QPR 2-0 Portsmouth

Pompey’s FA Cup ambitions came to an end at QPR as the Londoner’s secured a 2-0 victory at Loftus Road.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 9:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 10:12 pm
Pompey lost at QPR

The Blues produced a battling display against their Championship hosts and could be proud of their efforts during a pulsating fourth-round replay affair.

Yet they could have no complaints at the final whistle, with the R’s’ endeavour rewarded with a home tie against Watford in the fifth round.

Both Hoops goals came in the second half, with Nahki Wells breaking the deadlock on 70 minutes and Matt Smith adding a second 13 minutes from time.

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In a lively and entertaining first half, QPR were quickly on the front foot as they went in search of an early breakthrough.

Yet for all their possession and a superior attempts on goal account, the hosts rarely caused Blues keeper Craig MacGillivray serious problems.

Matt Smith’s header from Darnell Furlong’s right-wing cross on six minutes failed to find the target, while Massimo Luongo’s drive lacked accuracy when he took aim from the edge of the box on 13 minutes.

Luke Freeman’s volley from the other side of the Pompey penalty area just after the quarter of an hour mark also failed to test MacGillivray as the Blues soaked up the pressure with relative ease, with Matt Clarke immense.

They did have a scare on 45 minutes when Furlong’s glancing header from a Freeman header smacked against the crossbar.

Yet that was the closest Steve McClaren’s side came to making their possession count.

At the other end, the Blues enjoyed several forays forward.

Oli Hawkins looked a threat on his return from injury, while Jamal Lowe looked dangerous.

But just like the visiting defence, there was little to panic the QPR rearguard as half-time arrived with the score remaining 0-0.

QPR began the second half in a similar vein to the first, by putting pressure on the hosts.

Their urgency in the final third saw Luongo fire wide three minutes after the interval, and the same player was in the thick of the action again on 55 minutes when his glancing header drifted wide at the far post.

The R’s thoughT they had their breakthrough two minutes later when Wells broke free following a failed Christian Burgess challenge 30 yards out.

But his pathway to goal was quickly nullified by Clarke, who slid in to superbly deny him a shot on goal.

Freeman then flashed another shot from long range over - prompting the Blues to make a double substitution, with Bryn Morris and Gareth Evans replacing Adam May and Louis Dennis respectively.

And on 68 minutes the change nearly had the desired effect.

Ben Close broke clear down the left and picked out the onrushing Evans in the middle of the box.

Yet the sub was unable to apply the finishing touch as his scuffed effort went wide.

That miss came back to haunt Pompey two minutes later as the Hoops had their breakthrough.

Freeman’s corner was knocked down by Smith. Joel Lynch managed to get a shot away in a crowded penalty area, and there was Wells to tap home on the line.

Buoyed by their goal, the R’s had a second seven minutes later.

Dangerman Freeman’s free-kick picked out Smith in the six-yard box, and the giant front man made no mistake by smashing his header into the back of the net.

QPR had chances to add to their advantage as the final whistle approached.

But neither Jake Bidwell or Smith could add to their advantage.

Clarke then had an effort deflected wide on the final whistle.

But it too was off target as the Blues said goodbye to the Cup for another season.

Pompey: MacGillivray, Walkes, Clarke, Burgess, Brown, Naylor, May (Morris 58mins), Lowe, Close (Pitman 74mins), Dennis (Evans 59mins), Hawkins. Subs: Bass, Thompson, Haunstrup.

Doncaster Rovers: Lumley, Furlong, Bidwell, Hall, Freeman, Scowen, Smith (Hemed 89mins), Osayi-Samuel (Eze 72mins), Luongo, Wells (Manning 80mins), Lynch. Subs: Ingram, Wszolek, Kakay, Leistner.