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Match Reports

Report | QPR 0-3 Luton Town

29 December 2022

Match Reports

Report | QPR 0-3 Luton Town

29 December 2022

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A Carlton Morris double and an Alfie Doughty wonder strike gave the Hatters a first win at Queens Park Rangers since 1984, and in doing so lifted them into the Championship play-off places as they signed off 2022 in style.

Town turned in a wonderful away performance to record a second successive win in front of the Sky Sports cameras, in doing so leapfrogging seventh-placed Rangers in the table, with Morris taking his tally to ten for the season with a goal in each half before Doughty smashed in his first for the club.

Manager Rob Edwards made two changes to the side that beat Norwich on Boxing Day, the first one enforced with Amari'i Bell returning from suspension to rejoin the defence, while Gabe Osho sat out the first of his two match suspension following his dismissal for two yellows against the Canaries. 

Elijah Adebayo was forced off through injury on Boxing Day and was named amongst the substitutes, with Harry Cornick joining Carlton Morris up front from the first whistle.

Monday's hero Cauley Woodrow was also on the bench, along with former QPR midfielder Luke Freeman, who scored the winning goal in the last meeting between the two teams. 

The Hatters had the first attempt on goal on six minutes, when Cornick's long throw from the right was flicked on by Potts, but home keeper Seny Dieng was equal to Morris' scissor kick volley.

It took just four more minutes for the Town top scorer to break the deadlock though, the 27-year-old finishing with perfectly measured left-foot shot through a defender's legs and into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, after Lockyer had sent Doughty racing down the right with a cultured volley from deep inside his own half.

Morris might have doubled the advantage on 15 minutes with a carbon copy chance on the other side of the box.

Lockyer again sprang the attack by carrying the ball out of defence, and when he lost it, Bell immediately regained possession and set Cornick free on the left. Cutting back inside, the former Bournemouth man picked out his strike partner with a low ball, but Dieng dived to his left to keep this right-footed effort out.

Rangers had got in down both flanks and flashed low crosses into the Town penalty area, but they had thankfully passed through unanswered, and it was Moroccan international Ilias Chair who fired their first warning shot on 20 minutes, dancing past a couple of defenders before shooting straight at Horvath with the outside of his right boot.

The hosts enjoyed a lot of possession, but other than a cross from Olamide Shodipo that Mpanzu cleared at full stretch, just over his own bar, and one from Tyler Roberts that Horvath punched clear at his near post, they rarely threatened the Hatters' goal.

When the dangerous Chair had the ball, he was so well marshalled by Bree and Doughty - who was the first player to be booked on either side for a foul on Jimmy Dunne by the touchline - that he turned towards his own goal and played the ball straight out of play.

Horvath had to be alert to tip a mis-hit cross from Kenneth Paal over the bar in injury-time, but the Town were worthy of their half-time lead.

Within 80 seconds of the restart, the advantage was doubled and again it was Morris, moving into double figures for the season. Bree arced a free-kick in from deep that Paal could only flick on into the path of the former Norwich and Barnsley striker, who volleyed home at the far post.

A scrappy few minutes followed in which Rangers tried to mount a response, a flurry of free-kicks for mistimed challenges eventually leading to Roberts glancing a header onto the top of the crossbar with 54 minutes on the clock.

Edwards introduced Woodrow in place of Cornick just before the hour, with the forward departing the action to a standing ovation from the 1,562 travelling Town fans.

Lockyer produced a perfectly timed header to deny Roberts a close range nod-in after Lyndon Dykes had headed a deep corner goalward, then Clark went into ref Gavin Ward's notepad for a foul on Rangers skipper Sam Field by the right touchline.

Potts and Mpanzu soon added to the yellow card count, then Dykes volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy with just over quarter-of-an-hour to go, as Roberts whipped a dangerous cross in from the right.

Doughty put the icing on the cake with a superb half-volley in the 82nd minute. By now playing left wing-back with Potts having gone off, the ex-Charlton and Stoke flyer won the ball and played a one-two with Morris, before letting fly with a wonderful left footed strike from 25 yards.

The win took the Hatters up to fifth, albeit possibly for only a couple of hours with the later kick-offs to come, and sets them up nicely for a New Year's Day trip to bottom club Huddersfield.

 

Goals: 

LT - Morris 10, 47, Doughty 82

Att: 16,030 (1,562 Hatters)


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