LUKE Amos’ double was not enough for QPR as they fell to a heavy defeat at Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Amos’ first goal cancelled out Conor Chaplin’s early opener but two more strikes from the Tykes forward saw the hosts take a 3-1 lead.
The R’s reduced the deficit through Amos’ second goal but Cauley Woodrow’s penalty and Mambo Diaby’s close-range finish secured the points for Barnsley.
Ilias Chair netted a consolation in stoppage time.
The result ended Rangers’ two-match winning run and means that they sit 13th in the league table heading into next weekend’s home match against Charlton Athletic.
In terms of team news, manager Mark Warburton made two changes from the side that beat Birmingham City on Wednesday night.
Up front, Jordan Hugill came in for Nahki Wells and elsewhere Lee Wallace replaced Marc Pugh.
It looked as if Rangers would revert to a three-at-the-back formation but instead Wallace came in at left-back with Ryan Manning moving into midfield.
Wallace in particular made a bright start for the R’s, embarking on a couple of rampaging runs forward but the hosts then grabbed the lead with their first attack.
A low cross came in from the right flank and Chaplin swept the ball home with a first-time finish.
It was far from the ideal start for the R’s but falling behind did not affect them. They levelled within five minutes.
Manning sent a long ball forward that Hugill latched upon and after his curling shot came back off the post Amos was perfectly placed to tuck home the rebound.
Rangers did not stay level for long, though, as Barnsley soon regained their lead. Alex Mowatt’s corner landed at the feet of Chaplin at the far post and he slammed home his second goal of the afternoon from a tight angle.
If the opening 20 minutes were anything to go by then there would certainly be more goals in the game and Barnsley almost grabbed a third midway through the first half.
Todd Kane inadvertently deflected Cauley Woodrow’s cross goalwards and Joe Lumley had to make a reaction save to stop the ball rolling into his own net.
Barnsley had their tails up after their second goal and were the better side for the remainder of the first period. All Rangers had to show for their efforts after falling behind was a 37th minute free-kick from Ebere Eze, which sailed over.
Woodrow curled a strike over the bar for the Tykes, in what was the first effort of the second period, on 52 minutes and moments later the Reds netted their third.
Jacob Brown saw a powerful strike well saved by Lumley but Chaplin was first to the loose ball and he fired home a first-time effort to seal his hat-trick.
That put Barnsley in a commanding position but, such was the to-and-throw nature of the match, it didn’t last long.
Manning got to the byline and stretched to drill in a low cross that Amos slammed home for his second goal of the game.
The gave Rangers some encouragement but Barnsley then won a penalty when Woodrow was fouled by Geoff Cameron inside the penalty area. Woodrow picked himself up and tucked the spot-kick away.
Bright Osayi-Samuel could and maybe should have halved the deficit on 62 minutes when he got onto the end of substitute Nahki Wells’ low cross. His strike flew over the bar.
QPR carved out a similar chance on 66 minutes. Wells’ cross this time found Eze and he was denied by a smart save from goalkeeper Sami Radlinger.
Chair was then introduced from the bench and his first involvement was to smack the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Barnsley made the result safe eight minutes from time. Alex Mowatt played a free-kick into the path of Brown and his low cross was steered home by Diaby from close range.
Chair pulled one back with the last kick of the game when he turned home Osayi-Samuel's low centre but it was too little, too late for QPR.