Match Report: QPR 2-1 Wigan Athletic
- Wigan again worryingly close to another relegation to League One, going down 2-1 to QPR in a miserable game on Tuesday night.
Matt Smith and Conor Washington caused the damage to Warren Joyce’s side as they scored either side of an Omar Bogle penalty to leave Joyce’s side remaining in the bottom three.
Washington assisted Smith with a cross as early as the fourth minute leaving Joyce’s side facing an uphill battle.
Omar Bogle, then won a penalty after being brought down by Joel Lynch and converted the subsequent spot kick himself with aplomb. Washington then added to his earlier assist with a fine finish from the edge of the box to see Ian Holloway’s men move further clear of the relegation zone.
Wigan had the chance to move out of the relegation zone themselves with a win but Alex Smithies was in fine form keeping out several Wigan attempts. Bogle troubled him again and Jake Buxton also saw a couple of attempts thwarted by the English custodian.
Wigan appeared to visibly struggle with the direct football Ian Holloway’s team have implemented as they troubled Matt Gilks again not long after Smith’s opener, Ryan Manning forcing a good save.
Wigan got a foothold back in the game not long after Max Power played in Bogle, who was clearly brought down by Joel Lynch to give the referee no choice but to point to the spot. The penalty was calmly converted by Bogle.
Bogle wasted another decent chance before Smithies spectacularly denied Wigan the lead with an acrobatic save from Jake Buxton’s thunderous header.
Early in the second half saw Smithies again deny Wigan the lead, Ryan Tunnicliffe single-handedly stopping a QPR attack and starting one himself by running near enough the full length of the pitch to play in Bogle, whose effort was saved by the excellent Smithies.
The last moment of any real note was QPR’s winner as Washington showed fleet of foot and excellent finishing to score from the edge of the box to the delight of Loftus Road.
Wigan struggled to cope with QPR’s directness as they showed the steel to dig in for the win sending them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
Ian Holloway gave his thoughts after the match: “"We got an ugly win but the character has come and you can see that the lads are growing.
"The work-rate is there. They're all wearing the shirt with so much pride. Even if we had drawn that game I still would have been happy with their effort. I can't ask for any more from any one of them.
"We're getting that feeling that we can win games, and that's absolutely vital. We need a feeling that we can be good at this level and are moving forward."
Joyce also gave his thoughts: "We were certainly under plenty of pressure from how direct they were. We know the lad (Matt Smith) wins a lot of balls in the air and that we had to get to the second ball.
"For the second goal we don't pick the second ball up – it's straight through on the back four.
"They were poor goals, not goals where you're carved open. The fitness and desire were there and we could have got an equaliser near the end."