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Saturday, August 12, 2006

After Six Months, QPR Finally Win! - Reports & Comments

[Being updated!]

QPR 2 Southend 0.

After six long months or approximately 262,974 minutes, Garry Waddock's QPR get a win!
Not having won since late February - and not having won at Loftus Road, since his initial game in charge, Gary Waddock's team should be savouring beating Southend today.
Hopefully in true football-fashion, QPR will now go on a run...

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Gary Waddock believes the 'belief is back' amongst the squad after the 2-0 victory against Southend United.

"Two goals; a clean sheet; and three points - it's a fantastic feeling tonight.

"It's been a long time in coming, but the players deserved everything they got today.

"The belief is back amongst the squad and it's just fantastic.''

Waddock was delighted with the application of his side in the first half, commenting: "At this level we can't expect to dominate for the 90 minutes, but we won the game in the first half.

"Southend are a good side - make no mistake about that - but for 45 minutes we totally outplayed them in every department.

"The three points is just reward for a fantastic first half display from the lads.''

The gaffer also paid tribute to the new-look front two of debutant Dexter Blackstock and Ray Jones.

"The way Dexter and Ray gelled was unbelievable when you consider they've only had one training session together.

"There's still a lot more to come from them both, but it was so encouraging. Dexter had a super debut and is a handful to deal with for defenders. Ray has bags of potential and is certainly one to watch in the future.

A wonder-goal from Martin Rowlands and a first goal in English football from Nicky Ward helped seal the 2-0 victory - to the delight of Waddock.

"Rowly's goal was an absolute gem and it was great for Nicky to open his account.''

Official Site


Southend Official Site - TILSON LEARNS HIS LESSON

Steve Tilson considers where things went wrong

Steve Tilson was pleased with Southend's second half fightback at QPR, but admitted you can't afford to give team's two goal leads at this level.

The Blues controlled the majority of the second half and had several great chances to pull themselves back into the match, only to be constantly thwarted in front of goal.

"We didn't pass the ball well enough in the first half," Steve told World TV.

"It's a great strike for their first goal and then just before half time we concede a second from a deep cross.

"I'm not sure if it's a foul on Flavs, but he has five stitches above his eye.

"Freddy went up with their goalkeeper in the second half and the referee blows for a foul, so it is difficult to call.

"He's okay though and should be ready for next Saturday against Sunderland."

Tilson took many positives from the team's response though, as the team still adjust to life in the Championship.

"I was really pleased with our response in the second half and me and Brushy counted seven decent chances," he said.

"Their goalkeeper has made two fantastic saves from Luke and Jamal, and Freddy should have scored as well.

"If Luke's chance had gone in five minutes into the second half then we are right back in the match.

"We knew it would be tough this year and I think we have played well, but you can't afford to give teams 2-0 leads at this level."

Southend Official Site

"QPR will be under a little bit of pressure, as they have only got one point out the first two games, so we have to go there and be positive. "If we come away with one point that will be a good result, but we'll go there looking for all three. "We go into every game looking for three points, but it's going to be a tough test."
Southend Official Site

BBC - QPR 2-0 Southend

Ward scored for the first time since his summer move from Perth Glory
Martin Rowlands and Nick Ward scored as QPR resisted a second-half resurgence from Championship new-boys Southend to register their first win of the season.
The hosts were rampant in the first 45, with Lee Cook, Gareth Ainsworth and new signing Dexter Blackstock going close.

And they got their reward when Rowlands lashed into the roof of the net from 25 yards, before Ward tapped in a second.

However, Southend came out fighting and but for wasteful finishing from Freddy Eastwood, might have got something.

The in-form striker's best chance of many came when he latched onto Lee Bradbury's pass to run in on goal, but Paul Jones blocked his goal-bound effort late in the second half.

But the hosts deserved their victory, if only for their first-half performance when Blackstock twice forced keeper Darryl Flahavan into action and Ainsworth saw a 25-yarder tipped wide.

