Two goals from Lyndon Dykes helped Queens Park Rangers on their way to three points against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon, as they beat the Owls 4-1 in the Sky Bet Championship.
Heading into the game, the headlines were that Charlie Austin was suspended for three matches for the Hoops after a stamp on Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates on Easter Monday, whilst Sheffield Wednesday were unchanged from their fine 5-0 win over Cardiff City at the beginning of the week.
It was, though, Rangers who emerged victorious here with the man charged with taking over from Austin up top providing the difference; Lyndon Dykes.
Indeed, it was the Scottish international who opened the scoring just before the half hour mark as he stretched every sinue to execute a fine diving header beyond the reach of Joe Wildsmith after a wonderful cross from the left-hand side from Yoann Barbet.
The first half was actually fairly even, however, and Wednesday ensured we went in level just moments after Dykes’ opener, with Josh Windass afforded far too much space by the QPR defence to stroke home past Seny Dieng.
In fact, Windass had a chance to put the Owls in front just before the break with him again finding space but his effort curled into the arms of Dieng.
Curl, too, was what gave Rangers the lead in the second half with Stefan Johansen benefitting ultimately.
Receiving the ball just outside the box he whipped an effort towards goal, wrongfooting Wednesday ‘keeper Wildsmith who seemed to over-commit to the corner of the net, leaving the ball space to find the middle of the goal.
It was a disappointing goal to concede from an Owls perspective and soon after they had a second to fall under that particular description.
Rob Dickie looped a cross in from the right which Chris Willock met and nodded back across goal toward a rather grateful Lyndon Dykes.
The forward, from close range, made no mistake with his fourth goal in as many appearances in Hoops as he tucked his header past a rooted Wildsmith.
Dykes, of course, has struggled for goals this season – particularly from open play – but few can have ever doubted his commitment and work rate since arriving last summer.
For the former Livingston man, it’s more been about getting his rewards for such effort and, this afternoon, he got them with a well-taken brace that Charlie Austin watching on would have surely been proud of.
For Wednesday, meanwhile, another disappointing afternoon in a season that’s starting to tick down on their Championship status, with salt firmly rubbed into their wounds in injury time as a late QPR counter-attack sealed victory as Chris Willock swept the ball home.
They had some decent chances in both halves here in west London but it was pretty simple goals being conceded that led to their undoing and that could well be what costs them their second-tier berth this season now.