Barnsley began the restarted season with a crucial 1-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers, ending a 70-year wait for victory at Loftus Road. 

Elliot Simoes got the winner in the seventh minute for the Reds who moved off bottom by a place and cut the gap to safety from seven points to four.  The visitors were easily the better side in the first half then had to do a lot of defending after the break but showed great character in their first match in 105 days following lockdown. 

Gerhard Struber sprang some surprises with his team, as he handed young midfielder Romal Palmer a professional debut and chose Jack Walton in goal for his first appearance since March last year. Conor Chaplin, who has 12 goals this season, was left on the bench while centre-back Mads Andersen was brought back into the side after being dropped in February. 

Barnsley played a 3-4-1-2 with Marcel Ritzmaier and Kilian Ludewig at wing-back and Ben Williams, usually a left-back, joined Andersen and Michael Sollbauer in a back three.  Jacob Brown played up front with Simoes and Woodrow just behind while Alex Mowatt and Palmer were the central midfielders. 

After a minute’s applause for the NHS’ efforts during the coronavirus crisis, both sets of players knelt in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The visitors began well and took the lead in the seventh minute. Debutant Palmer won the ball just inside the Hoops half then Williams’ throughball was very cleverly dummied by Woodrow which put Simoes clean through to score his second Championship goal on his third league start for the club. 

Brown could have made it 2-0 three minutes later but he fired wide from 15 yards out after meeting a low right-wing cross from Ludewig. 

In Text Promo Image

The hosts’ star player Eberechi Eze fired a 35-yard free-kick just over midway through the first half but Barnsley were by far the more threatening with both Woodrow and Andersen having shots blocked in the box. 

QPR defender Conor Masterson almost scored an own goal just before the break but his header from a Mowatt free-kick hit the crossbar then Woodrow sent an overhead kick wide from the rebound. 

Struber brought off goal-scorer Simoes at the break and brought on Chaplin. Ritzmaier soon had a shot easily saved by Liam Kelly.  QPR were the better team for much of the second half but struggled to break through a resilient Barnsley backline and were reduced mainly to long range shots.

Jordan Hugill fired wide on the volley from 12 yards out then an Ilias Chair cross was cleared yards from the line by Ludewig. Eze then shot just over the bar from 20 yards after a fine individual run then Yoann Barbet did the same with a 25-yard free-kick. 

The hosts finally had a shot on goal in the 83rd minute but Eze’s effort was straight at Walton from outside the box. The goalkeeper made a better save five minutes later when Hugill went clean through from an Eze pass but was denied by a one-on-one block. 

Barnsley (3–4–1-2): Walton;, Andersen, Sollbauer, B Williams; Ludewig (Thomas 85mins), Palmer (Dougall 58), Mowatt, Ritzmaier, Woodrow (Styles 74); Brown, Simoes (Chaplin HT).  Unused: Radlinger, J Williams, Schmidt, Oduor, Halme. Yellow cards: Chaplin.  Goals: Simoes 7. 

QPR (4-4-2): Kelly; Rangel (Kane 80mins), Masterson, Barbet, Manning; Ball (Wallace 61), Amos (Shodipo HT), Chair, Eze, Osayi-Samuel; Hugill. Unused: Lumley, Oteh, Bettache, Clarke.

