sport news QPR 2-1 Cardiff: Debutant Paul Smyth bags Rangers winner

New Year, but no new dawn for Cardiff City. Their Christmas crumbling continues and the surprise Championship charge is fading.

Neil Warnock’s team have now lost four on the bounce, a barren run that has taken them out of the automatic promotion places.

Their manager spoke last week of how his team had outperformed expectations - but now they are glancing downwards again. 

Cardiff City took the lead against QPR after 54 minutes when Joe Ralls scored a penalty

Cardiff City took the lead against QPR after 54 minutes when Joe Ralls scored a penalty

However Rangers target man Matt Smith powered an effort past Brian Murphy for 1-1

However Rangers target man Matt Smith powered an effort past Brian Murphy for 1-1

Paul Smyth scored the winner on his QPR debut, finishing an individual effort via a deflection

Paul Smyth scored the winner on his QPR debut, finishing an individual effort via a deflection

MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE

QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Baptiste, Onuoha, Robinson; Cousins, Scowen, Luongo, Freeman, Bidwell (Lynch 85); Smyth (Oteh 77), Smith

Unused subs: Lumley, Chair, Osayi-Samuel, Sylla, Wszolek

Goals: Smith 62, Smyth 72

Bookings: Smyth 70, Freeman 90+3

Cardiff City (3-4-1-2): Murphy; Manga, Bamba, Connolly; Paterson, Peltier (Damour 58), Ralls, Bennett; Zohore; Healy (Mendez-Laing 67), Hoilett 

 Unused subs: Etheridge, Richards, Halford, Pilkington, Tomlin

Goal: Ralls pen 54 

Bookings: Connolly 18, Peltier 50

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 13,801 

Championship Premier League Championship League One League Two Scottish Premiership Scottish Div 1 Scottish Div 2 Scottish Div 3 Ligue 1 Serie A La Liga Bundesliga

This latest stumble, a defeat at Queens Park Rangers, saw the manager make five changes but find little hope of a solution to the current malaise.

Cardiff went ahead through Joe Ralls’ penalty, but then proceeded to collapse to goals from Matt Smith and debutant Paul Smyth.

The joy in 20-year-old former Linfield forward’s face as he wheeled away in celebration was in stark contrast to the visitors’ mood: dour with very little festive cheer to speak of.

They even had a late equaliser ruled out for offside. The fumes from a premature smoke bomb in the away end drifted into the west London sky. Cardiff must hope that was not a

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