The fourth part of our review of the 2009/10 season.
QPR 1-1 Crystal Palace – 03-11-2009
Neil Warnock brought his Crystal Palace side to Loftus Road for the second time following the postponed fixture prior to the Barnsley clash.
The objective was to get back on track and despite the lack of vintage football Rangers were able to take the lead when Adel Taarabt was fouled and Ákos Buzsáky dispatched the spot-kick.
Palace, in true Warnock fashion, never lied down and had their leveller also from the spot when Fitz Hall ridiculously dragged down Freddy Sears in the area – Darren Ambrose levelling the scores.
Despite the result and a somewhat disappointing display the R’s moved into the top six and it was Magilton’s mandate to keep Rangers there for the rest of the campaign.
Goals: Buzsáky 19pen; Ambrose 62pen
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Fitz Hall, Kaspars Gorkss, Gary Borrowdale, Alejandro Damián Faurlín, Ben Watson, Wayne Routledge, Adel Taarabt (Patrick Agyemang 74), Ákos Buzsáky (Hogan Ephraim 78), Jay Simpson (Rowan Vine 84).
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 QPR – 07-11-2009
Hillsborough came calling for Magilton’s men, a place that holds fond recent memories given the 2003 promotion party – and Jay Simpson seemed intent to create some memories of his own.
His excellent early display was capped off with a first half goal against the side that chased his signature in the summer.
Wednesday came back when Jermaine Johnson’s pace saw him stroke home beyond Radek Cerny for an instant response for Laws’ Owls.
It was Rangers who had the last laugh in an even encounter when Kaspars Gorkss rose highest to head home his first QPR goal and steal the points at Hillsborough.
Goals: Johnson 13; Simpson 10, Gorkss 82
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Fitz Hall (Matthew Connolly 30), Peter Ramage, Ben Watson, Gavin Mahon, Adel Taarabt (Rowan Vine 88), Ákos Buzsáky (Alejandro Faurlín 68), Wayne Routledge, Jay Simpson.
Doncaster Rovers 2-0 QPR – 21-11-2009
All the drama pre-match centred around Jim Magilton dropping Adel Taarabt over a disciplinary issue, while Tom Williams and Steven Reid were drafted in from the off despite only recently joining the club.
Rangers were looking a shadow of the side that had grafted to win at Sheffield, with Doncaster’s scything passing play reminiscent of the visiting side earlier in the season.
The breakthrough came as Billy Sharp snaffled a chance home from close range, and strike partner Dean Shiels was in equally useful form, slamming home form the edge of the area.
Rumours of discontent in the dressing room then began to surface as Magilton’s strong-worded team-talks not endearing the playing staff at Loftus Road.
Goals: Sharp 53, Shiels 65
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Matthew Connolly, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge, Alejandro Faurlín (Adel Taarabt 46), Ben Watson, Steven Reid, Ákos Buzsáky (Patrick Agyemang 63), Jay Simpson (Alessandro Pellicori 63).
QPR 2-2 Coventry City – 28-11-2009
Rangers’ slip up at Doncaster saw their playoff ambitions under threat, and they were hoping to bounce back at home against Coventry City – a notoriously difficult side to break down.
The task grew tougher when Leon Best looped a header beyond Radek Cerny – but Alejandro Faurlín’s excellent creativity found Jay Simpson, and the R’s top scorer netted with aplomb.
Any hints of discontent weren’t apparent as Rangers threw everything at Coventry in a dominant second period, and Ákos Buzsáky saw the dominance culminate in a home goal.
Just when the points seemed secured, Coventry showed a little endeavour and grabbed an unlikely equaliser – Richard Wood, who failed to keep Rangers out for Sheffield Wednesday – popped up with his first Sky Blues goal.
Goals: Simpson 35, Buzsáky 69; Best 16, Wood 81
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Fitz Hall, Matthew Connolly, Gary Borrowdale, Ben Watson, Alejandro Damián Faurlín, Adel Taarabt (Steven Reid 80) Ákos Buzsáky, Wayne Routledge, Jay Simpson.
Stay tuned – more coming soon!
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