Rangers finally went in front in the 31st minute when Rowlands latched onto Cook's short free-kick to lash home, before Ward met Ray Jones' knock-back to tap in for his first QPR goal 10 minutes later.

And despite continuing to create chances in a pulsating second half, the hosts were grateful for that two-goal lead as Eastwood got behind their defence on several occasions, though the 22-year-old's usual coolness abandoned him at Loftus Road.


Sporting Life/PA Sports

QPR 2 Southend 0
By Tom Collomosse, PA Sport

Click here for full match stats

QPR tasted victory for the first time since February 25 after comfortably disposing of Southend.

First-half goals from Martin Rowlands and Australian Nick Ward - his first for the club - enabled Rangers to register their first win of the season and only their third since Gary Waddock took charge seven months ago.

Youngster Ray Jones - making his first start - new signing Dexter Blackstock and Gareth Ainsworth all missed chances for the home side, while Southend's star forward Freddy Eastwood wasted two good second-half opportunities.

QPR gave debuts to defender Zesh Rehman and forward Blackstock, who were signed in midweek from Fulham and Southampton respectively, while Southend were unchanged for the third straight game.

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Kiyan Prince, the 15-year-old Rangers youth-team player who was killed after a fight outside his school earlier this year.

With less than 60 seconds on the clock, Blackstock was booked by referee Iain Williamson, who ruled he had dived on the edge of the penalty area under pressure from Adam Barrett.

But in the 12th minute, Blackstock almost opened his Rangers account when he collected a return pass from Jones and hit a rising shot from eight yards that Darryl Flahavan did well to push over.

Rangers went in front in the 31st minute when Lee Cook took a short free-kick to Rowlands, who struck a ferocious shot into the roof of the net from 25 yards.

Life got even better for Rangers when Jones beat Flahavan in the air to Gareth Ainsworth's right-wing cross, and Ward was there to touch the ball over the line from a yard.

To make matters worse for Southend, Flahavan was injured in the clash and had to be replaced by reserve goalkeeper Steve Collis.

Southend pushed forward at the start of the second half and forced Paul Jones to make his first save, a sharp parry to keep out Luke Guttridge's close-range effort.

But QPR's pace enabled them to threaten on the break. Ray Jones' shot was pushed around the near post after neat work from Cook and Blackstock, the same player then hit the bar with a wayward cross, and Ainsworth mis-kicked eight yards out following some excellent interplay between Ward and Jones.

Southend should have pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute but Eastwood headed Mark Gower's cross wide from close range under pressure from Paul Jones.

Nine minutes from full-time, Eastwood looked odds-on to score after evading Jones, but his hooked effort was deflected behind by Damion Stewart.
Sporting Life


A goal apiece from Martin Rowlands and Nicky Ward helped the R's clinch their first win in 14 attempts.
Rangers sealed their first three point haul since February 25th with a superb first half display against the Shrimpers.
An unstoppable free-kick from Rowlands and a first goal in English football from Ward gave the R's a deserved 2-0 lead at the break.
Rowlands made it two goals in as many games at Loftus Road with a stunning 31st minute strike.
Arriving on to Lee Cook's lay off, the centre midfielder gave the otherwise exemplary Darryl Flahavan absolutely no chance.
Ward made it two just before the break, firing home from inside the six-yard box after Ray Jones' initial knock-down.
In truth the two goal margin flattered Steve Tilson's men, who played second fiddle to the R's for the entire half.
Southend offered a greater threat in the second half, but it was Rangers who deservedly clinched maximum points, to the delight of another partisan home crowd.

Gary Waddock handed debuts to new signings Dexter Blackstock and Zesh Rehman, with Marcus Bignot and Steve Lomas making way.

