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Saturday, January 12, 2008

QPR Lose to Sheffield United - Reports and Comments


QPR lost 2-1 to Sheffield United after going in at half time 1-0 up through Patrick Agyemang.
Updated Table
1 Bristol City 27 3 48
2 West Brom 26 25 47
3 Watford 27 9 47
4 Stoke 27 9 44
5 Charlton 27 8 43
6 Crystal Palace 27 7 41
19 Leicester 27 0 30
20 QPR 27 -9 30
21 Sheff Wed 26 -6 28
22 Preston 27 -7 27
23 Scunthorpe 27 -13 27
24 Colchester 27 -7 26

Performance Manager Joe Dunbar bemoaned referee Mr Miller's failure to award a late penalty kick for Rangers, as the R's succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Bramall Lane.
Speaking on behalf of First Team Coach Luigi De Canio, Dunbar said: "I have seen the video and it's a penalty.
"Matt Kilgallon was laughing when the referee didn't give it, and that says everything you need to know.
"I thought we deserved a point. To coin a phrase, it was a game of two halves.
"We looked very comfortable in the first half and deservedly took the lead, but we allowed them far too much time and space in the second period.
"Credit to them, they took full advantage."
Dunbar reserved special praise for goalscorer Patrick Agyemang, commenting: "We're delighted for Pat.
"He worked tirelessly and it is always nice to see strikers open their accounts on their full debuts.
"He almost broke the net, he hit it that hard. QPR

Lee Hendrie eased the pressure on manager Bryan Robson as Sheffield United clinched their first Coca-Cola Championship win in five matches with an unlikely victory over new-look QPR.
Hendrie converted his first league goal for the Blades, who transformed their fortunes with two goals in five second-half minutes.
Patrick Agyemang marked his first start for QPR with a goal on the stroke of half-time and the Londoners appeared to be cruising until Damion Stewart's own goal handed Robson's under-achievers a lifeline in the 64th minute.
Hendrie then pounced five minutes later from close range thanks to Billy Sharp's persistence on the edge of the box and the Blades went on to dominate, with Rob Hulse's 76th-minute header hitting the crossbar.
The fast-improving Londoners, fielding six of manager Luigi De Canio's eight new signings, had won three of their four previous league matches and started strongly, with Hungarian playmaker Akos Buzsaky twice going close early on.

But the Blades, skippered by on-loan Bolton midfielder Gary Speed on his home debut, carved out several of their own chances, with Rob Hulse and David Carney threatening.
Blades defender Leigh Bromby headed Hendrie's third-minute corner over the crossbar, but the visitors were quicker into their stride.
Buzsaky's 25-yard shot was well held by Paddy Kenny and the Blades goalkeeper did even better soon after to tip the Hungarian midfielder's free-kick over the crossbar.
Buzsaky then volleyed wide, but the home side responded with Carney on target with a long-range shot that Lee Camp saved before Hulse's header brought the best out of visiting goalkeeper, who turned it round his post.
Hulse headed wide and Carney fired a free-kick over on the half-hour mark as United stepped up a gear.
Agyemang wasted a gilt-edged chance to put QPR ahead against the run of play when heading wide from only six yards in the 37th minute.
The Blades made four changes to the side that upset Bolton last week, with Speed, Michael Tonge, Hulse and Billy Sharp all returning.
Agyemang and Lee made their first starts for QPR, while Vine, who made his loan move to Loftus Road permanent this week, returned to the starting line-up.
QPR dominated possession immediately after the break and denied their hosts any goalscoring chances until Hendrie dragged his shot wide from only six yards in the 58th minute.
The former Aston Villa midfielder had earlier been booked for dissent, but the home side's frustrations eased in the 62nd minute when Stewart put through his own goal.
Tonge's 25-yard shot was parried by Camp and the ball rebounded off the hapless Stewart and into the bottom corner.
Within six minutes the Blades stole an unlikely lead. Sharp's persistence on the right paid off and when he pulled the ball back across goal Hendrie pounced to fire home into the top corner.
Hendrie was immediately replaced by Jon Stead, while De Canio sent on Dexter Blackstock for defender Chris Barker.
The home side thrived on their good fortune and created further chances as their confidence soared.
Hulse's header from Matt Kilgallon's cross came back off the woodwork, Derek Geary fired wide from 25 yards and Hulse pulled a close-range effort wide as United chased a third. Sporting Life

