Leaders stung by handy Hornets

QPR's hot streak ground to a halt as the Championship leaders suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to Watford at Loftus Road on Friday night.

Last Updated: 11/12/10 at 09:34

Graham (r): Bagged a brace at Loftus Road

Graham (r): Bagged a brace at Loftus Road

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A brace from Danny Graham, either side of Jordon Mutch's fortuitous strike, secured a surprise win for Watford as Rangers blew the chance to go seven points clear at the top.

There was a silver lining for manager Neil Warnock, though, after he promised early in the season to continue to wear shorts on the touchline until they lost their first league game.

The 62-year-old probably did not envisage he would still be bare-legged in mid-December, some 19 matches later.

But he can finally pack some warm trousers after watching Watford tear his side apart in front of the TV cameras at Loftus Road.

The hosts actually twice came close to opening the scoring in the first five minutes when Jamie Mackie shot inches wide and former Hornet Heidar Helguson's volley brought a fine save from Scott Loach.

Warnock's temperature rose considerably moments later when John Eustace appeared to handle a cross in the area but referee Darren Deadman was not interested.

Rangers survived a scare in the 11th minute when Will Buckley scampered through on goal but Paddy Kenny spread himself well to keep out the shot.

But the Hornets took a 26th-minute lead when Andrew Taylor overlapped down the left and his deflected cross fell at the feet of Graham to fire home.

Four minutes later the visitors were two up when Mutch's speculative curler deceived everyone, including Kenny, and ended up in the back of the net.

Rangers captain Adel Taarabt was having one of his more eccentric evenings, but he came close to pulling one back when his curling free-kick flew narrowly wide.

However, Rangers were indebted to a brave block from Clint Hill, who flung himself in front of another Mutch shot from eight yards out to keep the deficit to two just before the break.

But the Hornets did grab a third three minutes into the second half when, with Rangers appealing for an offside, Graham burst clear again and tucked his shot past Kenny.

It could have got worse for the hosts, with Shaun Derry heading another Mutch effort off the line with Kenny beaten and Graham somehow shooting over from underneath the crossbar.

Ex-Watford striker Tommy Smith sidefooted a consolation for the hosts with two minutes left but the Football League's only remaining unbeaten record had long since been shattered.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Manchester City boss Pellegrini hits back over recent criticism

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has come out fighting amid speculation over his future at the Etihad.

Sir Alex Ferguson hails decorated career of Spurs legend Dave Mackay

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to Dave Mackay, hailing 'a great career as a player and a manager.'

Petr Cech not likely to leave Chelsea unless huge transfer fee involved

Jose Mourinho says it will take "huge money" to prise goalkeeper Petr Cech away from Chelsea this summer.

Mail Box

There Are Mitigating Circumstances For LVG

One Mailboxer is admant there are mitigating circumstances to LVG's struggles at Manchester Utd and he offers his four signings for next season...

LVG Stick Needs A Little Context...

LVG's rough ride from the media needs some context - then you would understand, while the Mailbox urges Nabil Bentaleb to go down...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company