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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

QPR's (Non-Shock) Loss to Doncaster

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QPR's Doncaster Loss: Slumping Rangers came up against surging Doncaster: And the result was as expected.

- Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll felt his side's 2-0 victory over QPR at the Keepmoat Stadium exorcised the "demons" of their weekend defeat to Cardiff.
-Rovers slumped to a 3-0 defeat in the Welsh capital, but got back to winning ways courtesy of a comical Damion Stewart own goal and a poacher's finish from Paul Heffernan.
- Stewart headed the ball past stranded stopper Radek Cerny and into his own net after the keeper had come off his line to try and claim a long ball forward from Matt Mills in the 22nd minute.
- Heffernan, returning to the Rovers side after missing the defeat to Cardiff through illness, nodded home a close-range second after Martin Wood's corner had been flicked on at the near post on the half-hour mark.
- The win means O'Driscoll's men are still unbeaten at home since December 20 and now level on points with their opponents.
- "That's more like we've played all season," said O'Driscoll. "I think we've put the demons of Saturday behind us and responded in the right way.
- "We were playing against a wide which arguably should be in a better position than they are but I thought we controlled it from start to finish almost.
- "I thought they didn't really know how to cope with us at times."
- The Rovers back three of Mills, Sam Hird and Adam Lockwood limited Rangers to few clear chances, as the visitors we restricted to trying their luck from range.
- And O'Driscoll was impressed with how the trio dealt with the threat of striker Dexter Blackstock in particular.
- He added: "Dexter Blackstock for me is one of the best players in the league, but I though our back three kept it quiet tonight. I thought we were professional and deserved it."
- The first chance of the game fell to Rangers in the 10th minute, Samuel Di Carmine receiving the ball from Blackstock in the area with his back to goal before turning and flashing a right-footed shot just wide of the near left post.
- The same player saw a goalbound effort expertly tipped over the bar by Neil Sullivan late on, while Blackstock sent his shot too high from the edge of the six-yard box.
- At the other end Heffernan's energy and movement caused the Rangers defence plenty of problems, and he was twice denied by last-ditch tackles from Stewart when he looked to burst through on goal.

Rangers boss Paulo Sousa felt the defeat was harsh on his side, who were let down by individual mistakes.
- He said: "It's not a nice moment for us. It's a difficult moment because each mistake we make we are being penalised for.
- "Until the moment they scored the first goal we controlled the game. And then you get a little bit down, you concede the second goal also with another mistake and then it's difficult.
- "You create, you dominate, you risk, but when it's not a good moment for the team, the ball goes close to the goal, there are great saves from the keeper and it's not an easy moment for us."
- QPR are now without a win in eight games and Sousa feels he will be able to tell a lot about his players' character from how they respond.
- "It's a good moment to see the players' personality and character, looking to the future," he said.
- "If you want to achieve the project of the board - the Premier League - you need players who have a lot of personality. It's a good moment to analyse that." Sporting Life

Daily Mail - Doncaster 2 QPR 0: Heat is on for Sousa the loser
- Paulo Sousa is feeling the pressure at Loftus Road after failing to deliver the results demanded by his Italian bosses.
QPR have not won since the end of January and last night’s defeat leaves them out of touch with the play-off contenders.
- Sousa made three changes from the side that drew with Sheffield United: Peter Ramage, stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon and Matteo Alberti started, with Damien Delaney, who has a foot injury, Jordi Lopez and Liam Miller making way.
- But any hopes the Rangers boss had of a revival were dashed in the 23rd minute by a comical mix-up between Damion Stewart and Radek Cerny.
- A long ball from the back by Matt Mills was intended for the run of Paul Heffernan, but the striker’s intervention was not required as Stewart attempted to head the ball back to his keeper from left of the penalty spot.
- Cerny, though, had come off his line to claim the ball so Stewart succeeded only in
directing it past the stranded keeper.
- Heffernan nodded home the second in the 30th minute from close range after Martin Woods’ left-wing corner had been flicked on.
- Doncaster, who only a few weeks ago looked certainties for relegation, are unbeaten at home since December 20 and are now level on points with their opponents, who failed to score for the third game running. Mail

