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Andre Gray scores late winner as QPR fight back to beat Derby

Derby County v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Andre Gray scored a dramatic last-minute winner as QPR climbed to third in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 victory at Derby.

Gray pounced after an Ilias Chair header came back off the bar to shatter Derby, who had led through Tom Lawrence’s 50th goal of his career.

Lawrence finished clinically following Graeme Shinnie’s precise pass but Rangers hit back early in the second half through Chris Willock, who fired in at the back post when Charlie Austin picked him out.

Derby began with the confidence of a team that had beaten Bournemouth and drawn at Fulham in their last two games and Shinnie dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box in the first minute.

Rangers were starting to settle when Derby went ahead in the 10th minute with Shinnie’s pass sending Lawrence clear to fire into the top right corner from 15 yards for his fifth of the season.

The visitors responded through Albert Adomah who brought a diving save out of Kelle Roos before Austin had a shot blocked in the 23rd minute.

Although Rangers were dominating possession, Derby had denied them a clear opening until the 36th minute when Chair’s free-kick found Austin who headed over from 10 yards.

Austin’s reaction showed he should have done better but Rangers needed to ask more questions of Derby, who had a chance on the break in the 44th minute but this time Lawrence shot wide from the edge of the area.

Derby made a positive start to the second half but Rangers caught them on the break in the 50th minute with Chair releasing Austin, and his cross from the right was volleyed in by Willock.

Lawrence was close to restoring Derby’s lead when his first-time shot from Nathan Byrne’s pass flashed just wide but Willock was almost in when Roos rushed off his line and Liam Thompson cleared.

Another strong run by Lawrence in the 63rd minute ended with him being crowded out but Rangers wasted a glorious chance in the 72nd minute.

Willock chipped to the back post where Chair was unmarked but he headed over from inside the six-yard box.

Chair should have scored and he was denied the chance to make amends when Byrne made a great recovering tackle in the 82nd minute.

But Rangers won it when Chair’s header came back off the bar and Gray spun to volley past Roos from 12 yards.

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