Lions too fierce for R's youngsters
QPR Under-23s had a day to forget at Harlington as they were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Millwall on Monday afternoon.
The R’s youngsters were reduced to ten men just before the half-time break as Sandro saw a straight red card as Olamide Shodipo scored QPR’s only goal from the penalty spot.
QPR registered their first chance after just 38 seconds as Olamide Shodipo rattled the crossbar from close range. The R’s winger was picked out inside the Milllwall area by Nasser El Khayati whose right wing cross was headed against the woodwork from six-yards.
Rangers were soon on the attack once more lead by El Khayati again, as this time the Dutchman found Dan Darbyshire in the box who could only hit the side netting.
60 seconds later Paul Hall’s Under-23 team had struck the woodwork for a second occasion when Darbyshire turned provider as he cut back to former Millwall youngster Eberechi Eze on the edge of the box but the number 10’s shot from 18-yards hit the wrong side of the post.
Jack Robinson - continuing his return to full fitness following a series of set-backs after a long term knee injury - was the next R’s player to test visiting keeper Tom King after a fine passing move resulted in Robinson’s stinging drive being pushed away by the Millwall stopper.
However, despite QPR’s early dominance it was the visitors who took the lead in bizarre fashion. Noah Chesmain burst forward for the Lions before shooting from the edge of the box, his shot beat Matt Ingram in the bottom corner but the ball finished outside the goal. Initially referee Ian Fissenden awarded a goal kick but following protests from Millwall the official handed them a goal in the 18th minute after it became clear the ball had gone through a hole in the net.
The Lions doubled their advantage nine minutes later as Kris Twardek raced onto a ball over the top - holding off the attentions of Jeremy Arthur and trialist Alex Finney - to beat Matt Ingram from 12-yards.
Rangers did manage to pull a goal back in the 31st minute when Olamide Shodipo was fouled inside the Millwall penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot and Shodipo stepped up after dusting himself off to send the keeper the wrong way from 12-yards and make it 2-1.
Millwall however restored their two goal advantage seven minutes before the half-time whistle when Harry Smith was on hand to head home Greg Wylde’s left-wing cross from six-yards despite Ingram doing his best to claw away the effort.
QPR’s problems though were compounded when they were reduced to ten men just before the break as Sandro was shown a straight red card. The R’s midfielder was booked in the 41st minute following a foul on Millwall’s Harry Donovan and then three minutes later Donovan fouled Sandro leading to an altercation that saw the Brazilian handed his marching orders.
After the break Rangers fell further behind when Millwall substitute Christian Mbulu was on hand to head past Ingram from 8-yards making it 4-1 after 58 minutes before Eze struck the crossbar at the other end with a 25-yard free-kick for the hosts.
Substitute Axel Prohouly nearly reduced the R’s arrears when he raced through in the 67th minute but his side foot lob when the wrong side of the upright before Ingram prevented a fifth at nine minutes from time as he pushed away Sean Hutchinson’s header after Wylde had picked him out for Millwall from a corner.
There was still time though for a fifth goal for the visitors as Alfie Pavey turned inside the 18-yard box before lashing an unstoppable drive past the diving Ingram five minutes from time to wrap up the result.
QPR Under-23s are back in action next Monday when they travel to Charlton Athletic.
QPR: Ingram, Kakay, Arthur, Finney, Robinson (Williams 46), Paul, Sandro, El Khayati, Shodipo, Eze, Darbyshire (Prohouly 64).
Subs not used: Manning, Herdman.