QPR Official Site
- Rovers moved level on points with the R's in the Coca Cola Championship table courtesy of a 2-0 win at The Keepmoat Stadium.
- A Damion Stewart own goal and Paul Heffernan's close range header sealed it for the hosts, who continued their fine home form against a Rangers side, who for all their endeavours, failed to find a way past Rovers custodian Neil Sullivan.
- Dexter Blackstock, Mikele Leigertwood and Samuel Di Carmine were all unlucky not to find the back of the net, on a night when the R's profligacy in front of goal came back to haunt them.
- Paulo Sousa made three changes for the R's first trip to The Keepmoat Stadium.
- Peter Ramage, stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon and Matteo Alberti all came in to the starting XI, with Damien Delaney (foot), Jordi Lòpez and Liam Miller making way; the latter two dropping to the substitutes' bench.
- The changes also resulted in an alteration in formation, with the R's reverting to an orthodox 4-4-2, with Wayne Routledge and the returning Alberti occupying the wide midfield berths.
- Doncaster skipper Brian Stock missed out with a back injury, with Adam Lockwood coming in to the side at centre-half, in a 3-5-2 formation.
- Striker Heffernan returned after missing out in the 3-0 defeat against Cardiff City at the weekend, partnering James Coppinger in attack.
- There was a welcome sight for the 600 or so travelling R's fans before kick-off, as long-term injury victim Rowan Vine joined in with the pre-match warm-up.
- Vine travelled with the squad as part of his on-going rehabilitation, and is set to feature for the R's second string in the coming fortnight.- After an even opening, it was the R's who fashioned the first chance of note in the ninth minute.
-Effective link-up play involving Leigertwood and Blackstock saw the latter feed Di Carmine, whose fierce right footed drive was deflected inches wide.
- From the resultant corner kick, Blackstock rose tallest to meet Alberti's corner, only for Sullivan to save comfortably at his far post.
- Doncaster were playing some neat stuff of their own too, but with the R's back four on top, Sean O'Driscoll's men were restricted to efforts from range, most notably from Martin Woods, who fired high and wide on the quarter hour.
- Blackstock was a constant threat at set-pieces, rising high to meet another Alberti corner kick in the 20th minute, only to see his latest effort fly wide.
- But despite enjoying the lion's share of territory and possession, disaster struck for Sousa's men midway through the half.
- An innocuous looking long ball from Matt Mills caused panic on the edge of the R's box, and Stewart - under no apparent pressure - inexplicably headed the ball past Radek Cerny and into a vacant net.
- It was a disastrous goal for the R's to concede, and gave an otherwise tepid home crowd an unexpected - and equally undeserved - lift.
- And it went from bad to worse for the R's just eight minutes later.
- Kaspars Gorkss' attempted headed clearance from a Donny corner fell perfectly into the path of Heffernan, who applied the simplest of glancing headers from the edge of the six-yard box.
- To their credit, the R's continued to pose a threat, with Leigertwood firing over from fully 30-yards with a dipping right foot volley.
- The former Sheffield United midfielder went close again five minutes before the break, firing inches wide with a stunning 22-yard strike that just arced away as it appeared destined for the top corner.
- Blackstock's half ended as it had begun with an effort on goal; this time a looping header which hit the top of the crossbar and landed on the roof of the net.
- Sousa didn't take long to ring the changes at the start of the second half, with Lòpez and Romone Rose entering the fray in the 52nd minute at the expense of Gorkss and Alberti. The double substitution saw Rangers match their opponents by switching to a 3-5-2 formation.
- The change nearly had its desired impact three minutes later, but once again Blackstock was denied, this time by a flailing Rovers leg.
- At the other end, Heffernan's fizzing 25-yard drive brought the best out of Cerny, with the R's stopper diving high to his left to keep out the strikers' fierce effort.
- Rangers were soon back on the attack themselves - a neat one-two between Blackstock and Di Carmine saw the latter fire in a near post effort, which Sullivan tipped round.
- Rose was the next R's player to try his luck, firing in from distance, only for Sullivan to smother; before Blackstock fired over from an acute angle.
- Moments after Sousa introduced Miller, Coppinger tested Cerny with a powerful strike, but it was the R's who created the final opportunity of the match, when Sullivan dived full stretch to his right to thwart Di Carmine.
- Doncaster Rovers: Sullivan, Roberts, Mills, Chambers, Lockwood, Heffernan (Hayter 86), Wilson, Woods, Wellens, Hird, Coppinger (Shiels 89).
- Subs: Spicer, Price, Fairhurst. Scorers: Stewart (22 og), Heffernan (29) Bookings: Mills (28)
QPR: Cerny, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood (Miller 79), Routledge, Blackstock, Gorkss (Lòpez 52), Ramage, Connolly, Alberti (Rose 52), Di Carmine.
Subs: Hall, Balanta.
Bookings: Leigertwood (60)
Referee: Mr C H WebsterAttendance: 10,223 (616 away) http://www.qpr.co.uk/page/MatchReport/0,,10373~44863,00.html