United overturned a half-time deficit to secure three points in front of Bramall Lane's biggest crowd of the season so far.
On Family and Community Day, the majority of the 28,894 crowd went home happy after Lee Hendrie netted United's winner. Earlier, Patrick Agyemang had put QPR ahead before the break but a comical own goal levelled the scores and then midfielder Hendrie bagged his first league goal for the club.
However, United were indebted to quick-thinking from Matt Kilgallon late in the game when he took up a tremendous position to deflect a shot from Akos Buzsaky wide of the target, possibly with his hand!
Speed made his home debut and was immediately handed the captain's armband. The experienced midfielder was one of four changes from the team that beat Bolton. Tonge, Sharp and Hulse were also recalled.
United won an early corner but Bromby stooped and headed over Hendrie's delivery but the visitors made the brighter start and Buzsaky tested Kenny from long range, whilst Geary raced back to make a vital tackle on Rowlands, who found himself in the clear.
Hungarian Buzsaky was an early threat to United and Bromby kicked away as the midfielder turned in the box and then, on 18 minutes, Sharp conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area, fouling Connolly. Buzsaky hit a fierce effort through the wall but Kenny made an acrobatic save in front of the Kop.
Around the 20-minute mark United began to get on top, starting with a Carney shot from the edge of the box which Camp turned around the post. The Australian delivered a free-kick soon after but Bromby just failed to connect at the back post.
Hulse fired across the box and after Camp had added a touch, QPR cleared with Hendrie on his toes ready to pounce and the Blades were awarded a free-kick on 29 minutes for a foul on Armstrong. A training ground routine resulted in Speed shooting at goal but his effort was deflected wide by Buzsaky. United were handed another free-kick in a dangerous position a moment later when Hulse was wrestled to the floor by Hall from Kenny's long clearance but Carney's curler was a foot over the crossbar.
Buzsaky fired a 30-yard free-kick into the Kop but half of Bramall Lane thought the Blades had taken the lead on 43 minutes. Hendrie did well to control and thread the ball through the visiting defence and Sharp finished, sliding the ball under Camp but the linesman's flag was up early and referee Miller disallowed the effort.
There were still forlorn looks of faces of Blades fans when QPR went down the other end and promptly opened the scoring with the next attack. QPR stretched the play and when Connolly delivered a cross, Bromby failed to clear and the ball dropped nicely for AGYEMANG to blast into the roof of the net from eight yards.
The officials announced two minutes of added time and United managed to work another effort before the break. Sharp again slipped through the QPR defence but Camp parried the subsequent shot on to the head of Hulse, who was given little time to react.
There was little noteworthy action early in the second half, apart from Hendrie failing with a overhead kick and then getting booked, whilst one of the linesmen was replaced by the fourth official.
United won two corners in quick succession and put Camp under pressure, whilst a chorus of 'Greasy Chip Buttie' echoed around the ground as the crowd added support to the players.
It had the desired effect as United levelled, with a bit of help from the visitors on 64 minutes. From a Hendrie corner, Tonge's shot was saved by Camp and Carney, who may have been in an offside position, tussled for possession before Rowlands kicked the ball at team-mate STEWART and watched in dismay as it ended up in the net behind Camp. Cue Kop celebrations.

Stewart went close to making amends soon after but his header following a Buzsaky corner was saved by Kenny, whilst the Blades took the lead with the next attack, on 69 minutes.
Hulse and Carney were involved before Sharp picked up the ball on the right. His cross was blocked by Connolly's body and after Camp added himself to the mix, the ball spurted out and HENDRIE slotted in to the empty net, with the aid of the near post. The midfielder shared his joy with the Kop but it was his last contribution as he was replaced by Stead.

QPR also made a change, taking off a defender for a striker, but United had the momentum and Hulse saw his header hit the top of the crossbar on 76 minutes when he challenged Camp in the air from a cross by Armstrong.

Twice Carney delivered crosses from the right but Hulse was unable to convert in the final ten minutes and Geary's wholehearted performance earned him a standing ovation when he was replaced on 84 minutes.

United were on top in the closing stages but a one-goal advantage left the Blades in a precarious position. Four minutes of added time gave QPR hope, especially after they were denied by a crafty piece of defending on 89 minutes. After an attack down the right, Buzsaky's shot from the edge of the box beat a crowded penalty area - and Kenny - but Kilgallon threw himself to his left and deflected the ball wide of the post for a corner. The visitors argued that they deserved a penalty but referee Miller waved away their protests.

