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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Loftus Road

Limp ending for Rangers as they bow out with another home defeat to the Robins

QPR (0) 0

Bristol City (1) 2 Sykes 28, Bell 55

Rangers’ season ended with something of a whimper – and another reminder that there is so much to be done in the summer to avoid another angst-ridden season like this one.

The fact they could take a home defeat without suffering serious repercussions was quite the luxury for the Hoops, and one that they could hardly have anticipated a couple of weeks ago.

A run of one win in 21 games in all competitions had left them floundering on the brink, and, at one point, seemingly doomed.

Nobody would have bet a pound on them winning at both champions Burnley and Stoke City in successive matches to secure safety.

The fact everyone could relax for the final match of the season also owed everything to Reading’s six-point deduction for financial irregularities.

Without that, Rangers would have been one of five teams within a point of each other going in to today’s finale still in danger of joining Blackpool and Wigan through the trap door into League One.

It was just as well they did not need anything from this game.

The visitors – who have made a habit of winning at Loftus Road in recent seasons – bossed the ball in the opening half, claiming two-thirds possession – and even though neither side created chances of note, the warning signs were there.

In the end, the opening goal was a gift as Albert Adomah – a former City player – made a hash of an attempted bicycle-kick clearance and presented Cameron Pring with the ball 12 yards out. A cross to the far stick was met by an onrushing Mark Sykes, who volleyed in from no distance.

Gareth Ainsworth clearly had words with his struggling troops at the interval and they began the second half with much greater tempo, pinning the Robins back.

But the high balls to Chris Martin and Lyndon Dykes did not produce the goal home fans craved and against the run of play, Sam Bell doubled the lead for the visitors, stealing in to poke home from close range.

Ilias Chair fired just over as the R’s tried to ignite the damp fuse, but in truth they were never that convincing and City easily closed out for a fifth win in a row at Loftus Road in the league.

This is the season most fans will be only too pleased to wave goodbye to. Few stayed on for the traditional end-of-season lap of honour.

Relief there may have been in recent days, but not the feelgood factor this club badly needs to rediscover.

Rangers: (4-4-2) Dieng – Laird, Dickie, Dunne (Clarke-Salter 60), Paal – Adomah (Lowe 60), Amos (Dozzell 76), Field (Johansen 82), Chair – Dykes, Martin (Willock 61). Subs not used: Archer, Dixon-Bonner

Robins: (4-2-3-1) O’Leary - Tanner, Vyner, Naismith (Kalas 64), Pring – Williams (Weimann 63), James (King 85) – Sykes, Scott, Bell (Mehmeti 63)– Conway (Wells 64). Subs not used: Wiles-Richards, Cornick

Attendance: 17,335


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