  • 15:04pm
    After a minute's applause for the NHS and then all players knelt for Black Lives Matter
  • 15:07pm
    Elliot Simoes opens the scoring!!
  • 15:09pm
    Great team goal. Palmer wins a tackle, Williams great through ball, Woodrow dummy, Simoes clean through and finishes nicely
  • 15:11pm
    10 So nearly 2-0. Andersen passes to Ludewig on the right wing. He crosses for Jacob Brown who should score put shoots just wide of the bottom left corner from 15 yards
  • 15:16pm
    Really good first quarter of an hour for the Reds. They look much more lively and alert than their hosts so far
  • 15:21pm
    Barnsley still on top. Cauley Woodrow has had a shot blocked and they have had a couple of corners. Currently they look quicker to every loose ball than a sloppy home side
  • 15:22pm
    Ben Williams has to almost rugby tackle Bright Osayi-Samuel after losing out to him. He just needs to keep his cool. QPR free-kick 35 yards from goal
  • 15:22pm
    22 Eze shoots from the free-kick. Walton scrambling a bit but it goes just over
  • 15:24pm
    A host drinks break midway through the half, as will be protocol for the remainder of the season
  • 15:30pm
    30 Another decent chance for the Reds. Andersen has a shot blocked after Mowatt crosses form the left low following a corner
  • 15:31pm
    Barnsley's formation is working well. Marcel Ritzmaier and Kilian Ludewig the wing-backs with Ben Williams alongside Andersen and Sollbauer in a back three.
  • 15:32pm
    32 Eze takes a corner from the right. It goes all the way out of the box on the other side and Brown blasts clear
  • 15:36pm
    Others scores impacting Barnsley. Charlton are winning at Hull and Wigan winning at Huddersfield
  • 15:38pm
    Brilliant covering tackle by Marcel Ritzmaier to stop a QPR player going clean through. He's having a good game as a makeshift left wing-back
  • 15:38pm
    Ben Williams is down injured
  • 15:38pm
    Williams is up but hobbling. Though looks as though he will carry on
  • 15:39pm
    The last few minutes have been QPR's brightest spell of the match, without leading to any chances. Barnsley need to stay solid for the first few minutes of this half
  • 15:42pm
    42 Barnsley win a corner on the left. Would be a great time for a second goal
  • 15:43pm
    42 Mowatt's corner is headed by Andersen but the referee has given a foul against him
  • 15:45pm
    44 QPR's Conor Masterson heads against his own bar from a Mowatt free-kick then Woodrow's overhead kick goes wide
  • 15:49pm
    HALF-TIME: QPR 0, Barnsley 1
  • 16:06pm
    Conor Chaplin on for Elliot Simoes at half-time
  • 16:06pm
  • 16:08pm
    Ritzmaier shoots from about 25 yards on the left but the goalkeeper gathers easily
  • 16:08pm
    Walton now has to dash out of his goal to head the ball away. The first thing he has really done all game
  • 16:13pm
    The referee has changed. It was Andy Davies but now someone else. Not sure who it is at the moment
  • 16:14pm
    Nothing else to report in the second half. Very even at the moment
  • 16:16pm
    Bright Osayi-Samuel breaks into the box on the right, his cross is well cleared by Mowatt. Then he gets free again after going past Andersen and Williams but Sollbauer intercepts and is fouled by Hugill
  • 16:18pm
    Kenny Dougall, with died blonde hair, replaces Romal Palmer who has had an excellent debut
  • 16:21pm
    60 Jordan Hugill chests down a right-wing cross but volleys wide on the turn. Rangers yet to have a shot on target
  • 16:23pm
    61 Ilias Chair gets down the right of the box and fires in a low cross which Ludewig clears yards from his line and the ball is fired straight to Walton
  • 16:25pm
    The hosts have had the better of the last five minutes or so but are yet to carve out a really good chance.
  • 16:26pm
    A lot of the players look tired out there as we approach the second drinks break. It's going to be a test of concentration, character and fitness now for Barnsley. It still looks as though they can create chances at the other end
  • 16:28pm
    67 Chaplin's runs into the box from the left and has a shot blocked
  • 16:29pm
    So far Kenny Dougall has played a couple of excellent cross field passes
  • 16:29pm
    68 Eze goes close, he cuts past Ludewig then shoots from just outside the box but it goes just over
  • 16:31pm
    20 minutes to play. Can Barnsley hang on here?
  • 16:35pm
    72 QPR have a free-kick 25 yards from goal in a central position. Yoann Barbet puts it just over
  • 16:38pm
    76 Alex Mowatt's left-wing free-kick is headed behind for a corner
  • 16:38pm
    77 Mowatt also takes the corner from the right but it is headed away at the near post
  • 16:40pm
    79 Sollbauer has to put the ball behind for a corner on the left. Eze takes it short then crosses and Williams heads out for a throw
  • 16:41pm
    QPR bring on Todd Kane for Angel Rangel
  • 16:43pm
    81 An incredible piece of skill by Brown to turn a defender near halfway. He then sprints to the edge of the box before passing to Ludewig but the full-back is judged to have committed a foul as he tries to win a corner when the ball got away from him
  • 16:44pm
    83 Eze has the home side's first shot on target but it is straight at Walton from outside the box
  • 16:50pm
    88 Huge chance for Hugill to level as he goes clean through on goal from a Eze pass but Walton comes out and makes a fine block
  • 16:53pm
    Chaplin the first player booked after a very cynical late trip
  • 16:56pm
    FULL-TIME: QPR 0, Barnsley 1. A huge win for the Reds, their first at Loftus Road in 25 attempts across 70 years