Tom Ince nets late winner as Derby march on in the Championship
Tom Ince netted a late goal as Derby beat QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road to register their seventh consecutive Sky Bet Championship victory.
Struggling Rangers had plenty of possession but were undone when substitute Abdoul Camara crossed from the left and Ince sent a first-time shot beyond goalkeeper Alex Smithies and into the corner of the net.
It lifted the Rams up to fifth in the table and continued a miserable run for Ian Holloway, whose team produced an improved performance in their fifth match since his return for a second spell as manager but were again unable to find the net.
QPR, low on confidence and continually vulnerable to counter-attacks, have now scored just one goal in their last four games, which have all ended in defeat.
Tjaronn Chery was involved in many of their brightest moments, especially in the first half.
The Dutchman had an early strike pushed away by Scott Carson and later teed up Conor Washington, whose effort was also saved by the Derby keeper.
At the other end, the Rams had a goal disallowed for offside when Ince fired into the net after collecting Andreas Weimann's pass.
Rangers had a decent spell late in the first half, with Carson tipping over Yeni Ngbakoto's 30-yarder and gathering a low shot from Washington, who should have done better after being set up by Chery.
The hosts continued to threaten early in the second half and Ngbakoto sent a shot over before Massimo Luongo was just unable to force home the loose ball after Carson had fumbled a shot from Chery.
Derby responded, with Bradley Johnson bringing a save from Smithies before a Rams counter-attack led to Ince missing a good chance.
A long ball forward put Ince through on goal but, under pressure from James Perch, he fired wide of the near post and appealed in vain for a penalty.
But Ince atoned in emphatic style, with his seventh goal of the season, and he almost scored again in injury time when he shot wide from a tight angle.