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Loftus Road Stadium (ATT 13,534) 26th December 2009 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: D Phillips

QPR Queens Park Rangers vs Bristol City Bristol C


J Simpson (31)
M Leigertwood (40)


Bristol C 1

N Maynard (57)

Hart oversees first QPR win

First-half double enough to see off Robins

Last Updated: 26/12/09 3:29pm

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Simpson: Opened the scoring

Simpson: Opened the scoring

Paul Hart enjoyed his first win as Queens Park Rangers manager following a battling 2-1 success over Bristol City at Loftus Road.

QPR appeared to be cruising towards the points after goals from Jay Simpson and Mikele Leigertwood had the hosts 2-0 up at half-time.

Nicky Maynard struck a stunning goal for the visitors just before the hour mark, but QPR held on to secure a maiden three-point haul for Hart.

The hosts were slow starters as they struggled to get to grips with a new diamond midfield formation and were camped in their own half early on.

Hungarian star Akos Buzsaky, involved for the first time since his dressing-room 'difference of opinion' accounted for Hart's predecessor Magilton, was a bystander as City dominated.

Gavin Williams forced a save from home keeper Radek Cerny and Danny Haynes had a shot just deflected wide.

But, totally against the run of play, Rangers took the lead just after the half-hour when Fitz Hall crossed towards Simpson.

The on-loan Arsenal forward's initial touch was poor but the ball bounced kindly off Williams back into his path to poke beyond Dean Gerken for his ninth goal of the season.

Unstoppable effort

City boss Gary Johnson had considered not travelling to the game due to a chest infection.

And he must have been regretting his decision not stay in his sick bed when, five minutes before the break, Rangers went two ahead.

Leigertwood collected Buzsaky's flick, cut inside on his left foot and curled an unstoppable effort from 20 yards low inside Gerken's right-hand post.

Simpson had a chance to put the hosts out of sight after the interval when Wayne Routledge sent him through but the young striker curled his shot high and wide.

And Johnson's mood improved in the 58th minute when Maynard conjured up his 11th goal of the season in superb style.

The striker juggled Williams' pass twice in turning and shaking off two Rangers defenders before his third touch, a stunning 20-yard volley, flew past Cerny and into the top corner.

Johnson and City were twice screaming for penalties in the last 10 minutes when Maynard tumbled under last-ditch challenges from Hall and Peter Ramage but referee David Phillips waved away the appeals.

Hart saw fit to sacrifice Simpson and Buzsaky for defenders Gary Borrowdale and Matt Connolly to hold off City's late flurry - prompting derision from a number of hard-to-please Rangers fans.

And the home boss breathed a sigh of relief when City sub David Clarkson hit the side netting with the visitors' last chance.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 45 54
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 45 25