QPR returned to winning ways at Loftus Road this afternoon as they saw off Derby County thanks to a 2-1 win.
Goals from Jermaine Jenas and an own goal from Rams defender Jake Buxton handed Rangers their first win in four matches against former coach Steve McClaren's side.
Rangers made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Wigan midweek with midfielder Joey Barton returning following his one match suspension whilst Matty Phillips started on the wing. Niko Kranjcar and Gary O’Neil both missed out through injuries.
Rangers signaled their intent to go after all three points inside the opening seven minutes when Barton’s corner was whipped with intent into the Derby six-yard box but Phillips faint glance with the head failed to stay under the bar.
That chance was a warm-up for what was to come next as QPR took an 11th minute lead through Jenas. Phillips run down the right saw him deliver a dangerous ball into Charlie Austin in the six-yard box. His connection directed it in on goal before Jenas pounced and poked the ball past County keeper Lee Grant from close range.
Ten minutes later Phillips was at it again down the right as he again picked out Austin inside the box but the R’s top scorer was unable to direct his shot at the County goal before the visitors equalised against the run of play.
Jamie Ward’s free kick - after Rangers gave away a foul inside their own half - picked out Jake Buxton inside the 18-yard box. The Derby centreback climbed over the R’s defence to nod into the path of Simon Dawkins who volleyed past QPR keeper Rob Green after 23 minutes.
QPR’s response saw Austin head wide from an Ale Faurlin corner before Hoilett’s shot five minutes before the break deflected away from goal via the back of Phillips as the R’s searched for a second.
That nearly came on the stroke of half-time when good play from Barton allowed Hoilett the space to send another effort flying inches over the Derby bar from 18-yards.
A defensive mistake after the restart nearly handed Derby the lead after Danny Simpson gave the ball away Rob Green was forced into a save from Craig Bryson before Chris Martin put the follow-up in the side netting. Play switched almost immediately to the other end and Austin’s audacious flick from Hoilett’s cross-come-shot nearly caught keeper Grant unaware.
QPR restored their one goal advantage though in the 63rd minute thanks to an own goal from Derby. Matty Phillips won the R’s a free kick from the right after County’s Craig Forsyth brought the former Blackpool winger down. Faurlin took responsibility for the set piece and delivered a dangerous ball to the back post with Clint Hill the intended targets. However, the ball found the shoulder of Jake Buxton who directed it past Grant and into the back of the net.
The visitors’ crossbar prevented QPR from making it three when a mazy run from Phillips saw him beat Dawkins and Wisdom before rattling the woodwork from 14-yards.
Play was then held up as Faurlin was forced off on a stretcher in tears after injuring his knee before being replaced by Karl Henry.
That took the wind out of Rangers attacking threat as the fourth official signalled five minute of additional time Derby were awarded a free-kick 25-yards from goal. Ward stood over it and R's stopper Green had to be at his best to claw the ball away from the top corner as QPR held on for the win.