QPR UNDER-23S came out second best from a six-goal contest with Bristol City at Harlington on Tuesday.
Aramide Oteh’s early opener provided the perfect start for Paul Hall’s side, but two quick-fire strikes either side of the 20-minute mark turned things around.
Oteh came closest to an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but it wasn’t to be the R’s day. Two more well-taken efforts after the hour-mark sealed the visitors’ victory before Ody Alfa managed a late consolation.
Rangers began brightly – scoring with their first attack of the afternoon. Chay Tilt’s in-field pass and a deft touch from Aiden Mesias released Oteh, who coolly slotted past City’s advancing goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott.
The lead lasted until the 17th minute, when two goals in quick succession gave City the initiative.
First Rangers were penalised for a foul on striker Kel Akpobire at the expense of a penalty. Tyreeq Bakinson made no mistake from the spot, sending Marcin Brzozowski – who saved one against Nottingham Forest last week – the wrong way.
Worse soon followed as City scored a second moments later. A corner from the left was floated to Tin Plavotic 12 yards out, who thundered a first-timed volley into the top corner.
Chances were few and far between thereafter until first half stoppage time. Tilt and Mesias combined again to set up Oteh, but this time Wollacott stood firm to ensure City led at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with clear-cut opportunities at a premium.
City, though, made the most of one just after the hour-mark. A diagonal ball from the left found Kaine Lucas Sinclair inside the box, who smashed his shot past Brzozowski.
3-1 became 4-1 six minutes later – and in some style. Marcus Day jinked his way into a shooting position 20 yards out before bending the ball expertly into the opposite corner.
Rangers continued to look for a way back and managed a consolation three minutes from time. Alfa finished off a fine, solo run by rounding Wollacott and slotting into an empty net.
Niko Hamalainen and Alfa both went close in stoppage time to setting up a grandstand finish but to no avail as City held on for the win.
QPR U23: Brzozowski, Johnson, Phillips, Fox, Hamalainen, Owens, Ochieng (Eshun 64), Mesias (Cardoso 54), Tilt, Oteh, Alfa.
Subs (not used): Dickinson, Paul.
Goal: Oteh 6.
Images courtesy of Ian Randall.