RANGERS bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the second round stage, following a 2-1 home defeat to Carlisle United.
Chris Ramsey’s men were behind against the run of play in the 37th minute, after Derek Asamoah put the Cumbrians in front.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replied for the R’s just three minutes later with an effort from range.
The second half saw both sides enjoy good opportunities – and League Two Carlisle struck the decisive goal in the 79th minute.
Asamoah turned provider, setting up substitute Jason Kennedy who smashed home the winner from close range.
QPR head coach Ramsey made 10 changes to his side following Saturday’s 4-2 Championship triumph over Rotherham United at Loftus Road.
Only Grant Hall remained from the side that overcame the Millers at the weekend, with Ramsey opting to use his squad once again – as he did in the first-round success at Yeovil Town.
Goalkeeper Alex Smithies was given his Rangers debut, after signing from Huddersfield Town last week, and he was protected by a back four of Darnell Furlong, Hall, Clint Hill and Cole Kpekawa.
Despite the changes, the Hoops stuck with their now-accustomed 4-2-3-1 formation. Oscar Gobern and Michael Doughty sat at the base of midfield, with Emmanuel-Thomas, Junior Hoilett and Reece Grego-Cox operating further forward.
Seb Polter led the line for Rangers in attack.
Carlisle are managed by former QPR first-team coach Keith Curle. He was given a warm reception by the Loftus Road faithful before kick-off.
There was also a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the recent Shoreham air disaster, as well as Ray Jones, the Rangers starlet who was tragically killed in a motor accident exactly eight years ago today.
QPR started brightly and Hoilett forced a routine save from Mark Gillespie with a low effort in the fifth minute.
Carlisle’s goalkeeper was called into action again in the 16th minute to deny Grego-Cox, following the youngster’s snap-shot from the edge of the area.
Gillespie also saved low from Emmanuel-Thomas in the 18th minute, after his neat exchange with Doughty.
United’s first opportunity arrived a minute later when Asamoah advanced into the box and let fly from 10 yards. Smithies was untroubled, however, with the ball sailing comfortably wide of the right-hand post.
Rangers spurned the best chance of the tie yet in the 31st minute – as QPR fans broke into applause for Ray Jones. Thirty-one, of course, was his squad number.
Polter missed the opportunity for the R’s. He turned his marker well on 25 yards but could only blaze over after advancing to the edge of the box.
Four minutes later, Hoilett blasted wide from 12 yards, albeit from a tight angle, following Emmanuel-Thomas’ lovely cross-field pass.
Despite a number of opportunities, Rangers fell behind in the 37th minute.
A ball from deep put Antony Sweeney in the clear, who rounded Smithies before teeing-up Asamoah to slot home.
That was harsh on Rangers. So perhaps it was just that the home side levelled matters three minutes later.
Tidy build-up play ended with Emmanuel-Thomas shooting from 25 yards – and his low rocket nestled into the bottom left-hand corner, via a touch from the hand of the goalkeeper.
Emmanuel-Thomas almost doubled his and Rangers’ account just before the half-time whistle sounded after a great interchange with Hoilett. His subsequent low shot, however, flew just past the foot of the right-hand post.
QPR went close only three minutes after the break from a corner. Doughty crossed – but captain for the evening Hill could only nod wide of the target.
Meanwhile, Polter saw a header cleared off the goal-line in the 52nd minute.
Carlisle soon went mightily close to retaking the lead, after Alexander McQueen’s cross-come-shot smashed off the face of the crossbar.
This was now a real end-to-end affair and Hoilett forced Gillespie into a fine low save in the 54th minute after Polter’s lay-off.
Two minutes later, Gillespie’s opposite number, Smithies, produced a smart stop of his own to thwart McQueen.
In the 60th minute, only the heroics of Hill denied the visitors following the defender’s headed clearance on the line from substitute Troy Archibald-Henville’s effort while, at the other end, Gillespie’s awesome reaction save kept out Hoilett’s acrobatic attempt.
Polter slid wide on the stretch in the 63rd minute, following a ball over the top of the Carlisle defence.
QPR made their first change in the 67th minute, with Gobern withdrawn. Brandon Comley came on for his Loftus Road debut.
Seven minutes later, Hoilett also made way – and was replaced by Massimo Luongo.
With 15 minutes left, extra-time loomed in W12. Could someone settle the tie in normal time?
Unfortunately for Rangers, Carlisle could.
Eleven minutes remained when the Cumbrians broke away down the left and when the ball was fizzed across goal by Asamoah, substitute Kennedy turned home from all of two yards out.
Tjaronn Chery, who scored two goals for QPR in the weekend win over Rotherham, was introduced in the 83rd minute for Grego-Cox, in a last throw of the dice.
But the night belonged to Carlisle – who held on to make it into round three.