QPR 1 Blackburn 2
QPR’s diabolical FA Cup record continued as they made another immediate exit.
Jake Bidwell’s penalty – his first Rangers goal – reduced the deficit after Joel Lynch’s own goal and Liam Feeney’s simple finish.
But Rovers held on fairly comfortably to take their place in round four and inflict Rangers’ seventh defeat in their 10 matches since Ian Holloway’s return for a second spell as manager.
Incredibly, QPR have not won an FA Cup tie at the first time of asking for 20 years and have never won in the competition under Holloway.
Not since Trevor Sinclair’s famous overhead kick in a fourth-round tie against Barnsley in 1997 have they won in the FA Cup without a replay.
And they were behind at Loftus Road after only eight minutes.
Keeper Matt Ingram produced a fine save to keep out Sam Gallagher’s header from Elliott Bennett’s left-wing cross, but the ball rebounded off Lynch and into the net.
Rovers’ second goal, scored on 58 minutes, also came after the unlucky Ingram had saved from Gallagher.
The on-loan Southampton striker found himself through on goal and after Ingram dived to his right to parry Gallagher’s shot, Feeney was on hand to net his second goal of the season.
Bidwell gave his team hope three minutes later when he thumped home from the spot after Yeni Ngbakoto had been pushed over in the penalty area by Hope Akpan.
But Rangers, with the fit-again Jamie Mackie operating as a lone striker. lacked a cutting edge up front and always looked vulnerable on the break – a last-ditch challenge by Grant Hall denied Feeney late on.
Holloway’s side did make a bright start to the game and teenage attacking midfielder Ebere Eze, brought in for his senior debut, looked promising early on.
However, they fell behind and were then dealt another blow when Eze went off injured after appearing to suffer a twisted knee.
His replacement, Ngbakoto, was just unable to connect with Mackie’s deflected shot as QPR made a lively start to the second half, only for Rovers to strike on the counter-attack and double their lead.
Akpan needlessly giving away a penalty when Rovers appeared to be in complete control gifted the R’s a way back into the game.
But they they were unable to find an equaliser, with Ngbakoto heading wide from James’ Perch’s cross and substitute Jordan Cousins missing the target from 10 yards out.
QPR: Ingram, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Hall, Luongo (Cousins 82), Gladwin (Shodipo 55), Eze (Ngbakoto 17), Mackie.
Subs not used: Lumley, El Khayati, Manning, Hamalainen.