STILL STRUGGLING: Andre Gray goal sees QPR beat Cardiff
PA - David Davies
Andre Gray scored his third goal of the season as QPR gained a 1-0 win at struggling Cardiff in the Championship.
Steve Morison’s Bluebirds had their opportunities and they looked the more dangerous side in the opening 45 minutes, but they could not find the net and were punished by Gray’s strike eight minutes before half-time.
Cardiff, who were looking to build on a thrilling comeback draw at Stoke in caretaker manager Morison’s first game in charge, had the game’s first chance.
Ryan Giles – playing at wing-back instead of the forward role he has had for most of the season so far – escaped down his favoured left channel and pulled the ball back for Perry Ng, but he curled wide on his weaker left foot.
Cardiff’s Wales international Rubin Colwill then worked R’s goalkeeper Seny Dieng with a shot from distance with the home side well on top.
Gray did head wide, but QPR offered little in attack and their passing in the final third was poor, while at the other end Will Vaulks called Dieng into action from range.
But it was QPR who went into the break ahead after scoring totally against the run of play. Andre Dozzell’s pinpoint pass found Gray, who was given too much space by Cardiff captain Sean Morrison and the former Burnley striker made him pay with a powerful, low finish.
Ilias Chair forced Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies into a close-range save when the game resumed while at the other end Colwill tried to get on the end of a pass from Giles.
Gray was then forced off but replaced by Charlie Austin in a substitution which showed the strength in depth available to R’s manager Mark Warburton.
Cardiff introduced striker Mark Harris in search of a comeback, but Lyndon Dykes should have made it 2-0 to the R’s. A goal looked certain when Dykes received the ball in the box, but his shot was deflected wide for a corner by a desperate covering Cardiff defence.
It was a big miss from Dykes and you felt QPR might live to regret it in the final 15 minutes as Cardiff went direct and pushed hard for an equaliser.
But Morison’s Bluebirds struggled to create clear-cut chances and Wales striker Kieffer Moore had few opportunities to show his worth.
The result brought Morison and Cardiff back to earth after the point they earned at Stoke and left the Bluebirds hovering just above the Championship’s drop zone.
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