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  • By Christian Mayes at Loftus Road

Iroegbunam strike gives QPR first win since December

QPR 1-0 Watford

On-loan Aston Villa starlet Tim Iroegbunam’s 15th minute strike made all the difference for QPR as they ended a 13-match winless run by beating Watford 1-0 at Loftus Road.

After losing his first two games in charge 3-1, the win marks the first of Gareth Ainsworth’s spell as QPR manager – arresting a winless streak dating back to the Hoops’ 1-0 win over Preston on 17th December. At the start of the day, the hosts had slipped to 20th after losing their last five league games in a row.

Watford had hoped that, by replacing Slaven Bilic with Chris Wilder earlier in the week, the trip to Loftus Road could provide an instant bounce as they seek to close the gap to the top six. However, a poor performance will leave the former Sheffield United manager under no illusion as to the size of the task facing him as Hornets manager.

The first half lacked opportunities with neither side able to gain the upper hand in possession. However, the Hoops took the lead in the 15th minute with the only clear-cut chance of the half, on-loan Villa midfielder Tim Iroegbunam picking up a loose ball and driving into the box before placing a left-footed shot past Watford keeper Daniel Bachmann.

Watford’s Brazilian youngster Joao Pedro provided the bulk of the visitor’s attacking threat, most notably delivering the perfect cross for Imran Louza midway through the second half, only for the Moroccan to head wide from inside the six-yard box.

Pedro had a penalty shout waved away with five minutes left to play after dribbling past two Rangers’ defenders near the corner flag. He then drove into the area before falling to the ground under pressure from the QPR backline.

With regular starters Chris Willock, Kenneth Paal and Ethan Laird all still sidelined due to injury, alongside QPR’s star attacking midfielder Ilias Chair, R’s fans will have been encouraged by the returning Lyndon Dykes completing almost an hour without trouble.


QPR: Dieng; Kakay, Dunne, Dickie, Drewe (Amos 84’); Field, Iroegbunam (Johansen 71’), Dozzell (Armstrong 84’), Lowe, Martin, Dykes (Adomah 57’).

Unused Subs: Archer, Richards, Gubbins.

WATFORD: Bachmann, Gaspar, Cathcart, Porteous (Asprilla 76’), Hoedt, Louza, Choudhury, Sema, Pedro, Sarr (Assombalonga 76’), Davis.

Unused Subs: Hamer, Ngakia, Kone, Araujo, Kabasele.

Attendance: 17,247 (3,009 away)

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