LUKE Freeman’s last-minute winner gave QPR victory in their latest pre-season outing at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
With the game heading for a goalless draw at the end of an even affair, Freeman struck at the death – capitalising on a mistake by home goalkeeper Tom King to coolly slot home.
After Friday night’s 7-0 win at Staines Town, Steve McClaren named an entirely different XI for this one.
Matt Smith led the attack – and threatened first with 12 minutes played. Jake Bidwell and Conor Washington combined to good effect down the R’s left, but Smith’s header from the latter’s cross dropped just over.
The R’s first chance was followed by Wimbledon’s five minutes later. Mitchell Pinnock’s inswinging free-kick from the left was met by defender Will Nightingale but, just like Smith, his header was just off target.
Other clear-cut opportunities were at a premium during the first 45 minutes.
Ebere Eze did twice go close just after the half-hour mark. After seeing a close-range attempt blocked by goalkeeper Joe McDonnell, his next effort seconds later from much further out was well turned around the post by the Dons’ number one.
Whilst looking comfortable for much of the half, Rangers were lucky to escape three minutes before the break. A ball over the top saw Joe Pigott race clear but, just as he looked to get the better of Matt Ingram, Bidwell slid in to clear the danger.
It remained a tight affair after the break, before a flurry of chances midway through.
First, Rangers had Ingram to thank twice in quick succession. First for somehow diverting a blistering volley over at point-blank range from Kwesi Appiah, before tipping over Jon Meades’ header from a corner.
At the other end, Rangers had the chance to edge in front when substitute Osman Kakay’s sublime through ball freed Washington. The R’s frontman, though, was denied by Dons’ second-half goalkeeper King.
With the game heading for a stalemate, there was just enough time for Rangers to steal it at the death. King made a mess of Paul Smyth’s cross from the right, allowing Freeman to profit and tuck away the loose ball with all but the last kick of the game.
QPR: Ingram, Furlong (Kakay 53), Bidwell, Leistner, Lynch (Baptiste 60), Scowen, Manning, Freeman, Eze (Wszolek 60), Washington (Osayi-Samuel 80), Smith (Smyth 60).
Subs (not used): Dieng, Genovesi, Phillips, Oteh, Hamalainen, Williams, Tilt, Felix.
Highlights: AFC Wimbledon 0, QPR 1
WATCH highlights from QPR's 1-0 win against AFC Wimbledon.