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Match Reports

Report: QPR 1 Rovers 2

Rovers safely through to round four of the FA Cup

7 January 2017

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Rovers booked their place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup with a comfortable 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.

A Joel Lynch own goal after eight minutes set the tone as Rovers controlled play for long periods and they deservedly added a second just before the hour mark through Liam Feeney.
Rangers pulled a goal back when Jake Bidwell converted a generous penalty decision, but Rovers were rarely troubled in the closing stages as they ensured their name would be in the hat for Monday night's draw.
Rovers made four changes for the third round of the FA Cup as Ben Marshall, Sam Gallagher, David Raya and Elliott Bennett were all recalled to the starting line-up as the manager opted for a strong line-up against their fellow Championship opponents.
Raya was quickly called into the action to easily hold an early free-kick from Ben Gladwin. But the young Spaniard was rarely involved in a first half that the visitors controlled once they got their noses in front.
They had threatened on five minutes when a Bennett free-kick was headed just wide by Danny Graham. And the winger would play a key role in Rovers grabbing the opening goal after just eight minutes.
Taking full advantage of the space in front of him, Bennett raced down the left flank before sending a ball to the back post to where Gallagher stooped to head goalwards. Matt Ingram in the Hoops goal saved the initial shot but the ball rebounded off the back of defender Lynch and rolled into the net.
Marshall then let fly from distance, but his 25-yard shot flashed just wide. Whilst at the other end a speculative effort from Gladwin was never troubling the Rovers goal.
Instead it was Rovers who continued to carry the greater threat without creating any gilt-edge opportunities. Nothing was given when Gallagher was the recipient of a high boot from Nedum Onuoha in the area, before the forward was flagged offside after Charlie Mulgrew's strike deflected into his path.
Lynch tried to atone for his earlier error with a shot from 35-yards, but whilst his thunderbolt saw Raya scrambling to his left, the ball went just past the upright.
No doubt with their manager's half-time talk still ringing in their ears, the hosts came out at the start of the second half with more attacking intent.
A jinking run from Jamie Mackie saw the Hoops threaten, but as the Scot fired goalwards, Bennett was back to make an important clearance.
James Perch fired over after cutting in from the right, before Mulgrew needed to make a key tackle as Mackie looked for another sight of goal. The resulting corner came out to Lynch, but on the stretch Raya was able to leap high to claim the shot with ease.
But despite that early pressure, Rovers were able to double their advantage with a quick-fire counter-attack.
Marshall played a ball down the channel for Gallagher to chase and whilst the striker's curling shot was kept out by Ingram, Feeney was on hand to tap home his first senior goal for Rovers to add to the one he scored in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this season.
But within two minutes Rovers' advantage was halved thanks to a very generous penalty decision in favour of the home side.
Substitute Yeni Ngbakoto threw himself to the ground under the twin challenge of Akpan and Greer. Referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and Bidwell made no mistake from 12-yards as he blasted high into the net.
That could have prompted a spell of pressure from the home side, but aside from half chances for substitutes Olamide Shodipo and Ngbakoto, the threat never materialised. 
Instead it was Rovers who could have added further as Gallagher, Graham and Marshall all went close.
Two minutes from time a cross from the right fell into the path of Rangers' midfielder Jordan Cousins but he fired well wide and with it any chance of them grabbing an unlikely leveller as Rovers booked their place in the fourth round of the competition.
QPR: Ingram, Bidwell, Hall, Onuoha (c), Lynch, Gladwin (sub Shodipo 56 mins), Mackie, Wszolek, Luongo (sub Cousins 82 mins), Perch, Eze (sub Ngbakoto 18 mins).
Subs not used: Lumley (GK), El Khayati, Hamalainen, Manning.
Goals: Bidwell (pen) 61 mins
Booked: None.
ROVERS: Raya, Marshall, Greer, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney, Akpan (sub Nyambe 74 mins), Lowe (c), Bennett, Gallagher (sub Brown 90+3 mins), Graham (sub Stokes 88 mins).
Subs not used: Steele (GK), Tomlinson, Mahoney, Travis.
Goals: Lynch (OG) 8 mins, Feeney 58 mins
Booked: Marshall 90 mins.
Attendance: 7,482 (including 917 Rovers fans)

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