QPR went down 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers in a game which saw all three goals scored in the first half at Ewood Park.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, the hosts took the lead in the tenth minute courtesy of a great strike from Adam Armstrong who fired the ball in off the post from distance.
That lead only lasted 12 minutes, however, as Jordan Hugill netted his third goal in as many games after a great interchange with Ilias Chair.
But with QPR looking to grow after the goal, the hosts restored their lead from a corner, with Darragh Lenihan heading home at the far post on the half hour.
Mark Warburton made one change from the side that beat Leeds United in the last league outing, with Jordan Hugill coming in for Nahki Wells, following his recall by parent club Burnley.
It meant the R’s lined up with Liam Kelly between the posts behind a back four, from left to right, of Lee Wallace, Conor Masterson, Grant Hall and Todd Kane.
Luke Amos partnered Geoff Cameron in front of the defensive line, while Ilias Chair, Ebere Eze and Bright Osayi-Samuel lined up behind lone-striker Hugill.
Ahead of kick off, Blackburn occupied 11th spot in the Championship table with 40 points, sitting three places and two points ahead of Rangers.
Tony Mowbray’s men went into the game surely buoyed by their impressive 5-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in their last fixture. Having not lost a league game at home for four months, Rovers certainly presented stiff opposition for Warburton’s Hoops.
After a quiet opening period with no chances created by either side, the hosts burst into the lead on ten minutes with a stunning strike from the edge of the box by Adam Armstrong.
He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, advanced to the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable drive which hit the back of the net via the post.
And moments later the hosts came within inches of grabbing a second when Lewis Travis guided the ball goalwards but Hall was able to get there in the nick of time and clear the danger.
The goal, and chance, gave Blackburn a lift and Rangers had to weather the storm as Mowbray’s men searched for a second.
Osayi-Samuel went on one of his typical mazy runs in the 18th minute but saw his effort blocked from distance as the R’s looked to work themselves back into this game.
And on 22 minutes the R’s were level thanks to a lovely finish from Hugill. After winning an initial header to find Chair on the right, Hugill raced goalwards and was picked out by Hugill.
The striker’s initial touch looked to be too heavy but as Rovers stopper Christian Walton went to ground, Hugill confidently dinked the ball over him and into the back of the net for his 11th goal of the season.
Suddenly, the R’s were now playing with greater confidence and the presence of Osayi-Samuel was a constant threat for Rovers.
On 25 minutes the former Blackpool man got away down the right before flicking the ball to the overlapping Kane. The full-back stood the ball up for Amos who hit it first time from 20 yards but the Spurs loannee was unable to keep his shot down.
Despite an encouraging spell, Rangers fell behind on 30 minutes when Darragh Lenihan headed home at the far post following a corner from the right.
It was a frustrating moment, having worked so hard to get back into the game and looking to take the ascendancy in the match, the R’s again found themselves trailing.
Both sides had periods of playing good football but were guilty of falling short with the final ball, which meant there was little for either keeper to do – aside from the three goals.
Just before the break, Kane pulled the ball across the face of goal but Chair was just unable to reach it as it bobbled agonisingly across the face of the Blackburn goal.
The R’s could consider themselves unlucky to be behind at the break but after a slow start to the second half from both sides, Blackburn almost increased their lead on 52 minutes when Tosin Adarabioyo took a touch before having a go from 18 yards, and it may well have found the bottom corner had it not been for a vital hand by Kelly, who was diving at full stretch.
Osayi-Samuel headed wide on the hour from Kane’s centre as QPR grew into the second period and with 25 minutes remaining Marc Pugh came on at the expense of Amos.
Rangers began to enjoy an extended period of possession and were moving the ball around well, but they were unable to get in behind a resolute Rovers defence.
Olamide Shodipo was brought on for Chair for the final ten minutes by Warburton as Rangers switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Cameron playing as the defensive midfielder.
The hosts continued to defend well and posed a threat on the break while the R’s began to commit more bodies forward but found chances touch to come by.
Shodipo had a late header saved at the far post but the R’s were unable to find a second equaliser of the game and had to accept defeat on a frustrating night at Ewood Park.