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U21S: QPR 2, Watford 1

JACK Robinson completed 65 minutes of action for the Under-21s on Friday afternoon, as QPR came from behind to beat Watford 2-1. 

The defender has been out for almost 12 months with a knee injury and was close to making his first-team debut for the R’s in February before a calf problem halted his progress.

Having come through this afternoon’s fixture unscathed, the former Liverpool man will surely be targeting his first-team bow in the coming weeks.

Eusebio Bancessi came off the bench to score both goals for Paul Hall’s side in an entertaining fixture at Harlington.

The Hornets took the lead in the 34th minute through Sean Murray before Bancessi’s introduction turned the game on its head after the break.

The 20 year-old came off the bench in the 72nd minute, and scored in the 77th and 78th minutes to win the game for Rangers, his goals coming after a period of sustained pressure from the R’s.

Rangers made a strong start to the game and almost took the lead as early as the fifth minute. Reece Grego-Cox smashed a half-volley goalwards, but his effort was tipped around the post by Watford keeper Luke Simpson.

Eight minutes later, the young R’s again went close, and again it was livewire Grego-Cox causing problems for the Hornets defence. His clever run was brilliantly picked out by Ryan Manning, the Irishman lofting the ball into his path, but Grego-Cox’s attempted lob went just wide of the far post.

But Paul Hall’s side didn’t have it all their own way in the opening exchanges. The visitors almost took the lead through Dennon Lewis on 22 minutes. The Watford winger found space in the six-yard box, but his shot was blocked by Robinson, while seven minutes later QPR keeper Conor Hudnott had to be alert to push Bernard Mensah’s 20-yard shot to safety.

The R’s stopper could no nothing to prevent Watford taking the lead on 34 minutes, however. After a goalmouth scramble, Sean Murray headed the Hornets into the lead after his initial effort had come back off the crossbar.

QPR nearly got themselves back on level terms within three minutes, but Axel Prohouly’s volley from Armand Traore’s centre was well saved by Simpson.

After the break, it was Watford who started the better and Murray almost doubled his goal tally for the afternoon in the 47th minute, but his ferocious drive crashed off the crossbar.

Moments later, Hudnott tipped Murray’s free-kick wide while, just before the hour-mark, Manning went close to levelling with a set-piece of his own, his 30-yard effort coming back off the post.

R’s substitute Olamide Shodipo was next to go close for the hosts, firing over from 12 yards in the 64th minute, while Joseph N’Guessan missed the target from six yards just moments later.

QPR’s youngsters continued to press for an equaliser and their perseverance paid off in the 78th minute through substitute Eusebio Bancessi, who netted just six minutes after coming onto the pitch.

Fellow-sub Niko Hamalainen found him in space, and the winger slotted home a deserved leveller for Hall’s men.

But Bancessi was far from finished, and just a minute later he scored his second of the game, this time tucking N’Guessan’s cross into the corner of the net to seal the victory.

QPR: Hudnott, Butler, Robinson (Hamalainen, 65), Diakite, Wise, Kpekawa, Prohouly (Bancessi, 72), Manning, N’Guessan, Grego-Cox (Shodipo, 46), Traore.

Subs (not used): Brzozowski