QPR pressed in injury-time but were unable to trouble Kenny and the final chance fell to Shelton, on as late substitute, but his curled effort was wide after Stead progressed down the left.

The final whistle was met, understandably, by cheers and match winner Hendrie delighted the Kop by throwing his shirt into the crowd. " Sheffield United

Rangers surrendered a one goal lead, as Sheffield United came from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory at Bramall Lane.
The R's appeared to be on their way to maximum points when Patrick Agyemang opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, but a Damion Stewart own goal and Lee Hendrie's first league goal of the campaign sealed it for the Blades.
Defeat was harsh on Rangers, who did more than enough to warrant a point, on an afternoon when two fortuitous goals proved to be their undoing.
Luigi De Canio handed full debuts to recent additions Kieran Lee and Agyemang, while Rowan Vine also started following the completion of his permanent transfer from Birmingham City.
The Blades were minus the services of top-scorer James Beattie (knee), which meant Rob Hulse was joined in attack by Billy Sharp.
United created the first chance of the match inside the opening three minutes, but Lee Bromby's stooping header from a Hendrie corner kick flew well over.
Rangers were by no means second best though, with wide-men Vine and Lee seeing a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges.
Akos Buzsaky tried his luck from distance in the 13th minute, but Paddy Kenny dived low to his right to save the midfielder's 25-yard drive.
Buzsaky was a constant threat, picking up possession from Agyemang four minutes later, only to be denied by a last ditch tackle by the covering Bromby.
The Kenny versus Buzsaky duel continued as the half evolved, with the goalkeeper again coming out on top in the 20th minute, when he dived full stretch to his left to tip over the Magical Magyar's piercing free-kick.
Lee Camp was forced into his first save of the contest moments later, comfortably steering the ball round the post as David Carney let fly from distance.
And the R's keeper had to be at his agile best yet again on the half hour, to palm away Hulse's cross-cum-shot from an acute angle.
With the clock ticking towards the 45th minute, Rangers, having enjoyed the lion's share of possession throughout, staged a final attack of the half.
Gavin Mahon's expansive cross-field pass found Matthew Connolly, who - with time and space - sent an inviting cross into the heart of the six-yard box.
Bromby failed to clear his lines sufficiently and when the ball bobbled free, Agyemang lashed an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net.
Buoyed by their goal, the R's began the second period in equally efficient fashion, with Martin Rowlands leading by example in the heart of the Rangers midfield.
However, unlike the first half, chances remained at a premium, until United grabbed an unlikely leveller in the 64th minute.
Michael Tonge's initial effort from the edge of the box was spectacularly saved by Camp, but as Rowlands attempted to clear his lines, the ball cannoned back off Stewart and into the back of the net.
It was extremely harsh on the R's, who as well as feeling rightly aggrieved at the award of the corner kick that eventually led to the goal, also had vocal appeals for an offside flag waved away.
Stunned by the manner in which they conceded, the R's looked shell-shocked and bad turned to worse moments later.
Connolly's failure to clear his lines from inside the R's six-yard box allowed Hendrie to nip in and fire the ball home from an acute angle.
De Canio responded by introducing striker Dexter Blackstock at the expense of defender Chris Barker, yet despite his bold approach, it was the Blades who continued to threaten, with Hulse heading against the bar, before the same player blazed wide from four yards.
Rangers continued to plug away, but Mr Miller's failure to spot an apparent handball from Matt Kilgallon in the 91st minute ended any hope they had of fashioning an equaliser.
Buzsaky's stunning volley appeared to be destined for the top right hand corner, until Kilgallon stooped to divert the ball wide.
The R's outfield players appealed as one to the official, but on the advice of his assistant, the spot-kick decision was not forthcoming and Rangers left the Steel City with nothing to show for their efforts.
Sheffield United: Kenny, Bromby, Hulse, Hendrie (Stead 70), Carney, Speed, Kilgallon, Tonge, Armstrong, Sharp (Shelton 93), Geary (Gillespie 87).
Subs: Montgomery, Lucketti.
Scorers: Stewart o.g 64, Hendrie 69
Bookings: Hendrie 55
Red Cards:
QPR: Camp, Barker (Blackstock 74), Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky, Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Lee, Vine, Hall.
Subs: Bolder, Ainsworth, Walton, Ephraim.
Scorers: Agyemang 45
Bookings: Blackstock 81
Red Cards:
Referee: Mr N S Miller
Attendance: 28, 894 QPR

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