MACAULEY Bonne netted the second late goal of his QPR career as Rangers secured a valuable 1-0 win at Derby County.
The game seemed to be heading towards a goalless draw but substitute Bonne headed home a superb Rob Dickie centre to seal victory.
There were chances at both ends of the pitch during the match, with Ilias Chair, Lyndon Dykes, Dickie and Todd Kane all having opportunities for the R’s.
But just when the honours looked set to be shared, Bonne popped up with the goods.
Mark Warburton made one change from the side that beat Cardiff 3-2 on Saturday, with Rob Dickie returning from his one-game suspension at the expense of Conor Masterson.
It meant the R’s lined up with Seny Dieng between the posts behind a back four of Niko Hamalainen, Yoann Barbet, Dickie and Todd Kane.
Skipper Geoff Cameron partnered Tom Caroll in front of the defence while Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ilias Chair and Alert Adomah operated behind lone striker Lyndon Dykes.
Rangers were visiting a Derby team that had drawn their last three but were looking for a much-needed win having only managed a solitary victory in all competitions thus far this season.
It was the visitors who had the first opportunity, with Chair forcing a corner with a blocked shot. From the resultant set piece, Osayi-Samuel found space on the edge of the area but his curled effort cleared the crossbar.
Kamil Jozwiak warmed the palms of Dieng with a low effort moments later after being released down the right by Wayne Rooney, while Martyn Waghorn had an effort rightly ruled out for offside.
In a frantic start, the action was back down the other end in the sixth minute when Adomah picked out Dykes with a great ball from the right, but the Scotland international’s downward header was well saved by David Marshall.
It was certainly an open affair and in the 22nd minute a quick ball from Kane released the dangerous Chair again but after taking a couple of touches his shot from 16 yards was blocked by Matthew Clarke and deflected over the bar.
Rooney raced clear in the 32nd minute and looked set the give the hosts the lead but he was denied by an excellent save from Dieng, with the R’s stopper diving low to his right to flick the ball wide of the post.
Both sides had their chances in the opening half but were unable to find a way through.
Following the interval, Derby started strongly and within five minutes of the restart Rooney’s half-volley from 20 yards hit the outside of Dieng’s post as the former England man looked for his second goal of the season.
On 59 minutes a freekick from Carroll on the left found its way through the packed area to Dickie but his first-time effort bounced wide of the post, much to the defender’s frustration who clearly looked disappointed that he hadn’t made more of the chance.
Warburton made a double change seconds later, with Macauley Bonne and Dom Ball replacing Dykes and Adomah.
The change saw Caroll move into a more advanced position, with Ball playing alongside Cameron in front of the back four.
A third sub took place shortly after when Osayi-Samuel hobbled off after an earlier heavy challenge on him by Nathan Byrne.
Chris Willock came on in his place.
Rangers rode a heavy period of Derby pressure to work their way back into the game, with the changes seeming to add some new energy into the side.
But on 74 minutes the R’s were grateful to Dickie for preventing a certain goal when Jozwiak found space down the right and pulled the ball across the face of goal for substitute Colin Kazim-Richards, but the QPR centreback was there to pull off an absolutely vital interception.
Willock got in on the left byline but was unable to pick out a team-mate as he fired the ball across the six-yard box but there were encouraging signs for QPR as they enjoyed some sustained periods of possession.
Kane had a great chance to get his second goal in as many games when Willock picked him out with a lovely cross-field pass but after an excellent first touch, the fullback shot wide of the near post.
Bonne had a shot blocked as QPR finished the game strongly, searching for that elusive winning goal.
And that goal arrived on 88 minutes with a superb header from Bonne, but huge credit goes to Dickie who won possession on the halfway line before striding forward and picking Bonne out with a pin-point delivery.
Just as he did on his debut at Sheffield Wednesday, the R’s striker made no mistake as he headed home.
During four minutes of injury time, QPR kept the ball brilliantly and ran the clock down to secure back to back wins.
Next up, Blackburn!