A FIRST-half strike from Ilias Chair was enough for the R’s, as Mark Warburton’s side secured a slim 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
The Moroccan’s seventh strike of the season sealed Rangers’ twelfth success of the campaign, despite a nervy final few moment’s in W12.
Following on from Saturday’s victory at Bristol City, Mark Warburton named the same starting XI which clinched the 2-0 win at Ashton Gate.
This meant Seny Dieng resumed in goal, behind a backline which included: Todd Kane, Rob Dickie, Jordy de Wijs, Yoann Barbet and Lee Wallace.
Loanee’s Stefan Johansen and Sam Field continue to occupy the defensive midfield roles, with Ilias Chair taking up the No.10 role, behind Chris Willock and frontman Charlie Austin.
In what was the first league meeting between the two sides in W12 since 2003 and Gareth Ainsworth’s first visit back to the place that enjoyed seven years at. It was an energetic start from both, with Rangers looking to get their foot on the ball.
With ten minutes on the clock, it was the R’s who went closet’s to breaking the deadlock.
A stumble from Josh Knight allowed Wallace to break down the left – for his wicked cross to beat Johansen and sail safely out of play.
In the 17th minute the visitors had their first effort of the game. Anis Mehmeti who struck in the 1-1 draw at Adams Park back in December hit one from the edge of the box, only for his shot to be blocked by a strong de Wijs.
Only a matter of seconds later Norway international Johansen stung the palms of Chairboys stopper David Stockdale. A fine strike from the edge of the box forced the former Birmingham City man into a smart save – ensuring it remained goalless.
As we reached the 23rd minute Rangers were ahead!
Some wonderful work by Willock down the right, saw him beat two men, before his effort ricocheted off the woodwork and fell nicely to Chair on the line. Who couldn’t miss for his seventh goal of the season and his second in two consecutive games.
After going behind, Ainsworth’s side grew in confidence and the troublesome Mehmeti was unlucky once again.
His edge of the box effort was well saved by an increasingly busy Dieng, before Field’s scuffed clearance dangerously floated past the R’s goal and out for a corner kick.
Thankfully the spell of Wycombe pressure came to nothing and with the half time whistle starting to loom, Rangers had ensured that they were back on top.
Willock went close, but the 23-year-old wasn’t able to trouble Stockdale from distance and at the break the R’s maintained their slim lead.
As the second half kicked off, we seemingly picked up off from where we left off.
In an opener affair, Wycombe looked to attack through Alex Samuel but de Wijs was on hand to snuff out the danger.
Rangers quickly had a chance to double their lead – through Austin. However, the Rangers frontman could only fire over.
With 53 minutes on the clock, a direct run from Dickie, eventually found Chair who had the perfect opportunity to double the host’s lead.
However, from a tight angle the Moroccan hammered the ball against the post, and it bounced comfortably out of play.
In the 63rd minute, home debutant de Wijs would’ve had his heart in his mouth, when Wycombe attacker Admiral Muskwe went down from a tackle from the Dutchmen in the box- but the referee Simon Hooper waved play on.
With 25 minutes left, Warburton rang the changes for the R’s, with Lyndon Dykes and Geoff Cameron entering the field.
The influential Willock could’ve sealed the victory moments later. Some good work by Wallace eventually found the former Arsenal youngster, but once again QPR were to be denied by woodwork and it remained 1-0 in west London.
Ainsworth also was quick to make a change, with the introduction of Adebayo Akinfenwa certain to ask the hosts backline a question or two and he quickly made an impact.
However, Rangers continued to turn the screw and substitute Dykes was next to go close for Rangers.
A somewhat tame effort from Willock eventually fell to the Scottish international, who under pressure could only fire wide.
With ten minutes left on the clock, a lengthy pause in play due to an injury to the visiting Dominic Gape allowed QPR to re-group and this could’ve instantly paid dividends.
A fine move started by Dykes, finally saw Kane picking out the Scot, only for the ball to escape him at the pivotal moment.
As we crept into the first of the six additional minutes, substitute Albert Adomah clashed with Uche Ikpeazu – with the referee once again waving play on – despite the calls from the former Watford man.
In the dying stages the visitors threw everything forward and a late free-kick from Joe Jacobson worried the R’s defence, but a calm Dieng was on hand to collect the ball and with that secured all three points and moved Rangers up to 12th in the league table.