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QPR 1-0 Watford: Iroegbunam strike downs Wilder’s Hornets
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Tim Iroegbunam was QPR’s match-winner against Watford (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)
Tim Iroegbunam was QPR’s match-winner against Watford (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)

Tim Iroegbunam’s early goal ended QPR’s long wait for a win as they beat Watford 1-0 in Chris Wilder’s first match in charge of the Hornets.

Injury-hit Rangers, in their third game under Gareth Ainsworth, produced a battling performance to give their new boss his first win since taking over.

It was also their first victory in 14 matches in all competitions and only their second in 21.

The west London side, who had suffered five consecutive defeats coming into the match, have been poor at the back this season and were beaten 3-1 in both of Ainsworth’s first matches at the helm.

But they defended well after midfielder Iroegbunam’s fine 15th-minute strike – his second goal in three games – to claim the points.

Iroegbunam strode forward, rode a weak challenge from Hamza Choudhury and fired a shot beyond Watford keeper Daniel Bachmann and into the bottom corner of the net.

The teenage midfielder, on loan from Aston Villa, saw another shot deflect off team-mate Chris Martin and flash narrowly wide as Rangers continued to have the upper hand.

Injury problems have marred QPR’s season and full-backs Ethan Laird and Kenneth Paal had joined the list of sidelined players which has added to Ainsworth’s problems.

It led Ainsworth to switch to a back-three, with Aaron Drewe coming in for his home league debut on the right and fellow academy product Osman Kakay, usually a right-back, operating on the

Both players rose to the challenge and their relentlessness caused Watford problems on the flanks, not least when Kakay darted away from Ryan Porteous and fired wide.

The woeful visitors were booed off by their fans at the interval and it was certainly not the start new boss Wilder, who this week replaced the sacked Slaven Bilic, wanted.

They were better in the second half but struggled to create clear-cut chances, underlining the task facing Wilder after inheriting a team which continues to lose ground in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race.

QPR’s terrible run saw them drop from top of the table in October to 20th place, but Ainsworth has finally stopped the rot – without injured playmakers Chris Willock and Ilias Chair – and eased what were becoming serious relegation worries.

He was helped by the return of striker Lyndon Dykes, who was back in the line-up after recovering from pneumonia and worked hard up front before going off shortly before the hour mark.

Bachmann prevented a second Rangers goal by denying substitute Sinclair Armstrong late on.


ChampionshipWatfordQueens Park Rangers
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