FA Cup 4th Round Replay
Pompey were beaten 2-0 by QPR in a fourth round replay to end their FA Cup adventure at Loftus Road.
There were just short of 3,000 fans who made the trip to the capital and they saw their side look solid for most of the contest, without creating many opportunities.
Craig MacGillivray also had little to do, although Darnell Furlong did strike the woodwork for the hosts before the break.
But the Championship hosts made sure of a home clash Watford in the next stage, as Nahki Wells and Matt Smith struck in quick succession during the second half.
Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Doncaster in the league at the weekend.
A fit-again Oli Hawkins made his first start since New Year’s Day, with Louis Dennis, Adam May, Anton Walkes and Christian Burgess also returning.
Jack Whatmough and Dion Donohue made way because of injury, Ronan Curtis was suspended and Omar Bogle ineligible, while Nathan Thompson dropped to the bench.
The hosts had an early chance to break the deadlock, but Smith could not divert Furlong’s cross on target with a powerful header.
Rangers were enjoying plenty of pressure, although there were not many clear-cut openings at either end of the pitch.
A corner led to a scramble in the box and when the ball eventually fell for Massimo Luongo, he blazed over.
The visitors grew in confidence as the first half progressed, but continuously saw attacking moves break down in the final third.
Perhaps their best opening came when May’s corner was not properly dealt with, although the ball would not fall for a black-shirted player.
It was the Championship side who had the best chance of the half when Furlong glanced Freeman’s delivery against the crossbar.
May tried to send Walkes away with a fine pass from deep just before the break, only for Jake Bidwell to spot the danger and make a vital interception.
Queens Park Rangers 0
Chances continued to be at a premium once the action restarted, with Luongo clearing the crossbar again before Matt Clarke headed clear a dangerous Freeman delivery.
Josh Scowen then became the first player to be punished by referee David Coote, earning a yellow card for a late challenge on Ben Close.
It was still Rangers looking more of a threat, although Luongo could not divert his header on target after finding space to meet Freeman’s free-kick.
Wells looked like he might break the deadlock after surging into the box, only for Clarke to arrive with a perfectly-timed challenge before he could get a shot away.
Jackett made a couple of changes soon after, with May and Dennis making way for Bryn Morris and Gareth Evans.
It was the latter who had a rare shot for the visitors, but could not divert Lee Brown’s low cross on target.
But QPR forged ahead on 70 minutes when a corner from Freeman was nodded down by Smith for Joel Lynch.
His shot was heading for the target, but might have been stopped by MacGillivray before Wells stuck out a boot to flick the ball into the net.
Jackett immediately made an attacking substitution, throwing on another striker in Brett Pitman to replace Close.
But Rangers soon strengthened their advantage, as Smith converted a Freeman free-kick with a bullet header.
They might have had another moments later, with MacGillivray tearing from his line to deny Bidwell.
Pompey kept battling away in the closing stages, but QPR saw out the final few minutes to book their place in the fifth round for the first time since 1997.
QPR (4-4-2): Lumley; Furlong, Hall, Lynch, Bidwell; Freeman (c), Scowen, Luongo, Osayi-Samuel (Eze 71); Smith (Hemed 90), Wells (Manning 82)
Goals: Wells 70, Smith 77
Subs not used: Ingram, Leistner, Kakay, Wszolek
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c); Lowe, May (Morris 59), Close (Pitman 74), Dennis (Evans 60); Hawkins
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, Haunstrup
Referee: David Coote
Attendance: 13,115 (2,941 Pompey fans)