Rangers return to winning ways
Charlie Austin, Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips scored as QPR recorded a routine 3-0 victory over Bournemouth at Loftus Road to return to winning ways in the Championship.
Austin would have been a Bournemouth player was it not for a transfer embargo four years ago - a missed opportunity the Cherries were made to rue when the in-form striker helped QPR to victory.
The forward was combining work as a bricklayer with playing for non-league Poole Town when Cherries manager Eddie Howe failed in his bid to turn a successful trial into a permanent move in 2009.
Instead, Austin went on to Swindon, Burnley and promotion-chasing QPR, for whom he netted his fifth goal in as many home games in a 3-0 win against the club he came so close to joining.
The result was the ideal response to Saturday's disappointing defeat at relegation-threatened Doncaster and was particularly special for Rs manager Harry Redknapp, facing the club with whom he began his managerial career in a league match for the first time.
The victory puts QPR level on points with Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester and was started through Austin, who controlled an Andrew Johnson cross before impressively turning home past Bournemouth goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Austin continued to prove a nuisance and only referee Andy Woolmer will know why Tommy Elphick avoided conceding a first-half penalty and a straight red card, having pushed the ball away when the in-form striker looked clear on goal.
Fortunately for QPR the decision did not prove costly, with Junior Hoilett netting early in the second half before his replacement Matt Phillips fired home a superb third.
It was a glossy end to what was a scrappy affair at Loftus Road, which began with a mix-up between Rs goalkeeper Rob Green and defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Lee Camp tipped over a powerful header from Austin when play began to settle, before Harry Arter somehow avoided a booking for an altercation with Joey Barton midway through the first half.
Marc Pugh curled wide and Andrew Surman was denied by a Clint Hill block when Bournemouth voyaged forward, but they soon fell behind.
Johnson latched onto a ball down the left flank and hooked it across for Austin, who controlled well on his chest before prodding neatly past Camp.
It was a deserved 27th-minute opener for the west Londoners, who felt they should have had the chance to net from the spot three minutes later.
Unable to thwart Austin's goalbound run, last man Elphick flicked the ball off the striker's foot inside the box with his hand.
However, instead of an expected penalty and red card, referee Woolmer decided, after consulting with his assistant, to award a free-kick and no card to the Cherries defender.
The home faithful were as confused as they were angered by the decision, with Barton, one of the more vocal protestors, close to firing home from distance soon after.
Bournemouth began the second half brightly with Brett Pitman curling wide moments after the restart.
QPR soon woke up, though, and doubled their advantage when Hoilett's deflected effort beat Camp.
Howe's side continued to impress in Shepherds Bush, with Green doing well to tip an Arter shot around the post before stopping a Ryan Fraser long-range strike.
However, there would be nothing for the 1,497 travelling fans to shout about, with substitute Phillips increasing QPR's lead further by cutting in and rifling a fierce strike past Camp at his near post.