QPR Report Twitter Feed

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Stoke Lose Out on 60 Million Pound "Pot of Gold" Opportunity

QPR and Stoke drew 1-1 at Loftus Road today before a crowd of almost 17,000. Half time, QPR were leading 1-0 through Rowlands. Stoke equalized in the 84th minute through Sidibe. QPR players received 9 yellow cards (one for Timoska translated into a red card) With the four teams above them all winning, Stoke failed to make the playoffs and QPR will be playing Stoke again next season. QPR finished the season in 18th place with 53 points.Final Championship Tables

Team Lineups - QPR: Cole, Bignot, Bolder, Rowlands, Shimmin, Bailey, Stewart, Timoska, Nygaard, Blackstock, Smith.
Subs: P Jones, Bircham, Moore, Furlong, R Jones.

Stoke City: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Fortune, Sidibe, Fuller, Higginbotham, Hendrie, Diao, Matteo, Griffin, Zakuani.
Subs: Hoult, Eustace, Pericard, Russell, Martin.

John Gregory Final Comments - Official Site

John Gregory was in celebratory mood after the 1-1 draw with Stoke City and insists the future is bright in W12.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, the Rangers gaffer praised his players for their efforts over the last eight months.

"I was delighted with the lads yet again,'' said Gregory.

"We should have won the game, but the referee had other ideas.

"It's been a day of celebration, because we've picked ourselves up from the doldrums and survived in what has been a very tough season for the Football Club.''

The point at home to the Potters lifted Rangers above Leicester City into 18th spot on 53 points.

Gregory added: "We didn't get the three points I wanted, but we've finished the season on a high and it's time to look to the future.

"We need to find some stability now and it's my job to do that over the summer.

"Hopefully, we can make an impact at the other end of the table in the next few years.''

Club Captain Marcus Bignot added: "I'm so proud of the players.

"We've picked ourselves up from the dead to secure our Championship status and the dressing room is as good as I've known it in my time here.

"There will be a very positive feeling when the lads return for pre-season and that hasn't always been the case in the past.'' QPR

Sky Sports - Pulis: It wasn't our day
By Mark Buckingham - Created on 6 May 2007

Tony Pulis was disappointed Stoke City failed to take their chances at Loftus Road, while Queens Park Rangers boss John Gregory was in celebratory mood.

Stoke needed to better Southampton's result to gatecrash the play-offs, with Saints' 4-1 win over Southend United emphasising the size of the task.

But The Potters only had a Mamady Sidibe goal to show for their efforts in West London after Martin Rowlands had given QPR an early lead.

Pulis was left to rue the failure to take the chances, with the 1-1 draw meaning Stoke finished the campaign in eighth, after Preston beat Birmingham.

"We're disappointed," Pulis told Sky Sports News. "Even with the game today, we had the majority of the game and created very, very good opportunities.

"But it wasn't to be our day. I think they had one shot on goal."

R's chief Gregory felt the club's survival in the Championship was cause enough for celebration and believes his team should have won the match.

Gregory said: "We're celebrating today. We've had some misery here for a few seasons now since Ollie (Ian Holloway) got us promotion a few years back.

"It's been a really tough season for everybody connected with the club, so we're having a little celebration.

"It's been a good day. I thought we deserved to win that game today, but we didn't quite manage to get all three points.

"We finished the season off in style and we know we need to start like that next year."SkySports

The spoils were shared in W12, as ten-man Rangers conceded a late, late equaliser against the Potters.

Martin Rowlands notched his 10th goal of the season to hand Rangers a sixth minute lead and at that stage, Stoke's play-off hopes looked to have faded.

But the second half dismissal of Sampsa Timoska, for two bookable offences, gave Stoke the initiative and buoyed by their numerical advantage, Mamady Sibide equalised with seven minutes left to play.

The Potters went in search of a late winner, but their efforts proved in vain and with other results going against them, Tony Pulis' men came up just short in their bid for a top-six finish.

Dexter Blackstock returned to the Rangers starting XI, after missing out on the trip to Molineux last weekend with an ankle injury, while injury prone defender Dominic Shimmin came in for his first start of the season, in the absence of Pat Kanyuka.

But there was no place for Lee Cook and Danny Cullip, who missed out with knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

Marc Bircham and Paul Furlong were named amongst the R's substitutes, just 48 hours after the duo were told their contracts would not be renewed.

