QPR FC Women ended 2021 with a 3-1 National League defeat to table-toppers Hashtag United at the Powerday Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Melanie Hall slotted home late in the second half for the R’s, but a hat-trick from Amy Leigh Abrehart had done the damage and sealed all three points for the Essex side.
The R’s came into this one full of confidence off the back of their inspiring away victory over Norwich City last weekend. However, with only four minutes on the clock hopes for an upset were delt a blow as Abrehart grabbed her first of the afternoon.
A defensive mix-up inside the area allowed the forward to guide the ball home into an empty net.
However, Rangers grew and an even 15 minutes was to follow - but the visitors would ultimately double their lead, this time from the penalty spot.
An adjudged handball from Vicky Grieve inside the box saw the referee pointing to the spot, giving Abrehart the chance to achieve her brace - something which she coolly took.
Although the away side were seemingly in control of the first-half proceedings, right before the break the R’s had a chance to pull a goal back and get them right back into the fixture.
The in-form Hall capitalised on a dangerous ball over the top, beating her marker, before seeing her effort from outside the area hitting the right-hand post and going agonisingly wide.
A big second half was needed from Steve Quashie’s side, and despite trailing by two goals, Rangers came out with fighting spirit.
After putting Hashtag on the back foot for much of the half, Hall finally made the breakthrough for the Super Hoops when she slotted home in the 77th minute.
A great pass from Demi Edwards found the feet of the forward who skilfully spun away from her marker, allowing her to bury her strike into the bottom right corner.
With the R’s back in the game, the pressure was on the visitors.
However, with time running out and Rangers pushing for an equaliser, the league leaders exploited the gaps which started to appear in the QPR backline - and when Abrehart slid home her third of the afternoon, this sealed all three points for United.
The R’s are scheduled to be back in action on January 9th 2022 when they face Kent Football United at the Powerday Stadium in the FA Women’s National League (2pm KO).
QPR: White, Petit, Searle, Jordinson, Grieve, Lewin (63’ Maloney), Pope (58’ Hennessey), Blodgett (73’ Akerman), Wardlaw (73’ Edwards), Moore, Hall.
Report written by Jack Fealy