Barnsley put up a great battle at high-flyng Rangers, only to lose to a second-half Austin double as the home side continued their run of clean sheets.
Barnsley knew they had it all to do on their trip to the capital.
The Reds had not won at Loftus Road for nearly 63 years and had not beaten the Hoops in West London in their last 22 visits. Barnsley
Under-fire boss Flitcroft and his struggling charges were pitted against opponents who had not lost at home in the league this season and whom are tipped for promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
And so it was going to take a fine effort from the visitors to emerge with anything from their travels, especially having not won in their last five league fixtures.
The Reds’ away form has been nothing short of poor this season having lost all five of their away league clashes going into this fixture.
And that wasn’t taking into account defeats in their last eight visits to Loftus Road, a poor hunting ground for a side who sat bottom of the Championship before kick-off.
However Flitcroft had a nearly fully-fit squad at his disposal and was desperate for his misfiring side to try and pinch at least a point before the pending international break. They needed something desperately having picked up one point from a possible 15 in their last five league matches.
The next fortnight, with the international break given players the opportunity to rest, will at least give the Reds chance to take stock after what had been their poorest start to a league season for 47 years.
But it was back to business today as the Reds looked to rewrite the record books and get their season back on track.
Perkins tried his luck with an ambitious long-range effort, but his 22nd minute strike was never going to threaten Hoops’ keeper Green.
Four minutes later former Mellis shot over with a powerful shot which was always rising.
Skipper Cranie fell awkwardly on his left shoulder short after the half hour mark and play was delayed. But the defender carried on despite being in obvious pain.
Then the Reds were in debt to loan keeper Butland who kept them level-pegging with a fine save.
The Stoke City man saved with his legs to deny on-song striker Austin and then the Reds scrambled the ball away after Faurlin had followed up from the rebound.
Not long after midfielder Barton fizzed a firecracker past the left upright from 35 yards out.
It was another close shave for the visitors.And that was the last of the action before half-time as the scoreline remained goalless with the Reds having so far kept a welcome clean sheet at Loftus Road.
Less than two minutes into the second half Ramage headed over as the Reds started brightly.
At the other end England international Butland did well to deny Assou-Ekoto with a smart save as the Hoops countered.
McCourt did brilliantly to clear off his own goal-line after Kranjcar’s powerful strike looked like it was going to sneak into the bottom right corner.
Mellis then found himself in the book for a bad challenge. It was the first yellow card of the afternoon.
Then QPR took the lead after the Reds’ defense finally buckled under pressure. And it was in-form AUSTIN who scored it in the 66th minute.
Substitute Hoillett had an immediate impact as he picked out Austin from a corner and the former Burnley striker picked out the bottom right corner with a sweet left-foot drive.
The Reds were now up against it was the Hoops looked to make it a club record eighth successive cleansheet at home in the league.
And with four minutes to go the hosts secured victory when Cranie felled Austin in the box and conceded a penalty.
AUSTIN took the honour himself and made no mistake as he drilled past Butland to double the home team’s lead.