QPR suffered a frustrating defeat at Fulham on a night that started so well at Craven Cottage.
The visitors made a stunning start with Jordan Hugill opening the scoring on three minutes but despite creating numerous chances to extend that lead – notably through both Nahki Wells and Hugill who were causing so many problems for the home defence – it was the hosts who scored next, with Aboubakar Kamara heading beyond Joe Lumley.
After the break, Fulham sealed all three points when Kamara bagged his second of the night.
Mark Warburton made two changes from the side that drew with Middlesbrough almost a fortnight ago.
Toni Leistner and Jordan Hugill came in for the suspended Geoff Cameron while Ilias Chair was on the bench.
It meant the R’s lined up with Joe Lumley between the sticks behind a back three of Lee Wallace, Leistner and Grant Hall.
Ryan Manning and Todd Kane took up their usual wing-back positions while Luke Amos and Dominic Ball sat in defensive-midfield roles behind a more advanced Ebere Eze.
Nahki Wells played in attack alongside Hugill.
The R’s were looking to end a run of four games without victory against a Fulham side hoping to continue a recent spell of form which has seen them pick up 14 points from their last eight fixtures.
Rangers flew out of the blocks and following an early corner which was cleared, Warburton’s men recycled the ball and released Kane down the right who pulled the ball back for Hugill who tapped home from close range. Denis Odoi tried a last-ditch clearance but the ball had clearly crossed the line for the opener.
The travelling QPR fans were in full voice as they watched their team’s high press cause the hosts plenty of early problems.
On seven minutes, Rangers were in again when Wells’ low drive was parried by Fulham keeper Marek Rodak into the path of Kane, but the full-back was unable to keep the awkward rebound on target.
Wells and Hugill had further efforts from distance as the R’s pinned Fulham back in the opening ten minutes.
And on 15 minutes Kane was causing more problems down the right and his low centre was deflected onto his own post by Fulham’s Tim Ream before being hacked away with Hugill lurking.
Less than 60 seconds later it was Hugill’s turn to go close, this time stinging the palms of Rodak with a fierce volley. It was a stunning start from the visitors.
The hosts had their first chance of note in the 20th minute but Aboubakar Kamara’s effort from distance drifted harmlessly wide of Lumley’s far post.
But the visitors drew level on 27 minutes with their first effort on goal, as Odoi’s cross from the right was met by the head of Kamara who powered past Lumley from eight yards.
Just two minutes later Wells was given a great chance to restore QPR’s lead when Hugill slid him in, but his low drive was well saved by Rodak.
The game was becoming more open and on 33 minutes it was Fulham’s turn to hit the woodwork, this time Ivan Cavaleiro striking the post after good work from Tom Cairney.
Hugill then saw a goalbound effort deflected wide as the pace to this game showed no sign of slowing.
Two minutes before half-time, the hosts were again thankful to their keeper for a fine stop, this time Rodak denying Hugill’s close range effort after a great cross from Manning.
It was a thoroughly-entertaining opening 45 minutes, and Rangers would certainly have headed into the interval frustrated they weren’t in front based on the number of chances created.
In the opening minute after the break, Rangers continued with their high-intensity play and Eze forced Rodak into another save from distance after good work by Ball and Amos in the lead up to the shot.
Lumley produced an excellent save on 55 minutes to deny Anthony Knockaert as the hosts enjoyed their first spell of sustained pressure in the game. The former Bright man jinked into the box but saw his effort from 12 yards brilliantly stopped by the Rangers keeper.
The R’s then found themselves trailing on 64 minutes when Stefan Johansen fed Kamara down the left and the Fulham forward slotted the ball beyond Lumley.
It was a bitter pill to swallow after so many good chances had been created by Warburton’s side, and the QPR boss immediately made a double substitution, bringing on Ilias Chair and Josh Scowen for Wells and Amos.
Fulham were in the ascendancy at this point, and Knockaert raced through and hit the upright as the hosts looked to run away with the game.
With ten minutes remaining, Ball was replaced by Jan Mlakar as Warburton looked to add another striking option in the closing stages.
But Scott Parker's side kept the ball well and made it difficult for Rangers to create any real chances of note.