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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Stomache-Churning, Sinking-Feeling of Deja Vu: Another QPR Loss!

QPR went down 1-0 although the Official Site is pretty positive about the game and Ian Dowie speaks about QPR having dominated. On the bright side, it was only a pre-season friendly and Gorkss set-to-be-signed came on as a sub! On the other hand, Kilmarnock had lost 0-3 to Wolves on Saturday and fans are not really assuaged by hearing club comments on how they dominated but failed to score (especially when the club has failed to sign a slew of available strikers). Incredibly there are already messageboard posters calling for Ian Dowie to be ousted - or at best, just given a very few games to prove himself.

Ian Dowie's Post Match Comments - QPR Official Site WE DOMINATED
Iain Dowie couldn't work out how his side lost at Kilmarnock tonight despite dominating proceedings and creating a number of great chances.
Following the 1-0 defeat, Dowie told www.qpr.co.uk: "I was quite pleased with the display today. We created plenty of opportunities, but one moment of madness in the first half cost us.
"We didn't pick up the runner into the box, and paid the price for that.
"I wanted greater creativity from the players, and I got it. We had 18 shots on goal in the first half alone, which is incredible - and four of those were one-on-ones!
"We dominated the game and should have won comfortably. On another day, Patrick Agyemang would have got three, Balanta would have got one and Gareth Ainsworth would have got a couple.
"The lads were excellent, they put in a lot of effort after a tough week and I was pleased with them.
"We gave a couple of lads a rest tonight, but I thought Angelo Balanta was terrific. He showed that he has great potential."
Another definite plus-point from the game was the debut of Kaspars Gorkss, who came on for the second half.
Blackpool granted his permission to play in the match ahead of a proposed move tomorrow, and Dowie added:
"It was great to have Kaspars out there. He is going to be a real asset for us, there's no question about that.
"Damion Stewart is suspended for the first game against Barnsley, due to his sending off at Norwich, so it's important that we have options at the back." QPR

QPR Official Site - KILMARNOCK 1-0 QPR
The R's left Kilmarnock wondering how on earth they lost this game after dominating play for nearly the entire match, but going down 1-0 to a Manuel Pascali header in the first half.
On a night when Kaspars Gorkss was named on the bench after being granted permission at the 11th hour to play by Blackpool ahead of a proposed move tomorrow - so late, in fact, that his name didn't even feature on the teamsheets which were released an hour before kick off - Iain Dowie's side produced a much-improve performance on their 2-0 loss at Falkirk on Saturday.
They created a series of excellent chances, with Patrick Agyemang, Angelo Balanta and Gareth Ainsworth all going close, but in the end they couldn't get past keeper Damien Rascle, who was in inspired form.
Radek Cerny was handed his debut by Dowie after successfully overcoming a slight hamstring injury, and the R's First Team Coach made four other changes, with Peter Ramage in for the injured Matt Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood replacing Martin Rowlands, Balanta in for Dexter Blackstock and Ainsworth starting at the expense of Hogan Ephraim.
In the opening minute, the hosts had a half chance at the far post but Danny Invincibile's shot from eight yards was well blocked by a committed Ainsworth.
In an explosive opening, Agyemang had a great chance to give the visitors the lead following a swift counter-attack two minutes later. Damien Delaney found Emmanuel Ledesma still inside his own half and he burst forward before picking out Agyemang with a slide-rule pass.
The former Preston man left the Kilmarnock defence for dead but his shot from ten yards was smothered by Killies keeper Rascle.
The pressure was relentless and moments later Rascle was on-hand to deny Balanta, who had broken away down the left side. From the resulting corner, Fitz Hall produced a stunning half-volley from the edge of the box, which was spectacularly tipped over by the home stopper.
With seven minutes gone, the R's could have been three up, and they continued to attack in search of the all-important opening.
On 15 minutes, Gavin Mahon picked out Ledesma on the left with a cleverly-disguised pass, but the latter's shot drifted wide of the far upright.
Dowie will certainly have been pleased with the start his side made following their lacklustre first-half showing at Falkirk four days earlier, and it was certainly appreciated by the 100 or so R's fans who made the long trip north.
It took 27 minutes for the hosts to test Cerny, a 25 yard drive from Craig Bryson, which was comfortably gathered by the R's custodian.
A minute later, the visitors created another terrific chance. After some good inter-play between Balanta and Ainsworth in the area, the R's winger found himself one-on-one with Rascle, but as he tried to catch the Kilmarnock keeper out with a toe-poke from close range, his shot was blocked.
Incredibly, after all that hard work, it was the hosts who took the lead on 32 minutes. Following a corner from the right by Mehdi Taouil, Manuel Pascali rose highest to head home from eight yards.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Dowie's men, who had dominated the match, but they refused to lie down and following a great run through the middle of the park by Fitz Hall, he played a lovely ball for Agyemang to race onto. Unfortunately his shot was cleared off the line by a back-tracking Kille defender.
On 44 minutes, Balanta's persistence forced an error in the home defence, and he was able to get a great shot away from 18 yards, but Rascle was proving tough to break down, and pulled off another excellent save, this time diving to his right.
Bang on half-time Ledesma saw his volley fly inches over. The R's went off at the break wondering how they weren't comfortably winning, never mind losing!
Gorkss was introduced to the fray for the second half, at the expense of Hall, and his composure on the ball and range of passing will certainly have impressed the watching R's faithful.
It was the hosts who created the first opportunity after the break, the pacy Conor Sammon breaking clear but seeing his fierce shot from 20 yards expertly pushed away by Cerny.
Gorkss nearly scored a debut goal moments later. Ledesma produced a brilliant delivery from a freekick on the left, but the Latvian international was unable to get a crucial touch as the ball flashed across the face of goal.
The next R's chance came on 76 minutes when a lovely ball from Ramage on the right was headed just wide by Angelo Balanta.
Amongst a series of substitutions, Ainsworth was replaced by Matteo Alberti to a chorus of boos from the home fans in the 78th minute, who took exception to his physical, no-nonsense style which has made him such a popular figure with the Rangers faithful.
In the closing stages Damien Delaney fired over and, despite their best efforts, the R's had to accept a very unjust scoreline as they went down 1-0 at Kilmarnock.
Kilmarnock: Rascle, Fowler, Morgan, Pascali (Hamill, 78), O'Leary, Ford, Invincibile, Fernandez, Sammon, Taouil (Skelton, 75), Bryson.
Subs: Harpur, Lilley, Wright, Murray, Gibson, Corrigan, Flannigan.
Goals: Pascali (32)
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Delaney, Mahon (Walton, 76), Hall, (Gorkss, 46) Stewart, Ainsworth (Alberti, 78), Leigertwood (Bolder, 62), Agyemang, Balanta, Ledesma (Rose, 82). Subs: Camp.
Bookings: Delaney (43) Referee: Mr C Boyle
Attendance: 1,814 (QPR Fans: 134) QPR

