QPR'S UNDER-18S bowed out of this year’s FA Youth Cup at the hands of West Bromwich Albion following a disappointing evening at The Hawthorns.
Doubles from Jamie Soules and Rayhaan Tulloch and late finish from Morgan Rogers for the Baggies sealed the win for the West Midlanders.
Despite a late push from Rangers, substitute Oluwabunmi Babajide's 73rd-minute goal proved to be a consolation for the young R’s.
The game started evenly with both sides trying to grow into the game.
It was the visitors who carved out the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute when winger Dejarhn Grant saw his effort blocked by Pable Martinez.
Rangers continued to control the early exchanges with a succession of corners, however coming to nothing.
In the 18th minute West Brom’s Soule had the home side's first shot of game, which broke the deadlock. His curling effort from inside the box flashed past Harvey White in the R’s goal to give the hosts the lead.
After taking the lead West Brom grew in confidence and two minutes later Rogers almost doubled their advantage as his shot from 18 yards left White flat footed but to the keepers' relief it clipped the crossbar.
The young R’s tried to get a quick response to going behind and came close when captain Joseph Gubbins saw his header go inches over the bar from Shiloh Remy’s right-sided corner.
But moments later Soule almost produced a carbon copy of his goal, as he cut in on his right foot from the left-hand side, unleashing another curling effort but this time White denied him at his near post, pushing the ball away for a corner.
But in the 33rd minute West Brom had the perfect opportunity to double their advantage after Trent Mahorn tripped the troublesome Tulloch and referee Robert Massey-Ellis pointed to the penalty spot. Tulloch dusted himself of and stepped up to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later it was three for the hosts. Full-back Taylor Gardner-Hickman picked out Soule with a low cross which he calmly tapped home.
Going into the half-time break the R’s pushed for a route back into the game and winger Grant forced Baggies keeper Josh Griffiths into a fine save with the rebound eventually falling to Marcus Brooks at the far post, but his volleyed effort canoned off the outside of the woodwork.
QPR needed a positive start to the second half if they were going to claw anything back in this game but in the 47th minute Tulloch scored his second of the evening and West Brom’s fourth. After weaving his way through the R’s defence, he smashed his shot past White and all but killed off any hope of a Rangers comeback in the process.
The young R’s continued to battle on with Jake Frailing seeing his speculative effort fly wide of Griffiths goal. Despite the scoreline Rangers started to control possession once more but lacked that all-important cutting edge.
Brooks saw an opportunity from the edge of the box comfortably saved by Griffiths., while substitute Dillon De Silva produced a surging run but his eventual effort was weak and easily collected by the 'keeper.
In the 73rd minute the R’s hard work and determination finally prevailed. De Silva cut the ball back to Babajide who tapped the ball past the helpless Griffiths from close-range for a consolation.
Minutes later Rangers continued to press with Brooks seeing his looping volley go over the bar. With the game seemingly dying out the fresh legs of De Silva continued to threaten the Baggies defence but to no avail.
In the dying moments of the game Rogers sealed the victory for the Baggies as his curling effort from the edge of the box flew into the bottom right corner, sealing West Brom's passage into the fifth round and knocking the R’s out.
QPR U18: White, Mahorn (Jude-Boyd 69), Woollard-Innocent, Drewe, Carlyle, Gubbins, Grant (De Silva 57), Remy, Mema, Frailing (Babajide 69), Brooks.
Subs (not used): Dickenson, Conte.
Goal: Babajide 73.
Report by Simon Cheshire.
Images courtesy of Ian Randall.
Highlights: WBA U18s 5, QPR U18s 1
WATCH highlights from QPR Under-18s 5-1 defeat against West Bromwich Albion in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.