QPR UNDER-18s cemented top spot with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion at Harlington on Saturday.
Connor Hubble’s second-half penalty proved the match-winner as Rangers held firm against a strong Seagulls outfit.
The visitors were undone on 55 minutes after a despairing dive on the goal-line earned the guilty Brighton defender a red card for handball.
Hubble duly dispatched the resulting spot-kick, firing the R’s to a ninth successive win much to the delight of manager Steve Gallen.
“Brighton are the best footballing team we play every season,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“They’ve very good at passing and moving; very much a possession-based team.
“They made it tough for us at times, especially in the first-half.
“We had to be patient and to stay calm but we did that. They enjoyed long spells of possession and we’re not used to that.
“Our boys handled it really well.
“We took the game more to them after half-time and were unlucky not to add a couple more [goals].”
Another win on home soil – their third in successive outings – extends the R’s lead at the top over London rivals Charlton.
Gallen was pleased with his side’s performance at both ends, as the Rangers boss saluted another resilient rearguard display.
“We’re obviously on a good run and we’re not letting too many goals in which is good,” he added.
“I’ve been really pleased in the last few years in terms of conceding the fewest goals and it’s looking like we might do that again this season.
“We have a good defensive mentality as well as trying to break forward at every opportunity and score goals.”
Gallen’s troops take a break from league action next weekend with a friendly away at Southend United.
The R’s boss is looking forward to blooding some of his fringe players ahead of their next league outing at home to Brentford in a fortnight’s time.
Gallen said: “It’s a good chance to give lads who have not started the games a run-out.
“I’ll also use the game [against Southend] to bring in some of the Under-16s to give them the experience.
“The boys have been performing well lately so let’s hope it continues.”