QPR rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory at Southend this evening.
Andy Johnson, Stephane Mbia and Nedeum Onuoha were all on target for the R’s – two direct from corners – while it was a Clint Hill own goal which had briefly brought matters level.
Johnson gave Rangers the lead on 11 minutes before Hill’s header beat Rob Green to draw matters level in the 24th minute.
Mbia came off the bench to score with his first touch on 46 minutes before Onuoha completed the scoring with a close-range volley late on.
For their final pre-season friendly of the campaign, QPR adopted a 4-4-2 formation with Harry Redknapp handing latest signing Karl Henry his first outing for the R’s in the heart of the midfield.
Green lined up between the sticks, with Yun Suk-Young – who impressed on the recent tour of Austria – at left back, Danny Simpson at right back and Hill, wearing the captain’s armband, partnering Onuoha in the heart of the defence.
Esteban Granero played alongside Henry with Shaun Wright-Phillips starting on the right flank and Junior Hoilett on the left.
Bobby Zamora and Johnson lined up in attack to complete the line up.
While a number of senior first team players were not involved at Roots Hall, they will play on Saturday in a behind-closed-doors training game in order to gain match minutes ahead of the big kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday next weekend.
On 11 minutes, QPR broke the deadlock with the first meaningful attack of the game. Hoilett played a perfectly-weighted pass down the left flank for Wright-Phillips who had made a great run behind the Shrimpers back-line.
As he closed in on the left-side of the penalty box, the R’s winger played the ball across the face of goal for the ever-alert Johnson to tap home from close range at the far post.
Four minutes later, Suk-Young did well on the left-flank before finding Hoilett. His quick lay-off to Henry gave the R’s debutant a shooting opportunity from 20 yards but his effort was comfortably gathered by Southend keeper Daniel Bentley.
Rangers certainly didn’t have it all their own way with Freddy Eastwood going close, and on 24 minutes the hosts drew level courtesy of an own goal from Hill.
The R’s skipper attempted to head Ryan Leonard’s long throw clear but could only divert beyond Green from six yards.
Barry Corr had the next chance of note but his half-volley whizzed wide of the upright from 15 yards.
The R’s made two changes at the break with Richard Dunne and Stephane Mbia replacing Suk-Young and Granero respectively, and Mbia scored with his first touch in the 46th minute to restore the visitors’ lead.
Hoilett’s corner from the left was floated to the back post and Mbia headed into the top corner from six yards.
The Cameroon international ran away in delight, before high-fiving the coaching staff in the QPR dugout.
Meanwhile, Suk-Young built on his impressive displays on tour with an excellent opening half at Roots Hall. He shows plenty of desire to get forward whenever the opportunity arises, and is also fearless in the tackle which certainly drew applause from the travelling R’s faithful.
On 57 minutes Rangers nearly doubled their lead following another great Hoilett corner from the right, but on this occasion Onuoha’s powerful drive from inside the box was blocked.
At the other end, Southend sub Conor Clifford forced a fine save from Green with a dipping volley which the R’s custodian needed to push over the bar.
Meanwhile, Henry went close to sealing his impressive debut with a goal shortly after the hour mark. After a run through the middle of the park, and with the Southend defence standing off, he drove just wide with a low shot from 20 yards.
He was replaced soon after by youth product Frankie Sutherland, who announced his arrival on the first-team stage with his fantastic goal against Udinese in Austria last Saturday.
In the closing minutes, Hoilett went close to capping a fine individual performance with a stunning strike as he cut in from the right but his shot was tipped around the post by Bentley.
It was Hoilett who took the resulting corner, and another brilliant delivery resulted in another QPR goal as Onuoha stole in to volley home from close range.
This was another hugely useful work-out for Redknapp’s men with a number of the players getting 90 minutes under their belts.
Now all eyes turn to next weekend’s season opener against Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road.
Southend: Daniel Bentley, John White, Ben Coker, Marc Laird (Seedy Njie, 81), Mark Phillips (Julian Bennett, 82), Luke Prosser, Freddy Eastwood (Jack Payne, 81), Barry Corr (Michael Timlin, 71), Anthony Straker (Don Cowan, 46), Will Atkinson (Conor Clifford 46), Ryan Leonard.
Subs: Luke Chambers
QPR: Rob Green, Danny Simpson, Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill, Yun Suk-Young (Richard Dunne, 46), Shaun Wright-Phillips, Esteban Granero (Stephane Mbia, 46), Karl Henry (Frankie Sutherland, 67), Junior Hoilett, Bobby Zamora.
Subs: Tom Hitchcock, Mo Sharif, Michael Harriman, Aaron Lennox