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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Additional Match Reports of QPR 2 Southend 0

The Sunday Times August 13, 2006

QPR 2 Southend 0: Shrimpers caught cold by classy Rangers
Brian Glanville at Loftus Road

WITH Ray Jones and Dexter Blackstock combining in attack for QPR as though they had been playing together for years, rather than for the first time, Rangers dominated and only a defiant exhibition by Darryl Flahavan prevented a rout.
It was expected that all eyes would be on 22-year-old Southend striker Freddy Eastwood, a comparatively late developer signed from non-league Grays Athletic. He has been impressive in his first couple of games this season for the promoted Shrimpers, enabling Southend to look as if they might well survive in this division provided they are able to keep him.

As it transpired, the first half was very much QPR’s and a period in which we saw little or nothing of the much-heralded Eastwood.

Jones and Blackstock combined swiftly and shrewdly, Gareth Ainsworth showed pace and power on the right flank, while Nick Ward was a force in central midfield. In the event, Southend would owe a lot to Flahavan.

In the 11th minute, a combination between Jones and Blackstock led to a strong drive turned over the top by Flahavan. There was something of a hiatus until, in the 23rd minute, QPR began to find the target again, and frequently. When Blackstock found Lee Cook on the left, the sequel was a left-footed shot which had Flahavan jumping high to take it. Just a minute later, a fierce, long-range effort from Ainsworth was turned behind by the busy Southend keeper.

A goal surely had to come and, in due course, it did in the 31st minute, shortly after Flahavan took a left-footed strike from Ward. But, when Cook touched a free kick to Rowlands just outside the box, even Flahavan could do nothing about his searing right-footed shot.

And still we were waiting in vain to see something of Eastwood, hardly perhaps a fair test for him, given the pressure put upon his team by the lively and coherent QPR attack.

Flahavan dived desperately but successfully at the feet of Jones. But on 41 minutes, there was a double disaster for himself and his team when Blackstock crossed from the right, Jones soared to beat Flahavan to the ball in the air and Ward on the far post had only to knock it over the line for QPR’s second. In the process, Flahavan took a knock on the side of his head and left the field clutching a towel to the wound.

STAR MAN: Dexter Blackstock (QPR)

Player ratings. QPR: P Jones 6, Rose 6, Rehman 6, Stewart 6, Milanese 6, Ainsworth 7, Rowlands 7 (Lomas 54min, 6), Ward 7, Cook 7, R Jones 8 (Gallen 74min, 6) Blackstock 8

Southend: Flahavan 8 (Collis 42min, 7), Francis 6, Prior 6, Barrett 6, Hammell 6, Campbell-Ryce 6, Maher 7, Guttridge 7, Gower 7, Eastwood 6, Bradbury 6 (Paynter 71min, 6)

Scorers: QPR: Rowlands 31, Ward 41

Referee: I Williamson

Attendance: 12,368
Sunday Times

QPR 2 Southend Utd 0: QPR take control as Eastwood fires blanks
By Norman Fox at Loftus Road

When the season is young there is always good reason to give an inferior side a thumping in order to send out messages of intent. Queen's Park Rangers had that opportunity at Loftus Road yesterday but let Southend escape with a mild smack.

Despite gaining promotion twice in as many seasons, Southend are well aware that the Championship is not likely to be a division through which they will comfortably pass en route to even higher things. Not that the quality of their football, as they swept into the game with a succession of bright, enterprising attacks, was anything less than ambitious.

QPR's new signing, 20-year-old Dexter Blackstock, from Southampton, may have got an early caution for diving, but he plunged quickly into the Southend penalty area with sharp-eyed menace. He might have done a little better in the 11th minute, forcing Darryl Flahavan to deflect his shot over the bar, but generally he linked well with Gareth Ainsworth and his strike partner Ray Jones.

The striker who had been anticipated to catch most of the attention was, of course, Southend's Freddy Eastwood. Yesterday, he found it difficult to get in his stride and Rangers dictated the pace so that they took a 30th-minute lead when Lee Cook tapped a free-kick to Martin Rowlands, who sent a shot into the top corner.

Southend's situation got worse when, after 43 minutes, Flahavan made a tentative attempt to clear a cross from Ainsworth but succeeded only in colliding with Jones, who headed towards an empty goal. Nick Ward chased the ball in. Flahavan's game was over with a cut head and a sore memory of his unhappy intervention.

Southend certainly felt sore enough all round to take a much more positive attitude into the second half, passing more accurately and tightening up in defence. Even so, they found it difficult to locate Eastwood and made little of their chances.