Kilmarnock Official Site/Alan Cochrane- Kollie 1 QPR 0
Killie started this match well, knocking the ball about, and splitting up the QPR defence, but a long ball down the middle to centre forward Agyemang meant that Damien Rascle was called on early. He pulled off a good save, and had to pull off two more as the Londoners created a series of sweeping attacks during the first 10 minutes. Kilmarnock did try to get the ball down and knock it around, but Rangers were quicker to the ball and more incisive in their passing, and for all of the first quarter caused Killie a lot of problems.
Bryson and Taouil combined to release Fernandez down the left, and as the Spaniard shaped to cross, he saw Cerny off his line, and hit a long lob which shaved the cross-bar. With almost half an hour gone, Craig Bryson picked up a loose QPR clearance on the left and cut inside past three defenders, but his shot was too straight, while at the other end, Damien Rascle had a great save from Gareth Ainsworth when the winger hit a first time shot when the ball dropped fortuitously to him. It was Killie though who made the breakthrough after 31 minutes when Mehdi Taouil hit a free kick from the right and Manuel Pascali rose majestically to head home. It was only one of the good things that the on-loan Italian did during this game, whose every move had class stamped all over it.
Three minutes after the restart, Sammon had a chance to make a name for himself when he fastened on to a header over the top, but although he beat Hall for speed, his shot was beaten away by Cerny. Next up it was Trialist, a half-time substitute, who took a pass from Fowler, turned, and cracked in a shot from 20 yards which must have stung the keeper's fingers. On this showing, this lad, who is as quick as lightening, must interest Jim Jefferies enough to give him another game. Before the end Skelton had a good shot from distance held by the keeper, and despite a slew of substitutions, Killie kept their shape and gave the small crowd a good night's entertainment.
For the home side there were good performances right through the team, with Rascle staking a real claim for the keeper's jersey, both with his shot-stopping and his command of the box, and Ryan O'Leary showing again what a good young centre-back he is. On top of that, Pascali, Sammon (if a bit raw), Taouil and Trialist all promised well for the future. Roll on Saturday, when Coventry come to town...
- Kilmarnock

Also: Clive Whittingham/Loft For Words Match Report

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