ROTHERHAM United slipped to their first home defeat in four games as QPR traveled back to the capital with maximum points.
Despite dominating the first half, the Millers were hit by a double whammy shortly after the interval following goals by Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips.
The Millers searched in vain for a way back into the game but it was to no avail as Sebastian Polter added a third late on as the visitors earned their first victory in eight games and their first win under new manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Following their eye-catching midweek victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, Millers chief Neil Redfearn named an unchanged squad for the visit of the Londoners, who were without the services of hotshot Charlie Austin, who pen to paper on a multi-million deal with Premier League Southampton earlier in the day.
The Millers had the first sight of goal when Matt Derbyshire’s deft flick saw strike partner Danny Ward advance into the box but his left-footed effort was superbly blocked by visiting skipper Nedum Onuoha.
The ex-Man City defender was in the thick of the early action as the Hoops were thankful for his last-ditch block to prevent Derbyshire sneaking an effort in at the near post after Danny Ward had got the better of a tussle with Paul Konchesky.
Moments later, Phillips dallied in possession and Joe Mattock stabbed the ball forward and despite looking in an offside position, Derbyshire tried his luck from an acute angle but Alex Smithies parried the ball to safety.
The visitors were weathering an early storm from the Millers and Richie Smallwood curled a delightful corner which was not dealt with Polter, who failed to bundle the ball clear and Tunisian international Aimen Belaid attempted to hook the ball into the net but his effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.
In the Millers next attack, Grant Ward got the better of Konchesky to drill a centre which took a wicked deflection of Karl Henry but Smithies was on his toes to keep the ball out at his near post before Derbyshire had a shot blocked after QPR were caught napping from Joe Newell’s quickly taken corner.
Moments later, Belaid had a snap shot blocked by the ruck of bodies in the box following Newell’s dangerous cross before the ex-Levski Sofia defender showed his defensive instincts by snuffing out Phillips’ inviting centre in QPR’s first attack of note.
Minutes later, Hoilett cut inside with menace but he dragged his long-range effort harmlessly wide of the target before Rotherham came within a whisker of the opener just before the half hour mark.
Massimo Luongo’s misplaced pass saw Grant Ward pounce to win possession paving the way for Paul Green to cut inside before curling a delightful effort from the edge of the box which smashed against the foot of the post and the ball rolled tantalisingly into the path of Derbyshire, who looked a certain scorer, but Onuoha came out of nowhere to produce a goal saving tackle, as the ball squirmed agonisingly wide of the target.
In a rare foray from the visitors, Grant Hall rose highest to meet Phillips’s tantalising free-kick but his downward header was blocked en-route to goal before the home side scrambled the ball clear.
With half-time approaching, Shay Facey delivered a superb first-time cross which saw Danny Ward get infront of his marker to power a bullet header which whistled past the visitors’ upright.
Half-time:- Rotherham United 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Despite the Millers first-half pressure, QPR stunned the home faithful by taking the lead on 52 minutes.
There looked little danger for the home side but Green’s weak backpass was pounced upon by Hoilett and the Canadian winger showed the home rearguard a quick pair of heels and despite the Rotherham midfielder looking to make amends with a last ditch tackle, Hoilett managed to scuff the ball past the outstretched hand of Lee Camp into the bottom corner of the net.
The game took a further twist just minutes later when Rotherham failed to deal with a ball forward and Phillips got the better of Broadfoot, who failed to cut out the danger, and the highly-rated winger kept his nerve to calmly wrongfoot Camp by sliding the ball into the heart of the home goal.
The home side responded bravely to the double setback and Grant Ward struck a low effort which stung the palms of Smithies before Facey’s ambitious half-volley from distance was straight down the throat of the ex-Huddersfield ‘keeper.
At the other end, Leroy Fer’s cute flick from Phillips’ corner fizzed narrowly wide of the target before Rotherham had faint appeals for a spot kick when Newell exchanged passes from Broadfoot before his heels seemed to be clipped by James Perch as he looked to cross near the touchline but referee James Adcock waved away home protests.
With time running out for the hosts, Rotherham got trapped in a corner and Fer’s superb tackle saw him play a one-two with Phillips before curling an effort which fizzed past the home upright.
Home frustration was summed up when firstly Facey saw yellow for cynically hauling down Luongo as the visitors looked to break before sub Jonson Clarke-Harris delivered a tantalising cross which fizzed across the goalmouth but unfortunately for Redfearn’s men, there was no Miller in attendance.
Moments later, Smallwood and Newell combined smartly to release Mattock, who fizzed a dangerous centre which Clarke-Harris looked to bundle home, but the ball was deflected narrowly wide of the target.
In the Millers next attack, sub Emmanuel Ledesma got on the end of Smallwood’s swinging centre to plant a header across the goalline but Hall was well-stationed to head over his own bar.
Ledesma drilled a effort narrowly past the post before QPR added a third late on to give the scoreline a rather flattering look as Fer got on the wrong side of the home defence before delivering an inviting centre which gave Polter the simple task of tapping home from close range.
Full-time:- Rotherham United 0 QPR 3
Rotherham United 0
Queens Park Rangers 3
Teams:- Rotherham- Camp, Facey, Broadfoot, Belaid, Mattock, G Ward, Smallwood, Green, Newell, D Ward (Clarke-Harris 55), Derbyshire (Ledesma 80). Unused:- Cairns, Collins, Wood, Richardson, Thorpe.
QPR- Smithies, Perch, Hall, Onuoha, Konchesky, Phillips (Chery 87), Henry, Luongo, Hoilett (Mackie 87), Fer, Polter. Unused:- Lumley, Angella, Petrasso, Sandro, Tozser.
Referee:- J Adcock
Attendance:- 9594 (1286)