- A cool but fine evening greeted our visitors from London, Queens Park Rangers, for tonight's Championship game. Only three points separate the two sides in the middle of the table and while the were losing at Cardiff on Saturday the Rangers could only get a point from a goalless draw with Sheffield United at Loftus Road. The Rovers made changes for the game, Mark Wilson for the injured Brian Stock, Paul Heffernan, recovered from his weekend illness, for Jason Price and Adam Lockwood reinforcing the defence against the giant s in the Rangers team, with John Spicer making way for him. The Rovers defended the North Stand end in the first half.
- The Rovers got the game going under their new captain, Richie Wellens and gave the ball away to the opposition. However, they soon regained possession and on five minutes Coppinger got in a strike from the edge of the penalty area but it was on the tame side and Cerny saved. Three minutes on and the visitors went on the offensive but Alberti's cross from the left went way ahead of his teammates and out for a goalkick. This was followed by Di Carmine having a shot from the edge of the penalty area being deflected for a corner, which Blackstock headed wide. On the quarter hour Woods had a go from 30 yards but it went high and wide. Two minutes later and Wellens put over a good cross from the left but Chambers, haring into the middle, couldn't get to it. On 20minutes, a corner to the Rangers was headed wide by Blackstock. Then, after 22minutes, a long clearance out of the Rovers defence into the visitors penalty area was headed by STEWART back to his keeper but he had also come out to meet the ball so that the header sailed over him and into the empty net. The Rovers were now enjoying the better of the exchanges and won their first corner five minutes later but nothing came from it. As the half hour came up a teasing cross from the right by Chambers was headed out by Connolly for a corner. Woods' corner kick caused problems in the visitors six yard box and was headed against Hird and reaching HEFFERNAN, who had the simplest of jobs to nod it into the net from close range. Two minutes later a free kick from the Rovers left had Heffernan stretching in the six yard box to tap it in but he didn't connect fully and the ball went wide. As the last seven minutes came up the visitors made strong efforts to get into the game. Leigertwood fired just over from 20yards, Di Carmine was only just past the angle of the goal frame from 25yards and a couple of corners in the last few minutes, the second of which was headed on to the top of the bar by Blackstock, brought them no reward .

Half time - ROVERS 2 Q P R 0

The visitors got the second half underway but the first ten minutes or so of play was scrappy. The first strike of any note of this half came from Blackstock on 56 minutes and was deflected for a corner. Three minutes on and a long high clearance out of defence by Hird was chested down by Coppinger for Heffernan to hit a thunderbolt from 25yards that Cerny could only knock down before collecting. The visitors then got into the Rovers penalty area where Di Carmine, from the right of goal, fired on goal but Sullivan, at the near post, pushed it out for a corner. Rose followed this with a low drive from 30 yards that Sullivan saved comfortably. The Rangers were pushing at this stage and Rose had another thirty yarder saved on 72minutes followed by Routledge cutting in from the right and and hitting a low shot from 25yards but Sullivan saved. The Rovers raised the 'siege' and went on the attack with Woods hitting a 25yard free kick just wide of a post. With 75 minutes on the clock Blackstock burst through the Rovers defence to the right of the penalty area but fired wildly over the bar. Ten minutes to go and good work down the Rovers right, initiated by Wellens, led to the same player gettin in a terrific strike from the right of the penalty area that Cerny could only palm away. Five minutes later and Heffernan muscled his way past a defender and was just ready to strike from 12yards when a well timed last ditch tackle by Stewart saved a certain goal. Then, good inter-play on the edge of the Rovers penalty area by the visitors gave Di Carmine a clear sight of goal but his terrific shot was brilliantly touched away for a corner by a flying Sullivan going to his right. The Rangers battled to the last, with Rose putting wide from 20 yards and forcing a last minute (4th minute) of added-time corner but the Rovers weathered all this to keep a clean sheet and earn a well merited win....Doncaster

1 Wolverhampton 38 22 71
2 Birmingham 38 12 68

3 Reading 36 30 64
4 Sheff Utd 37 16 60
5 Cardiff 35 17 59
6 Swansea 37 14 57
7 Bristol City 38 7 57
8 Preston 38 2 57
9 Burnley 36 0 55
10 Ipswich 37 7 51
11 QPR 37 -2 49
12 Sheff Wed 38 -9 49
13 Doncaster 37 -10 49
14 Crystal Palace 35 3 47
15 Coventry 36 -4 47
16 Derby 36 -3 46
17 Watford 36 -4 45
18 Plymouth 38 -12 43
19 Blackpool 38 -13 43
20 Nottm Forest 38 -13 41
21 Barnsley 35 -12 40
22 Norwich 38 -9 39
23 Southampton 37 -16 38
24 Charlton 37 -23 28

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