Washington inspires QPR to victory

QPR 2 Wigan 1

Conor Washington inspired QPR to victory at Loftus Road.

Washington set up an early opener for Matt Smith and restored Rangers’ lead with a thumping strike after Omar Bogle had equalised from the penalty spot.

Rangers made the perfect start, going ahead after just four minutes courtesy of recent signing Smith’s second goal in as many matches.

Washington cleverly nudged Jake Buxton aside to collect Alex Smithies’ long kick and laid the ball off to Smith for the striker to score from close range.

Ryan Manning then had a shot tipped over by Wigan keeper Matt Gilks and QPR appeared to be in control before a mistake by Luke Freeman on 16 minutes proved costly.

Freeman, not helped by Jake Bidwell’s positioning, misplaced an attempted pass to the left-back, enabling Max Power to find Bogle, who was brought down by Joel Lynch.

Bogle kept his composure after a delay because of an injury to R’s defender Grant Hall, sending keeper Smithies the wrong way from the spot for his third goal since his recent move to Wigan from Grimsby.

But Washington struck for Rangers just before the hour mark, firing into the bottom corner from near the edge of the penalty area after being teed up by substitute Kazenga LuaLua.

Both sides created openings with the score at 1-1.

Bogle saw a goal-bound shot blocked by Nedum Onuoha and the lively Freeman fired wide, before Bogle again got into a shooting position inside the box and was this time closed down by Manning.

And Smithies produced a superb save to push away Buxton’s header from Jamie Hanson’s right-wing corner a couple of minutes before half-time.

Smithies was called into action twice more in the early in the second half, denying Bogle and then keeping out Buxton’s far-post header, before Washington netted the winner – the striker’s fourth goal in six games.

The victory was QPR’s second in three days and pulled them further clear of the bottom three.

And Washington continues to impress under boss Ian Holloway, having netted just twice in 31 appearances under previous Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Struggling Wigan, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone and have now failed to win in 16 visits to London.

QPR: Smithies; Furlong, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Hall (LuaLua 28), Manning, Freeman; Smith (Sylla 75), Washington (Ngbakoto 68).
Subs not used: Ingram, Perch, Luongo, Mackie.