A QPR XI which included many familiar faces, including Armadie Oteh, Joe Gubbins and Deshane Dalling, saw of a stubborn Hemel Hempstead side at Vauxhall Road on Tuesday evening.
Strikes from Amrit Bansal-McNulty, Dillon De Silva and Oteh was enough to seal a 3-2 victory for Paul Hall’s young side.
In a game which started very scrappy, both sides looked to get a foot on the ball and the midfield presence of Bansal-McNulty and Duncan ensured the R’s were the ones who came out on top.
However, the visitors went closest to taking the lead, but a combination of defender Franklin Domi and goalkeeper Murphy Mahoney were able to keep out the hosts.
And with 18 minutes on the clock Bansal-McNulty was able to give Hall’s side the lead. The midfielder was able to dribble into the box from a short corner and slot home, putting the R’s ahead.
This early goal only encouraged the visitors, with Ody Alfa troubling the Hemel defence and nine minutes later Alfa’s continued hard work finally paid off.
The winger was able to drive at the home sides defence and pick out De Silva who hammered the ball home to double Rangers’ tally for the evening.
Oteh almost sealed the game moments later, when his audacious effort caught the home sides defence out, but the hosts’ keeper was on hand to tip the ball away.
With the half-time whistle looming, Dalling forced Hemel’s number 1 into a fine save and with that initiated a fine counter attacking move for the hosts, which eventually saw the ball curl past Mahoney and into the R’s net, halving the deficit at the break.
Following the break, the R’s started slowly and the hosts were able to take advantage, eventually smashing the ball home to draw themselves level.
This ensured it was all to play for in the second half, as both sides began to push for the winner.
Alfa and Dalling both went close for Hall’s side and with 20 minutes remaining Oteh was the man to seal the victory for the visitors.
After some pressure from Dalling, the winger was able to tee up Oteh, who hammered the ball through a crowd of defenders and into the back of the net – restoring Rangers’ lead.
Hemel Hempstead pushed for an equaliser, but the young R’s had done enough to seal the victory.
Starting XI: Mahoney, Williams-Lowe, Domi, Duncan, Carlyle, Gubbins, De Silva, Bansal-McNulty (76’ Remy), Dalling, Oteh, Alfa.