QPR 2 - 1 LATICS
Omar Bogle scored his third goal for Wigan Athletic with a coolly taken first half penalty but Latics came away empty handed from Loftus Road as goals from Matt Smith and Conor Washington – along with a string of superb saves from Rangers keeper Alex Smithies - sealed a win for QPR.
Bogle cancelled out Smith’s early goal but, despite having opportunities to score further goals, Latics were denied by Smithies on several occasions and, after conceding on the hour mark, were not able to find a second equaliser.
Warren Joyce was forced into making one change for the game in West London as Jamie Hanson replaced the injured Shaun MacDonald to make his first start for the club. Andy Kellett returned to the bench as a result.
Latics went in level at the break but, having suffered an early blow they could actually have led at half-time.
They got off to the worst possible start as QPR broke down the left side after just four minutes, Washington found space to cross low for Smith who arrived late in the box and shot home, albeit Matt Gilks got a hand to it.
Gilks then had to tip over an effort from 20 yards from Ryan Manning after seven minutes as Latics struggled to adjust to the swirling wind and QPR’s directness.
However, Latics were back in the game with their first significant move, Max Power finding space on the right to slide in Bogle and, as he side-stepped Joel Lynch in the box, he was clearly brought down and the referee had no hesitation but to point to the spot. Bogle was forced to wait as Grant Hall received treatment but he kept his composure, taking a couple of steps only before sending Smithies the wrong way. The calmest man in the stadium.
He was at it again in the 36th minute when an opportunist strike in the box seemed to deflect off Lynch and struck Nedum Onuoha from point blank range when it looked to be heading for Smithies’ top right-hand corner.
Latics then had a superb opportunity to score again when Jake Buxton met Hanson’s corner with a powerful header from eight yards which Smithies had to palm away at full stretch, diving spectacularly to his right.
Latics had a chance to take the lead in the 50th minute with a brilliant counter-attack, started when Ryan Tunnicliffe bravely blocked a shot on the edge of his box then ran the full length of the pitch before slotting the ball to Bogle, whose rasping effort was saved at the near post by Smithies.
But QPR took the lead on the hour mark when Washington swivelled on the edge of the box and show powerfully low to Gilks’ right, the ball just nestling in at the far post.
Gabriel Obertan replaced Will Grigg in the 72nd minute as Latics continued to search for the equaliser, then Mikael Mandron made his debut for the club when he replaced Hanson with 10 minutes remaining – three strikers on the pitch as Latics searched for the equaliser but alas their efforts proved to be in vain and Loftus Road proved to be an unhappy hunting ground once more.