The R's began in the ascendancy, with a sublime passing move involving all ten outfield players culminated in the ball finding Jimmy Smith, whose cut-back was hacked to safety by Jon Fortune.

The Potters were second best in every department and when Salif Diao's frustrations got the better of him and he sent Adam Bolder tumbling to ground on the left edge of the 18-yard box, the home crowd sensed something special was in the offing.

Rowlands duly obliged, sending a trademark right footed free-kick past Steve Simonsen at his near post, to silence the School End.

Stoke soon found their feet though and when an innocuous looking through ball from Lee Hendrie was nodded beyond the advancing Jake Cole by Mamady Sidibe, his strike partner Ricardo Fuller seemed destined to draw the Potters level.

But Sampsa Timoska had other ideas and as the ball trickled goalwards from an acute angle, the Finnish defender slid full stretch to hack the ball off the line.

Stoke suffered a further blow in the 19th minute when star-man Hendrie was forced from the fray, after a whole-hearted tackle from Rowlands left him clutching his right ankle.

The R's midfielder was booked for the challenge and Stefan Bailey soon followed him into the referee's notebook, for a late lunge on Sidibe.

Some of the R's football was a joy to behold at times and when Blackstock and Marc Nygaard combined, the latter was only denied by the sprawling Simonsen, after he skipped beyond Jonathan Fortune.

Stoke were struggling to live with the R's front two and 60 seconds later, Nygaard volleyed over from Rowlands' out-swinging cross.

Stoke substitute Lee Martin was determined to make an impact and when he cut in from the left flank and unleashed a curling right foot effort in the 40th minute, the frame of the goal came to Rangers' rescue, with Cole seemingly beaten all ends up.

On the stroke of half-time, Shimmin's back pass was too short for Cole, allowing Martin to nip in. Thankfully for the R's, Cole raced out to smother the ball at the expense of a corner.

Stoke, possibly knowing results elsewhere were going against them, started the second half on the front foot.

Carl Hoefkens' corner kick was nodded on by Sibide, only for Dominic Matteo to inexplicably fire over from a little more than a yard.

The Potters' set-pieces were causing Rangers all sorts of problems and when Hoefkens flighted another corner kick into the heart of the penalty box, Fuller headed straight into the arms of Cole.

The visitors were throwing everything bar the kitchen sink at the R's and moments after Tony Pulis introduced Vincent Pericard, full-back Andy Griffin's cross flew across the six-yard box.

Stoke's pursuit of an equaliser was relentless and on 65 minutes, Danny Higginbotham had a goal chalked out for offside, after the R's defensive unit raced out, catching out at least six Potters players in an offside position from Martin's free-kick.

Rangers were reduced to ten men in the 68th minute, when Timoska was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Martin.

The dismissal prompted a defensive reshuffle by John Gregory, with Bailey ask to fill the vacant right back berth.

Seconds later, Griffin was invited to shoot from distance, but Cole palmed the ball to safety.

The change the R's supporters were crying out for arrived 15 minutes from time, when Furlong was introduced at the expense of Blackstock, for his final outing in the Blue and White Hoops.

Bircham entered the fray seven minutes later, but disaster struck for the R's seconds later, when Fuller's cross was met by Sidibe, who side-footed the ball past Cole from six-yards.

Furlong was booked at the death for tapping the ball home when he was flagged offside, but it mattered little, as honours finished even on the final day.

QPR: Cole, Bignot, Bolder (Bircham 82), Rowlands, Shimmin, Bailey, Stewart, Timoska, Nygaard (R Jones 87), Blackstock (Furlong 75), Smith.

Subs: P Jones, Moore.

Scorers: Rowlands 6

Bookings: Rowlands 16, Bailey 31, Shimmin 34, Timoska 63 & 68, Bolder 65, Cole 89, Furlong 90, Smith 90

Red Cards: Timoska 68

Stoke City: Simonsen,Hoefkens, Fortune, Sidibe, Fuller, Higginbotham, Hendrie (Martin 19), Diao (Russell 71), Matteo, Griffin, Zakuani (Pericard 58).
Subs: Hoult, Eustace.
Scorers: Sidibe 83
Bookings: Fortune 27, Diao 41
Referee: Mr T M Kettle

Attendance: 16, 741 QPR

Blog Archive