell's centre into the far corner.
There was still time for one more as Preston wrapped up a sixth consecutive win against QPR when substitute Lukas Nmecha's fierce drive was only palmed up in the air by Lumley and Potts arrived late to knock the ball in off a post.
Steve McClaren: "You always get bad days at the office and that was a bad day at the office. That wasn't like us. It's the first time in a long while I've been disappointed with the performance.
"It's happened before and will probably happen again but the best thing you can do is come in on Monday morning and get the work done on the training field. If we perform like we did today against Portsmouth it will be a struggle."
Alex Neil: "We have spoken so many times this season about our injuries and quality players missing, and although we haven't got them all back you saw Ben Davies, Ben Pearson and Sean Maguire there.
"We are certainly a different proposition with those in the side and fully deserved to win."