Championship wrap:Austin ends QPR's winless run; Cherries held by Millwall
Jan. 12, 2021
Charlie Austin scored on his second debut for QPR as they ended their 10-game winless run in commanding fashion with a 2-0 victory at Luton .
Bright Osayi-Samuel set off on a powerful early run to unleash a cross-shot that forced keeper Simon Sluga to parry.
Visiting stopper Seny Dieng then needed to be alert to prevent an own goal after Harry Cornick's cross cannoned goalwards via defender Geoff Cameron’s outstretched foot.
James Collins lashed over after James Bree headed a cross into his path, while Austin drove a low shot at Sluga from 20 yards out in his first sighter since returning on loan from West Brom.
Austin had another attempt moments later, his glancing header collected by Sluga at his near post after an inviting ball in from Todd Kane.
It could have been 1-0 on the half hour as Lyndon Dykes was sent through on goal but, with his touch taking him away from the target, a low attempt was deflected by the legs of Sluga.
The Hatters finally registered an effort on target when Dan Potts’ right-footed attempt was easy for Dieng, Kane then dragging a volley across goal for the away side.
Rangers took the lead they deserved in the 38th minute though, as Austin got the goal he had been threatening. A left-wing corner was flicked on by Cameron and the striker nodded home from a few yards out.
Luton improved in the second period, but crucially wasted their best opportunity just moments after the whistle.
A fortunate rebound saw top scorer Collins go clean through on goal, only to slice horribly wide on his left foot.
Potts fired ambitiously over the top from distance, before Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall shanked woefully into the stands from 20 yards out as Town’s shooting boots deserted them.
Kane’s blast was off target for Rangers, who might have had a second if Ilias Chair had mustered the power to beat Sluga.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was inches away from an equaliser when his curler from the edge of the box hit the frame of the goal on its way behind.
QPR defender Rob Dickie could have made the game safe, thumping his header over from another penetrating corner.
Dewsbury-Hall’s low curler was well stopped by Dieng, before Rangers made the points safe with a minute to go.
Mark Warburton’s side fashioned a two-on-one break, with Albert Adomah picking out fellow substitute Macauley Bonne to comfortably side-foot into the bottom corner.
In the night's other game, Matt Smith climbed off the bench to earn Millwall a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth and deny the Cherries the chance to go second in the Championship table.
Smith hooked the ball home 11 minutes from time after latching on to Jake Cooper’s nod-down seconds after coming off the bench.
That strike cancelled out Dominic Solanke’s 10th goal of the season in first-half stoppage time.
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