A late Emile Sinclair tap-in was enough to provide Peterborough United their first win of pre-season over QPR in a drab affair at London Road.
The game was one of few chances, but Sinclair provided Posh with an encouraging scoreline against Championship opposition after he latched on to Joe Newell’s looping cross.
For most of the 90 minutes the match had been played a pace that typified pre-season – with neither side over-working the opposition ‘keeper on a sweltering afternoon – but the result will please Darren Ferguson as his team look for an immediate return to the second-division.
Grant McCann had the first shot of note of the match – curling a free-kick straight into the hands of Rob Green from 20 yards.
Armand Traore then allowed Nathaniel Mendez-Laing a chance after playing a woefully under-hit pass to Clint Hill, but the former Wolves man rather scuffed his shot and Green could make a comfortable save.
Yohanne Lasimant, on trial at Posh, thought he had made his mark when he put the ball in the net with a low right-footed shot, but the strike was ruled out after the ball had been deemed to be out of play before the shot took place.
McCann continued Posh’s bright start when his ambitious 25-yard effort hit the side netting, with Green scrambling across his goal to keep it out.
The rest of the first-half was played out a tempo fitting of a friendly – although Posh had the better of the two sides and limited QPR to very few opportunities.
QPR started the second-half with more purpose than they had shown in the opening 45 minutes, but still they had little to show for it in terms of meaningful shots-on-target. Ji Sung Park’s long-range shot was a close as they had come to breaching Joe Day’s goal, but the effort was comfortably saved by the former Rushden stopper.
Alejandro Faurlin did test Day moments later though, when his curling free-kick had to be acrobatically tipped over by Posh’s back-up ‘keeper.
The visitors continued to threaten to break the deadlock, but Bobby Zamora’s header looped over the bar after he outmuscled second-half substitute Peter Grant to win the aerial duel.
Danny Swanson had Posh’s first-shot of the second period when he lofted a half-volley just wide of Green’s left-hand post.
Jack Payne was next to test his luck with a 35-yard volley, but Green was right behind it and made a routine save.
Joe Newell then showed the promise that Posh manager Ferguson had spoken of when he burst past Nedum Onuoha and hit a rasping drive from a tight angle, but Green made a smart save – clutching the ball to his chest.
Immediately QPR countered and they were soon up the other end too when Junior Holliett got round Michael Richens with a clever bit of skill, but Grant was well positioned to clear the ball away when danger appeared imminent.
Posh grabbed the lead in the 87th minute after a neat bit of skill from Newell created an opening and his cross to the back-post was deflected over Green’s head, allowing a well-placed Emile Sinclair to prod the ball in from two yards.
The game was more open now than it had been for the entire course of the match and after a swift QPR counter-attack, Faurlin tried his luck with a well struck effort from range, but Day spectacularly tipped the ball over to preserve his clean-sheet.
Peterborough United first-half XI: Olejnik; Nthle, Knight-Percival, Bostwick, Alcock; McCann; Rowe (Newell, 34 minutes), Kearns; Mendez-Laing; Barnett, Lasimant.
Peterborough United second-half XI: Day; Nthle, Knight-Percival (Grant, 62 minutes), Bostwick (Zakuani, 62 minutes), Alcock (Richens, 62 minutes); McCann (Payne, 62 minutes); Newell,, Kearns (Ferdinand, 62 minutes); Mendez-Laing (Swanson, 62 minutes); Barnett (Sinclair, 62 minutes), Lasimant (Ajose, 62 minutes).
QPR first-half XI: Green; Simpson, Hill , Onuoha, Suk-Young; Wright-Phillips, Faurlin, Jenas, Park; Zamora, Johnson.
QPR second-half XI: Simpson (Young, 79 minutes), Hill (Ferdinand 79 minutes), Onuoha, Suk-Young; Wright-Phillips (Derry, 79 minutes), Faurlin, Jenas (Granero, 57 minutes), Park; Zamora, Johnson (Holliett, 57 minutes).
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