TWO goals apiece from Tjaronn Chery and Charlie Austin helped QPR to back-to-back Championship wins.
On a day when the Hoops paid tribute to club great Stan Bowles, who is unfortunately suffering from Alzheimer’s, braces from Chery and Austin was enough to see off Rotherham United.
Rangers were 3-0 to the good before goals from Jonson Clarke-Harris and Tom Thorpe set up a grandstand finish.
However, Austin’s late strike from the penalty spot – his second goal – ensured that Chris Ramsey’s team would move into the play-off positions with victory.
Rangers were unchanged following Wednesday night’s 3-2 comeback triumph at Wolves.
QPR started brightly and, after just three minutes, both Matt Phillips and Austin – who scored the goals in the midweek win – had already seen efforts miss the target.
Visitors Rotherham had a chance of their own in the eighth minute. A well-worked move ended with the ball finding Matt Derbyshire on the edge of the penalty area, though his low shot was held well by R’s goalkeeper Rob Green.
At the other end, in the 14th minute, a fine through pass from Ale Faurlin freed Chery in the box. The Dutchman attempted to round fellow countryman Kelle Roos though the Rotherham custodian did well, clawing the ball out for a corner.
Meanwhile, from the resultant set-piece, Rangers captain Nedum Onuoha skied over after Chery’s right-flank centre. Austin also fired wide from open play in the 16th minute.
After a flurry of chances, things calmed down slightly after that as the searing heat continued to grace Loftus Road. Austin shot wide in the 25th minute but it did little to trouble Roos.
Rotherham should have taken the lead just before the half-hour mark. Clarke-Harris broke away from James Perch down the left before sliding the ball across goal for Derbyshire who, albeit on the stretch, skewed wide from all of six yards.
Rangers soon missed their best chance of the first half yet, too. A free-kick from the left eventually looped into the path of Austin, whose header forced a smart one-handed save from the goalkeeper.
The R’s edged in front three minutes before half-time.
A lovely sweeping move saw Perch break down the right and when his low cross was touched back by Austin, the onrushing Chery hammered home via the hand of Roos.
Just before half-time, Lee Frecklington’s effort gave Rangers a scare. His shot deflected off Grant Hall and towards goal – but Green did well to stoop low and tip the ball wide.
Rangers doubled their lead just five minutes after the interval – and it was Chery who was again on target.
The impressive Massimo Luongo showed fantastic endeavour and strength to beat his man down the right and, when the Aussie international got to the byline, his pull-back was poked home by Chery.
The Loftus Road faithful were now in fine voice. Rotherham almost pulled a goal back soon after through Clarke-Harris, but he couldn’t connect properly with a cross from the left by former QPR man Emmanuel Ledesma.
It was soon 3-0 to Rangers, as the Super Hoops extended their advantage in the 63rd minute.
Austin’s speculative low effort from distance headed straight for Roos in the visiting goal – but the ball squirmed under the ‘keeper and in.
Soon after, the R’s saw appeals for a penalty waved away following Thorpe’s strong challenge on Austin in the area.
Rotherham replied with their first goal of the afternoon in the 72nd minute. A Rangers attack broke down and when the Millers strode forward to eventually work the ball to Clarke-Harris on 25 yards, his curling low shot sped past Green and into the net.
But QPR didn’t relent and Phillips soon warmed the hands of Roos with a fierce shot from range four minutes later.
Rangers made a change after that – Michael Doughty brought on for Faurlin a minute later.
And Luongo was also replaced in the 82nd minute, making way for Seb Polter.
Four minutes later, a dangerous Phillips cross was somehow swiped at by both Austin and Polter, as QPR went in search of a fourth goal.
However, Rotherham weren’t finished and it promised to be a nervy ending when Thorpe eventually turned home a corner in the 88th minute.
Rangers, though, quashed Rotherham hopes of an unlikely comeback with a goal in the 90th minute.
It came from the penalty spot, after substitute Polter was sandwiched in a double challenge from Frecklington and Lewis Buxton. Austin duly obliged with a cool finish to make it 4-2.
That goal meant it was to be another positive result to follow up the win at Wolves – and a fine way to cap a day for a true club legend, Stanley Bowles.