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Quickfire Freddie Ladapo brace lifts Rotherham to comeback victory over QPR

Rotherham United v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – AESSEAL New York Stadium
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Two goals in three minutes from Freddie Ladapo helped fire Rotherham to a valuable 3-1 comeback win over QPR.

The game was the start of a manic period of four home matches in eight days as Rotherham bid to claw themselves out of the relegation zone.

Ladapo ensured it got off to the perfect start with two goals in quick succession to turn the game on its head after Lyndon Dykes’ opener.

Michael Smith then wrapped up victory in the final minute.

A raft of Covid-19 infections and bad weather have left the Millers playing catch-up on the rest of their relegation rivals.

But hopes of survival increased with this victory which sees Rotherham now just three points behind Coventry, who they face on Thursday evening as part of their games in hand.

Both managers made use of their squads for different reasons on Tuesday, with home boss Paul Warne keen to keep his as fresh as possible ahead of what appears to be a critical showdown with Coventry.

QPR boss Mark Warburton, with his side sitting comfortably in mid-table, made three changes, with Charlie Kelman in for a first start.

Another of the changes, George Thomas, seemed keen to take his opportunity and fired just wide after being found by Stefan Johansen.

Matt Crooks was supporting Ladapo up front and he carved out a great opportunity for himself. After being found by Dan Barlaser, he dribbled down the left side of the box before firing across goal.

Kelman then made Viktor Johansson pull off a diving stop with a stinging effort from 30 yards out.

QPR went ahead in the 52nd minute. Osman Kakay brushed off the challenge of Ladapo easily and found the in-form Dykes in the box.

The Scotland international took a touch before smashing emphatically into the roof of the net for his fourth in three games.

Defender Clark Robertson was joining the attacks for Rotherham and he fired just over with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.

The leveller came in the 64th minute, with Ladapo controlling a ball from Lewis Wing and stroking past Seny Dieng clinically.

Ladapo was celebrating again in the 66th minute as he beat the offside trap from Wes Harding’s through-ball and calmly slid the ball past Dieng one-on-one.

Sniffing a hat-trick, Ladapo was denied from close range with Dieng able to catch his effort, which had looked bound for the top corner.

It was Smith who rounded off the victory in the 90th minute. The striker was slipped in by Jamie Lindsay and raced through on goal before lifting the ball over Dieng to seal the three points.