"We know it's going to be a tough year but the spirit we showed in the second half shows we can compete," said Southend manager Steve Tilson. "We are going to need an excellent team spirit and togetherness to get through this season."

Southend's progress is likely to be hesitant in this division. But, considering their recent rise, that should be sufficient.


Sunday People
13 August 2006

Coca Cola CHAMPIONSHIP ALL THE TOP ACTION Jones fries Shrimpers
Tony Stevens
QPR 2 Southend 0

GARY WADDOCK'S first win as full-time manager was an encouraging sign that Rangers are finally over the troubles of last season.

And it appears he has a lot to look forward to as his side made a bright start with new-look strike partnership of 17-year-old Ray Jones and latest signing Dexter Blackstock.

Their link-up play nearly led to an opener on 11 minutes when Jones' through-ball played in Blackstock whose shot was well saved by Darryl Flahavan.

There was no let-up as Rangers continued to piled forward for the entire half as an opener seemed inevitable.

When it came it was a thunderbolt from midfielder Martin Rowlands, as he hammered in a 25-yard free-kick after half an hour.

The strike would have been even sweeter for the man himself, who missed nearly all the second half of last season through injury.

He seems to have settled back into his midfield holding role, already developing an understanding alongside summer signing Nick Ward.

Rowlands gave the Australian licence to get forward and his energetic running was rewarded with a goal five minutes from half-time. Jones battled bravely for a testing Gareth Ainsworth cross and beat Flahavan to the ball with his head, leaving Ward for a tap-in.

To make matters worse for the Shrimpers, their overworked keeper was injured in the challenge with Jones and replaced by Steve Collis.

Although they did have their first real chance when Mark Gower fired over just before the break, it was a half to forget for the promoted side.

And Collis was quickly called into action straight after the re-start, having to block a Jones shot after he was put through by Lee Cook.

QPR's other Jones, goalkeeper Paul, had to make his first save when Luke Guttridge linked with Lee Bradbury after 48 minutes and fired at goal.

The stop was good and the Welsh international was relieved that when hitman Freddy Eastwood was put through five minutes later he struck well over the bar.

Eastwood had the half's best chance as Southend started to recover, and should have done better with a back-post header in the 70th minute.

But Rangers were playing with confidence, and despite their second-half efforts, the visitors could not find a way through an impressive back-line.


P Jones 7, Rose 6, Stewart 8, Rehman 7, Milanese 8, Ainsworth 8, Rowlands 7 (Lomas, 54mins, 6), Ward 7, Cook 7, Blackstock 8, R Jones 9 (Gallen, 74mins).

Flahavan 7 (Collis, 43mins, 5), Francis 6, Prior 6, Barrett 5, Hammell 4, Campbell-Ryce 6, Guttridge 7, Maher 7, Gower 6, Bradbury 5 (Paynter, 71mins), Eastwood 7.

Ray Jones (QPR) 9


Sunday Mirror 13 August 2006
Pete Simm At Loftus Road

MARTIN ROWLANDS fired home a spectacular freekick to set up QPR's first win of the season.

The midfielder thundered a 25-yard shot into the top lefthand corner on 31 minutes before Nick Ward wrapped up the points 10 minutes later.

And the winning margin would have been even greater but for the brilliant antics of Southend goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan in the first half.

Rangers boss Gary Waddock gave immediate debuts to Zesh Rehman and Dexter Blackstock following midweek moves and the latter proved a handful for Southend's defence.

Blackstock, signed from Southampton, was soon in the action as he forced a flying save from Flahavan after only 10 minutes.

Southend's keeper also had to show good reflexes to deny Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth and Ward as QPR laid siege to the visitors' goal. But not even Flahavan could stop QPR taking a firm grip on the game as the first half neared its conclusion.

First Rowlands gave Flahavan no chance with a fierce right-foot shot after Cook had been tripped by Luke Guttridge, then Ward finished from two yards out after striker Ray Jones had beaten the Southend goalkeeper to nod on Blackstock's cross from the right.

Flahavan was injured in the challenge and had to be replaced by Simon Collis but Southend's penalty area continued to be the busier.



Jones 6, Rose 7, Stewart 6, Rehman 7, Milanese 6, Ainsworth 7, Rowlands 6 (Lomas 5), WARD 8, Cook 7, Blackstock 7, Jones 7 (Gallen 5).

MANAGER Waddock 7


Flahavan 7 (Collis 6), Francis 6, Barrett 5, Prior 6, Hammell 5, Campbell-Ryce 7, Maher 6, Guttridge 6, Gower 6, Bradbury 5 (Paynter 6), Eastwood 6.

MANAGER Tilson 6

REFEREE I Williamson 6



Took his goal well to cap a dynamic display.


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