It was a disappointing night for Town’s U18s who bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the Third Round stage after slipping to a 3-1 defeat to QPR at The County Ground.
Town made a bright start to proceedings and were unlucky not to take the lead inside the opening few minutes with Sol Pryce seeing his lofted effort tipped to safety by R’s stopper Marcin Brzozowski.
Scott Twine then planted a diving header wide as the young Reds continued to heap the pressure on their guests.
QPR did carve out a chance of their own as Amrit Bansac-McNulty stabbed wide, before Jordan Simpson fired an audacious effort inches over the crossbar at the other end.
However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark courtesy of Kingsley Eshun, who poked home from close-range after Archie Matthews had made two brilliant saves.
But that lead didn’t last long and Town were soon back on level-terms thanks to Christian Frimpong who nodded home from Young’s dangerous delivery.
And the Robins could have taken a slender lead into the break were it not for Brzozowski, who did well to keep out Young’s shot.
Both sides focussed on remaining tight and compact after the interval but a third goal of the evening arrived just past the hour mark and it went the the way of QPR.
Bansac-McNulty was adjudged to have been brought down inside the area and Josh Bowler kept his cool to tuck home the resulting penalty.
And the R’s added a third late on in the game courtesy of Romeo Akinola’s stunning free-kick from 25-yards out.
Town tried to respond through Young who saw his effort kept out by Brzozowski, and the QPR keeper went on to make a string of superb stops to keep the Reds at bay.
Despite plenty of huffing and puffing, Town were unable to get their way back into the game and QPR did enough to earn a home tie against Tottenham Hotspur in the Fourth Round.
TOWN STARTING XI –Matthews; Stanley, Frimpong, Hathaway (Paulo Giamattei 45), Spalding; Simpson, Ouldridge (C) (Jordan Edwards 81), Gunner (Seb Martinez 65), Young; Twine, Pryce.
Subs Not Used –Romanski, Georgaklis.
*Picture courtesy of Back Page Images.