QPR RESERVES lost 2-1 to Leyton Orient’s First Team at Harlington this afternoon.
A goal in each half from David Mooney and Dean Cox put the visitors 2-0 up before Mo Sharif netted a stunning free-kick to halve the deficit late on.
Taken by coach Marc Bircham, the Reserves featured a mixture of experience and youth.
Aaron Lennox was between the sticks for Rangers while Bradley Simmonds, Taylor Parmenter, Jamie Sendles-White and Mo Sharif made up the backline from right to left.
Three trialists featured in midfield alongside Tommy Smith, who played in the centre while Jay Bothroyd partnered Rob Hulse in attack.
Cox nearly gave Orient the lead inside the opening two minutes with an excellent low drive from 20 yards, but his shot was brilliantly tipped to safety by Lennox.
There were few clear cut opportunities in the opening 20 minutes with the R’s backline working very well as a unit, leading to a number of offsides against the Orient attack.
But on 22 minutes Lennox brought down Mooney in the area and the referee pointed to the spot without hesitation.
Mooney himself took the penalty and put Russell Slade’s men 1-0 up.
The O’s played some good, passing football as they put the finishing touches to their pre-season preparations ahead of their opener which will actually come in the Capital One Cup against Charlton a week today at the Valley.
Slade’s side doubled their lead within two minutes of the second half. Cox broke clear and coolly rounded Lennox before finishing.
Troy Hewitt almost pulled one back for Rangers within five minutes. The 22 year-old, on at half-time, turned his man brilliantly before firing a vicious shot which went just over the bar from 25 yards.
Just before the hour-mark Hewitt again went close, this time beating the O’s offside trap before seeing his shot well blocked by the out-rushing Ryan Allsop.
Orient nearly grabbed a third when Mooney’s shot from 18 yards deflected off Jake Downes to totally wrong-foot Lennox, but his effort crashed into the side netting.
Angelo Balanta was introduced by Bircham with 20 minutes remaining to add some creativity to the side.
Sharif, playing at left-back, was a constant threat down the flank as he looked to support the attack, and on 71 minutes he got Rangers back into the game with a sensational set-piece.
Anthony Griffin was penalised for handball 25 yards from goal, and Sharif found the top right-hand corner with a fantastic, curling effort which gave Allsop no chance in the Orient goal.
The R’s were unable to build on that strike, however, although Sharif nearly levelled late on with a carbon-copy free-kick, but this time his shot flew over the bar.
QPR: Aaron Lennox, Bradley Simmonds (Jake Downes, 46), Taylor Parmenter, Jamie Sendles-White, Mo Sharif, Trialist, Tommy Smith (Trialist, 46), Trialist (Angelo Balanta, 68), Trialist, Rob Hulse (Troy Hewitt, 46), Jay Bothroyd (Tom Hitchcock, 46)