A Stunning strike from Ilias Chair wrapped up an important 1-0 victory for Mark Warburton’s men over Blackburn Rovers under the lights at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
A somewhat resolute display saw Rangers growing in confidence and Chair’s 83rd minute effort was enough to clinch all three points for the Super Hoops.
Of course, the R’s headed into this one off the back of the disappointing trip to Fulham, whilst opponents Blackburn Rovers also saw this an opportunity to return to winning ways following their ultimately disappointing draw with Coventry City.
In terms of team news, R’s boss Mark Warburton made four changes from the side that suffered defeat at Craven Cottage, with Jimmy Dunne and Albert Adomah replacing Jordy De Wijs and Moses Odubajo in the Rangers backline, whilst Andre Dozzell slotted in for the suspended Stefan Johansen, with frontman Lyndon Dykes replacing frontman Charlie Austin.
This saw the Super Hoops lining up with; Seny Dieng in goal, behind a back five of Adomah, Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet, Dunne and Sam McCallum, with a midfield of Dominic Ball, Dozzell, Ilias Chair and Chris Willock, whilst Scottish striker Dykes led the line for the R’s.
In his first league start for Adomah this season, it was the 33-year-old who instantly got the R’s faithful off their feet, a somewhat fortunate through ball saw the winger bursting down the right-hand side - the cross ultimately came to nothing, but it certainly signalled a bright opening from the Super Hoops.
Willock quickly troubled the Rovers defence with a driving run eventually forcing the foul – Chair stepped up, but Thomas Kaminski in the Rovers goal calmly collected it.
Despite Rangers’ dominance of the ball, it was the visitors who created the most threatening opportunity of the opening exchanges. Daniel Butterworth’s effort eventually drifted wide, but the flowing move certainly served as a warning to the R’s backline.
By the time we had reached the 20th minute mark the game had really evened itself out, with both sides seemingly lacking that cutting edge. Chair and Willock combined well, with their move eventually coming to nothing, before Butterworth pounced on a loose ball, only for McCallum to win a well-timed sliding challenge.
Rangers’ best move of the half so far eventually fell to Barbet in the 24th minute. McCallum’s in-swinging cross from the left was looking for Dykes, but the ball eventually fell to the French centre half on the edge of the box and albeit with his weaker foot, the 28-year-olds speculative effort flew both high and wide of Rovers’ goal.
The 35th minute saw the W12 crowd bursting into life, a wonderful move saw Willock and Chair combing once again, before the Moroccan’s cross found Adomah at the far post. The former Bristol City man chipped in a delicate cross which seemingly struck the hand of Daniel Ayala, but to Adomah and the crowd’s dismay the referee, David Webb waved play on, and Rangers knew they had to start again.
On the stroke of half-time the R's frustration continued to grow, as the visitors went close through Ben Brereton Diaz, but as the whistle blew time on the three additional minutes it remained all square in west London.
Following the break, Blackburn were unlucky not to be ahead, a low cross from Tayo Edun confused Barbet and with his body in all sorts of directions, he could only watch on in agony as his sliced clearance cannoned back off the post before it was hacked away by a grateful QPR backline.
And it was the visitors who continued their strong start to the second half, Butterworth again going close, before full-back Ryan Nyambe’s cross was calmly headed into the path of R’s stopper Seny Dieng.
However, Rangers grew in confidence, initially McCallum firing wide, before Dickie with his trademark long-range effort both drifting wide, but resulting in an ignition of the home crowd.
The 59th minute saw the arrival of midfielder Luke Amos, who replaced Dozzell for only his second league appearance of the campaign, as he continues his road from recovery, following his serious knee injury.
This change instantly paid dividends with the former Tottenham midfielder injecting a vast amount of energy into the R’s, as they began to turn the screw.
Adomah quickly became Rangers’ main attacking threat, with his driving runs down the right-hand side creating numerous openings, but as we approached the 65th minute it remained all square.
More good work from the 33-year-old saw him beating his man, before firing in a dangerous looking ball, only for it to narrowly beat Chair before being hacked away.
It was surely only a matter of time before Warburton’s side found the breakthrough, an unusually quiet Dykes was next to sting the palms of Kaminski, before Chairs' set-piece somehow stayed out.
Dykes initially pulled it back for McCallum and Dunne, but the defensive duo were unable to divert the ball goal bound and somehow it remained goalless.
With 17 minutes left on the clock the arrival of forward Charlie Austin was greeted with cheers from the Rangers faithful, as the 32-year-old replaced Ball, with Warburton opting for the two strikers in Austin and Dykes.
But as we approached the 82nd minute, as the R’s pushed for what would surely be a winner this of course left gaps for Rovers to exploit at the back.
Substitute Joe Rothwell was the first to find this, as he picked the ball up on the edge of the box, before testing Senegal international Dieng.
However, in the 83rd minute a thunderbolt from Chair gave the R’s the lead.
Having picked the ball up on the edge of the box in front of three men a fine curling effort flew past the helpless Kaminski and with his fifth strike of the campaign sent W12 into a state of jubilation.
After taking the lead and with only four minutes left on the clock, Warburton made a defensive switch with Adomah receiving a standing ovation from the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium, this signalled that he was to be replaced by fellow full-back Ossie Kakay.
Rangers were looking to hold on and as four minutes additional time was signalled, that is exactly what the R’s had to do.
Blackburn slung everything forward, but as the full-time whistle blew around W12 the Super Hoops had clung on to their sixth league victory of the campaign and had put Saturday’s derby day defeat well and truly behind them.