QPR 2-0 Luton: Charlie Austin on target as Rangers maintain Championship play-off spot

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 (PA)
(PA)

Chris Willock and Charlie Austin got the goals as QPR beat Luton 2-0 to move up to fifth in the Championship.

Willock scored inside 10 minutes as QPR made the perfect start, and while Luton had some bright moments, Austin’s second-half headed halted any hopes of a comeback.

Rangers remain the only team in the division to have scored in every league game this season.

They maintained that record with an extraordinary goal early in the contest at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Following a Luton corner, Ilias Chair picked up the ball near the edge of his own penalty area and thumped it towards Willock, who darted between Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Allan Campbell before lobbing goalkeeper Simon Sluga.

Willock’s goal - his fourth of the season - came after Luton had made a lively start and almost taken the lead following an early Rangers defensive mix-up.

Jimmy Dunne hesitated when collecting Yoann Barbet’s throw-in and was dispossessed by Elijah Adebayo, putting the Hatters forward through on goal.

Adebayo was denied by keeper Seny Dieng, and Harry Cornick’s attempt to force home the loose ball was blocked by Rob Dickie.

Luton remained a threat after going behind and almost equalised early in the second half when Tom Lockyer’s header from James Bree’s right-wing corner was cleared off the line by Albert Adomoah.

The ball was returned to Bree, whose cross was headed into the side-netting by Kal Naismith.

Rangers were under pressure, but Austin’s 55th-minute goal gave them the breathing space they needed.

Dunne nodded Willock’s left-wing cross back towards the striker, who headed past Sluga from close range.

QPR’s play-off prospects look promising despite their season so far being somewhat spoiled by defensive lapses costing them points.

Aside from the early mishap which Luton were unable to capitalise on, Rangers defended well this time and Austin’s cool finish effectively sealed their victory.

On another positive note for Mark Warburton’s side, Sam Field returned to action as a late substitute for his first appearance of the campaign, having recovered from a knee injury he suffered soon after being signed from West Brom during the summer.

Luton will rue not being able to take their big chance after the mistake by Dunne, who made amends for that error with a generally solid performance and an assist for Rangers’ second goal.

Additional reporting by PA Sport.

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