Scowen’s superb strike gives QPR victory over Barnsley

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QPR 1 Barnsley 0

Josh Scowen’s superb strike against his former club gave QPR a much-needed victory.

Scowen netted a couple of minutes into the second half at Loftus Road, where Rangers played the final 19 minutes with 10 men after Ryan Manning was sent off for a challenge on Matt Mills shortly after coming on as a substitute.

​Scowen’s goal was his first since joining Rangers from Barnsley last summer.

The midfielder collected the ball 25 yards out and bent a glorious shot beyond keeper Nick Townsend and into the far corner of the net.

Relegation-threatened Barnsley, whose head coach Paul Heckingbottom signed a new contract this week, have won just one of their last 15 league games.

And they have now lost on 11 consecutive visits to QPR, where the Tykes have not won since 1950.

But they were the better side for much of the first half and would have gone ahead just before the interval had keeper Alex Smithies not produced a superb save to claw away Adam Hammill’s right-footed ​effort​.

Earlier, Smithies gathered a low shot from George Moncur before Mills, on his Barnsley debut, hooked the ball over from close range after the home side struggled to deal with Hammill’s free-kick.

Smithies was called into again when Kieffer Moore sent a weak shot straight at him after being set up by Moncur.

Rangers’ best moments of the first half came when Joel Lynch’s left-wing cross just evaded Pawel Wszolek at the far post and when Luke Freeman’s corner was headed over by James Perch, who played for the first time since suffering a broken kneecap in August.

Having looked lively before going behind, Barnsley ​ran out of ideas and ​struggled to create chances even after Manning’s red card.

Tom Bradshaw had a decent opportunity but fired straight at Smithies and Lynch prevented a late equaliser by blocking Moncur’s goal-bound shot.

At the other end, Conor Washington twice failed to find a way past Townsend, first after Perch had headed down Freeman’s free-kick and then ​when​ the striker was through on goal following Jack Robinson’s throw-in.

Townsend produced a similar ​stop​ in injury time when he saved at the feet of QPR substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel​.​

QPR: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Wszolek, Scowen, Cousins (Manning 67), Freeman, Robinson, Smith (Osayi-Samuel 78), Washington (Bidwell 90).
Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Eze, Oteh.