Ray Jones started in place of Adam Czerkas up-front, in an orthodox 4-4-2 formation.
Blackstock's debut got off to the worst possible start though, when he picked up a yellow card inside the opening 10 seconds.
After linking up superbly with strike partner Jones, Blackstock jinked past two Shrimpers defenders before being bundled to ground on the edge of the box.
All and sundry thought that the referee had awarded a QPR free-kick, but Mr Williamson thought otherwise, awarding Southend the decision, and booking Blackstock for diving.
Undeterred, it was Rangers who created the first opening of the match on seven minutes.
After Ward's solo run was ended by a rash Kevin Maher challenge, Lee Cook's resultant 25 yard free-kick finished inches wide of Flahavan's left hand post.
Blackstock was clearly relishing his Loftus Road debut and after linking up magnificently with Ward, and then Jones, the former Southampton striker saw his stinging 12-yard strike tipped over the bar by Flahavan.
The understanding between the two front-men was a real joy to watch, as Rangers picked up from where they left off against Leeds United on Tuesday night.
It was that man Blackstock who created the next R's chance on 13 minutes, out-pacing Simon Francis down the left flank, only to see his pull back come to nothing thanks to an excellent piece of defending from Shrimpers centre half Adam Barrett.
Goalkeepers are often referred to as clowns and Flahavan had a moment of madness on 17 minutes, racing off his line to clear, only to totally miss-kick. Jones pounced on the loose ball, but his weak effort flew wide of the far post.
Cook was getting the better of his battle with Shrimpers right back Francis and when Blackstock laid the ball out wide, the winger lashed a ferocious shot which Flahavan did well to hold on to at his near post.

With Southend struggling to find any fluency in their play, the one-way traffic continued, with Gareth Ainsworth forcing Flahavan into yet another stunning save, diving full stretch to his left to keep out the R's skipper's fearsome 30-yard drive.

But for Flahavan, Southend would've been staring down the barrel of an embarrassing first half scoreline. The Shrimpers keeper was again on hand to spare the visitors' blushes in the 29th minute, this time holding onto Nicky Ward's curling 18-yard effort.

But Flahavan could do nothing when Rowlands stepped up to blast home an unstoppable free-kick in the 31st minute.

After Cook had tried and failed from 25-yards, Rowlands took centre stage, smashing home an early contender for goal of the season with a blistering strike that arrowed into the top left hand corner.

Blackstock almost got the goal his first half performance deserved when he arrived bang on cue to Cook's left wing cross, but Flahavan did magnificently well to gather at the strikers' feet, albeit at the second attempt.

Southend were made to wait until the 39th minute for their first chance of the match, with Francis curling a 25 yard shot well wide of Jones' right hand post.

Rangers got the second goal their performance warranted on 40 minutes and it was Ward who opened his account.

After Jones out-jumped Flahavan to Blackstock's right sided cross, the ball fell perfectly into the path of the Aussie midfielder, who tapped home from little more than a yard.

The Kangaroo celebration that followed was sheer class, just like the R's first half display.

Flahavan was forced from the fray as a result of Jones' challenge, rubbing further salt in the wound for the already depleted Shrimpers.

Some of the football was sensational and Jones almost made it three on the stroke of half-time, firing into the arms of Steve Collis.

Mark Gower and Cook went close for their respective sides in first half stoppage time, but it was the hosts who were the happier of the two teams as Mr Williamson brought the half to an end after four added minutes.

There was simply no let-up in the R's positive display and when Blackstock and Cook exchanged passes in the 47th minute, Jones stung the palms of Collis with a piercing 18 yard strike.

With Mauro Milanese receiving treatment for a head injury, Southend almost made their brief numerical advantage tell on 48 minutes.

Thankfully for the R's, Paul Jones came to the rescue, diving full stretch to divert Luke Guttridge's shot to safety.

Donning a Terry Butcher style head bandage, Milanese returned to the fray on 50 minutes, before Rowlands was forced from the fray, replaced by Steve Lomas.

Seconds after the change, Ray Jones' cross-cum-shot cannoned off the angle of the bar, as the R's continued to attack, despite an improved second half display from the visitors.

