Wednesday kept their play-off position with an impressive 2-1 victory over relegation fighting QPR.
The result means the Owls are still two points ahead of Fulham, and are now two points above Leeds United who were defeated 1-0 by Wolves. However, QPR are now only six points above the drop zone with three games remaining.
By the five minute mark, both sides had had a chance to score. The first went to QPR when Idrissa Sylla put his effort miles wide of Keiren Westwood’s right hand post.
Adam Reach and Barry Bannan then linked up well. The latter flashed a low ball towards Hooper but QPR cleared.
The deadlock was broken after just 12 minutes when Daniel Pudil’s cross hit the QPR man on the chest and fell into the path of Adam Reach who blazed his shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Wednesday’s advantage was nearly doubled five minutes later when Ross Wallace’s free kick found Tom Lees. The centre-half’s cross goal header was met by Pudil who headed straight at Alex Smithies.
The equaliser came on the 20 minute mark. Jamie Mackie went down under a challenge which led to cries for a penalty, however, Sylla took the ball round Westwood and tapped home.
After the equaliser, Wednesday kept the pressure on and won plenty of corners. Just eleven minutes after the equaliser, Wednesday regained the lead. Hooper won a free kick out wide which was swung in by Wallace. Jordan Rhodes saw his header saved before Pudil climbed highest and nodded in at the back post.
Moments later, Wallace nearly had a clear sight of goal but was denied by a fantastic challenge from Jack Robinson.
QPR almost equalised again but Westwood pulled off an absolute wondersave to deny Sylla a brace.
A late QPR corner, conceded by Ross Wallace, didn’t cause problems and that ended the first half.
HT: Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Wednesday.
The hosts started the second half brightly. Jake Bidwell saw his volley from inside the area go over the crossbar.
However, just before the hour mark, Reach broke down the left wing and centred for Jordan Rhodes whose header was spilt by Smithies but then cleared. The winger was then booked for a challenge on Robinson.
Five minutes later, Barry Bannan had a huge chance to put the visitors two up but he put his shot just too high.
A double change saw Fernando Forestieri and José Semedo brought into the game, they replaced Hooper and Wallace.
Another chance for QPR saw Kazenga LuaLua break forward but his effort was wide of the post.
Wednesday’s third and final substitution saw Rhodes replaced by Athde Nuhiu. The big man then won a free kick which saw James Perch enter the referee’s book.
Then, both sides had a chance within three minutes. The first came from Wednesday. Nuhiu played across goal to Forestieri who took a touch but, with back to goal, saw his shot blocked. Down the other end, substitute Conor Washington headed over from Bidwell’s cross.
Late, heavy pressure from QPR saw Luke Freeman smash a long range shot over the bar. Despite this pressure, the Londoners couldn’t find an equaliser and Wednesday held on to move to fifth in the league.
FT: Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Wednesday.
“We are very strong mentally – the mentality of this team is very strong.
“When you play twice in three days, physical teams can cause you problems and it’s not easy to play twice in such a short time.
“But we are very strong and the confidence is high. We have four wins in a row and the mentality is really strong, which is why we achieved the three points today.”
QPR manager Ian Holloway:
“It’s just very frustrating. It would be nice to get three points and leave us with only six to play for.
“If we can get three in the next game at Brentford then everybody can just breath and we can start again.
“Did we deserve to lose? Honestly? No. I think that’s a draw, but unfortunately they saw it out and we didn’t.”
Man of the Match: Dave Jones – Jones controlled the game in midfield. In the first half, he had 22 touches and made 22 passes – with a 100% completion rate!
Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Perch, Lynch, Bidwell, Petrasso (LuaLua 45), Freeman, Luongo, Manning (Smith 75), Robinson (Washington 62), Mackie, Sylla.
Unused subs: Goss, Ingram, Wszolek, N’Gbakoto.
Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Loovnes, Pudil, Wallace (Semedo 67), Bannan, Jones, Reach, Rhodes (Nuhiu 76), Hooper (Forestieri 67).
Unused subs: Wildsmith, Fletcher, McManaman, Sasso.