QPR safe after beating Forest

QPR 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Goals from Conor Washington and Joel Lynch gave QPR the win they needed to guarantee their Championship survival.

Wins for Blackburn and Birmingham mean Rangers would have gone into the final match of the season in serious danger of relegation had they not ended their six-match losing run – a result which left fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest above the drop zone only on goal difference.

Rangers opened the scoring four minutes into the second half courtesy of Washington’s first goal in 11 appearances.

Massimo Luongo played the ball forward and Washington wriggled away from Joe Worrall before firing beyond Jordon Smith.

And Lynch scored against his former club to double Rangers’ lead on the hour mark.

When Luke Freeman’s right-wing corner was cleared as far as Ryan Manning, the Irish youngster sent the ball back into the penalty area and Lynch headed home from close range.

Forest keeper Smith had produced a fantastic double save to deny Rangers early on.

Smith dived low to his left to stop Pawel Wszolek’s shot, and when Washington directed the loose ball towards Matt Smith, the Rangers striker saw his header clawed away.

Alex Smithies also produced a fine save, tipping over an effort from the dangerous Mustapha Carayol, but Smith was the busier keeper during a tense first half, gathering shots from Luongo and Manning.

However, Smith was unable to rescue Forest after Worrall’s indecisive challenge let in Washington, who finished coolly, and Lynch’s third goal of the season then gave QPR some breathing space.

Forest responded with a spell of sustained pressure in which they very nearly pulled a goal back.

After Worrall’s header from Ben Osborn’s corner was cleared off the line by Manning, the ball eventually broke to Jamie Ward, whose shot was fumbled by Smithies before the R’s keeper managed to complete the save.

Matty Cash then missed a great chance for the visitors, shooting wastefully wide of the near post after being set up by Ward’s clever pass.

Smithies, Rangers’ player of the season, atoned for some uncharacteristically uncertain moments with a stunning late save to deny Cash.

Again Ward was the provider, pulling the ball back for Cash whose first-time strike was pushed away at point-blank range.

QPR: Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Luongo, Manning, Freeman (Doughty 83); Washington (Mackie 65), Smith (Ngbakoto 83).
Subs not used: Ingram, Sylla, Furlong, LuaLua, Furlong.