Ainsworth squandered a glorious chance to all but wrap the game up on 58 minutes, completing fluffing his lines from 12-yards after a sublime counter-attack involving Ward and Jones.

Jones joined his strike partner Blackstock in the referee's note-book on the hour for a rash challenge on Steven Hammell, before Ward - who improved as the match wore on - curled a sublime effort just wide of Collis' left hand upright.

Hot-shot Eastwood wasted a golden chance to bring the Shrimpers back into the game on 70 minutes - heading wide from little more than a yard when it seemed easier to score.

And the same player squandered another decent opportunity three minutes later, dragging his 15 yard shot wide from an acute angle.

Cook almost put the icing on the cake five minutes from time, but the ball whistled inches wide, with Collis seemingly beaten all ends up.

Guttridge - via the aid of a Damion Stewart deflection - had Paul Jones scrambling across his goal in the final minute, but it was not to be for the Shrimpers, whose search for win number two of the campaign continues.

QPR: P Jones, Rose, Stewart, Rehman, Milanese, Ainsworth, Rowlands (Lomas 55), Ward, Cook, Blackstock, R Jones (Gallen 75).
Subs: Cole, Kanyuka, Baidoo.
Scorers: Rowlands 31, Ward 40
Bookings: Blackstock 1, Rose 45, R Jones 61

Southend United: Flahavan (Collis 42), Francis, Prior, Barrett, Gower, Maher, Eastwood, Bradbury (Paynter 71), Guttridge, Campbell-Ryce, Hammell.
Subs: Hunt, Clarke, Lawson.
Bookings: Guttridge 29
Attendance: 12, 368


Southend came unstuck on their travels again, as they endured a frustrating afternoon in a 2-0 defeat at QPR.

After both teams took the opening 20 minutes to find their feet, it was QPR who managed to gain a firm grip on the match, which paved the way for them to collect the three points.

Interchange passing on the edge of the penalty box from the hosts released Dexter Blackstock on goal, but Darryl Flahavan was equal to his shot in making an excellent save to push the ball over.

Lee Cook arrowed a strike on target that Flahavan showed safe hands to hold before he was tested further to make another fine save to parry Gareth Ainsworth's shot around the post.

Ainsworth went close again, as he got the better of Steven Hammell down the left wing, raced into the area and planted a shot straight at Flahavan.

Southend were constantly found on the backfoot and struggled to make inroads into the QPR defence, as the hosts took a firm grip and forced the issue when they opened the scoring after 31 minutes.

Martin Rowlands blasted home a 20 yard free kick into the left-hand side of the goal, past the despairing dive of Flahavan.

Lee Bradbury

Lee Bradbury

Striker holds the ball up for Southend
And four minutes before the break QPR doubled their lead. Ainsworth's right wing cross saw Jones challenge Flahavan for the ball at the far post and he managed to head it across goal, where Nick Ward was on hand to tap home into an empty net.

Flahavan was injured when he came for the ball though and left the field clutching the right side of his face to be replaced by Steve Collis between the sticks.

A disappointing first half then ended with Mark Gower going close in rifling a half volley over the goal.

Collis made a smart block to deny Jones after the interval before Luke Guttridge looked set to reduce the arrears when Jamal Campbell-Ryce's darting run released the midfielder, but Paul Jones made a fine stop in the QPR goal.

Cook's left wing cross deceived Collis and hit the crossbar while Freddy Eastwood seemed set to score only to glance a header wide from just three yards out at the far post.

Eastwood was played on goal and managed to get around Jones, but the attentions of the backtracking Damion Stewart blocked his chances of an easy shot at an open goal and he proceeded to fire over.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce came close to a last minute consolation, but Jones made a terrific one handed stop ahead of the final whistle.

Southend were a much better outfit in the second half, but for all their endeavour they failed to find the cutting edge they needed up front with QPR securing a 2-0 victory.


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