Cherries earn narrow QPR pre-season win
- Mr A Davies
Jordon Ibe's first-half strike secures a 1-0 win for AFC Bournemouth at Loftus Road.
Jordon Ibe’s first half strike was enough to separate the sides at Loftus Road, as the Cherries secured a third straight warm-up win.
In difficult conditions due to constant, heavy rain, both sides created chances, with Joshua King, Max Gradel and Lys Mousset in particular threatening for the visitors.
But it was Ibe who conjured up the match-winner, late in the first period; the winger firing a low effort into the far corner.
AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will be pleased with his side’s performance and more game time for a number of his first team squad, and will hope for more of the same as LaLiga side Valenica visit Vitality Stadium on Sunday.
The Cherries made a bright start to proceedings and went close with just 54 seconds on the clock through last season’s top scorer King.
The front man was picked out inside the area by Gradel, who had done well down the left, but having taken a touch to find space, King fired narrowly over.
QPR were soon on the front foot and striker Matt Smith drilled wide of the upright after Pawel Wszolek’s blocked shot fell into his path.
Smith then headed off target before Conor Washington suffered the same fate with a low, angled drive.
AFC Bournemouth should have taken the lead in the 25th minute following some slick passing which cut the hosts wide open.
Lewis Cook’s pass had the perfect weight and angle to dissect the Rangers’ defence and find Ibe, who duly sent the ball through the six-yard box.
It was crying out for a touch but neither King nor Mousset were able to do so and the chance went begging.
A goal finally came, though, with half-time approaching. When Gradel’s low, left-wing delivery flew across the face of goal and out to the far side of the pitch it looked as though the Cherries’ opportunity was lost.
However, Ibe had other ideas, cutting in off the right flank and sending a shot into the opposite corner, past the despairing dive of Alex Smithies.
That separated the teams at the break but QPR threatened a leveller soon after the restart – midfielder Massimo Luongo seizing on Baily Cargill’s misplaced pass but curling over the top.
Just past the hour mark only a brilliant save prevented AFC Bournemouth from doubling their advantage.
Ibe turned provider this time, racing through before slipping the ball to his right, into the path of Mousset.
The front man took a touch and then attempted to place the ball into the corner of the net, only to be denied by Smithies’ fingertips.
AFC Bournemouth had to survive a late scare when QPR substitute Yeni Ngbakoto curled a 20-yard free-kick over the wall and against the post, with the ball rebounding onto the back of substitute goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who managed to smother before it crossed the line.