R's go top after Sky Blues win
QPR's Under-23 side went to the top of the Professional Development League Two with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Coventry City at Loftus Road on Monday afternoon.
Olamide Shodipo’s first half strike was the difference between the two teams as the R’s fine form continued with a win that saw them leapfrog Coventry into first place.
There was more good news for Rangers, as Grant Hall made a return from injury to play 45 minutes whilst Olamide Shodipo also completed 65 minutes on his return. There was further game time for Steven Caulker, Sean Goss and Ariel Borysiuk.
In what was a cagey opening 15 minutes, the first chance of the match went to Rangers after Coventry midfielder Ben Stevenson was caught dwelling on the ball and Daniel Rowe robbed him of possession. He found skipper Aramide Oteh but he couldn’t quite get enough curl on his shot and it went just wide of the far post.
Moments later Seny Dieng was forced into a low save for the R’s after a good run from Sky Blues full-back Chris Camwell.
Heading towards the half an hour mark Rangers were beginning to enjoy more of the ball. Sean Goss went close after a mazy run and Olamide Shodipo, who was making his first appearance of the season, also forced Corey Addai into a decent save.
On the 36th minute Rangers deservedly took the lead. A driving run inside the box from Oteh opened up some space for Osman Kakay to hit a looping cross which Addai fumbled into the path of Shodipo who coolly finished into the bottom corner.
QPR almost doubled their lead on the 55th minute. A mouth-watering cross from goalscorer Shodipo found the impressive Osman Kakay in the box. He composed himself and his left-footed effort looked to be finding the net only for Coventry defender Tom Davies to clear off the line.
Coventry unlocked the Rangers defence for the first time in the 60th minute when a cross from the left hand side almost saw Steven Caulker divert into his own net but the post came to the rescue.
From the resulting corner Davies should of equalised when he was left unmarked but he volleyed wide from five yards.
Polish midfielder Ariel Borysiuk then unleashed a fizzing effort from 30 yards that almost fooled the keeper but went into the side netting.
During the final 20 minutes Coventry saw more of the ball as Rangers were forced to play with ten men following an injury to Dan Rowe and no remaining substitutes.
Despite the opposition getting into some good positions, the Rangers defence held out well with Caulker making a couple of vital blocks.
Coventry almost equalised in the final minute of the game but this time substitute Giles Phillips blocked a shot from Tom Bayliss.
After six minutes of injury time the ref finally blew up to give a spirited Rangers side a vital three points.
QPR U23s: Dieng, Kakay, Hall (Phillips 46), Caulker, Fox (Stylianides 46), Tilt, Borysiuk, Goss, Rowe, Shodipo (Darbyshire 65), Oteh.
Subs not used: Herdman.
Goals: Shodipo 36
Bookings: Oteh (foul), Tilt (dissent)