Breaking News

FRIENDLY: QPR 3, SOUTHEND UNITED 2

NIKO Kranjcar, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Reece Grego-Cox were on target as an experienced QPR XI overcame Southend United in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday.

First-half strikes from Kranjcar and Wright-Phillips twice handed Rangers the advantage, before substitute Grego-Cox provided the winning goal with his first touch off the bench.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand, Armand Traore, Jordon Mutch and Junior Hoilett were amongst eight first-teamers involved at Harlington ahead of the R’s busy Christmas schedule.

Rangers, captained by Under-21s defender Darnell Furlong, came close to an early opener when Josh Laurent teased a long-range effort just wide before Wright-Phillips flashed over from similar range.

At the other end, Southend threatened a breakthrough but striker Shaquile Coulthirst dragged wide of Brian Murphy’s right-hand post. Meanwhile, Junior Hoilett had a header kept out by Murphy’s opposite number.

The R’s found a way through on 20 minutes. Kranjcar feinted inside before guiding his shot around a clutch of bodies to nestle inside the far corner.

The lead lasted just quarter of an hour, however. Murphy failed to hold an attempt from distance, allowing John-Joe O’Toole the chance to convert the rebound from close range.

Kranjcar came close to restoring the R’s lead when his free-kick deflected just wide, but Rangers were back in front five minutes before the break – and in some style. Armand Traore’s searching cross was met in the air by Wright-Phillips, whose sublime volley soared into the roof of the net.

Wright-Phillips almost added another soon after but could only fire over after bursting into the box, while Matty Phillips saw a goal-bound shot cleared off the line moments before half-time

Rangers continued where they left off after the interval as Laurent fizzed a volley wide, but were pegged back inside seven minutes of the re-start. Coulthirst wriggled his way to the by-line before crossing for strike partner Myles Weston to slide into an empty net.

Chances were few and far between thereafter, until Grego-Cox’s arrival 13 minutes from time brought an instant reward. The youngster took one touch from Hoilett’s pinpoint through ball before sliding the ball into the opposite corner.

Grego-Cox almost created a fourth late on, teeing-up Laurent whose effort was inadvedently bloked by Hoilett on its way to goal.

QPR: Murphy, Furlong, Traore, Ferdinand, Sendles-White, Wright-Phillips, Laurent (Mitchell 80), Mutch, Hoilett, Kranjcar (Grego-Cox 77), Phillips.

Goals: Kranjcar 20, Wright-Phillips 40, Grego-Cox 77.