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Saturday, August 29, 2009

QPR Gain First League Win of the Season at Scunthorpe (And FIrst League Away Win Since January) - Reports and Comments

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- Iron boss Nigel Adkins felt his side should have got at least a point from the home game with Queens Park Rangers.
- United lost 1-0 after Adel Taarabt notched in the opening few minutes, with a goal that Adkins felt was poor from a defensive point of view.
- The hosts worked hard to get themselves back into the game, but couldn't find that elusive goal.
- "I'm bitterly disappointed," Adkins told The Iron Player.
- "We should have got something from the game. We started off badly and allowed them to score a poor goal from our point of view.
- "It was slack marking and we were well aware beforehand of Adel Taarabt getting in the hole just behind the striker. We didn't deal with it from a throw-in.
- "Usually that is one of the things that we do well and we've got to defend better than that in future.
- "That all of a sudden changed the complexion of the game.
- "They played with three in midfield and that tested us. When you step up to this level teams of QPR's quality keep good possession and give you problems.
- "That's why we've been looking away from home to change things a little bit.
- "After 20 minutes we got a foothold back in the game. Matt Sparrow had a great chance to score when Martyn Woolford put the ball in the six yard box and it just went over his foot.
- "Goals change games and, for me, we dominated the second half. We were dominant in the middle of the park when we made a couple of changes.
- "I felt we went up another gear then, and brought on Garry Thompson on the right to really go for it. We just couldn't find that goal we needed."
- See more from Nigel Adkins, Jim Magilton, Sam Togwell and Garry Thompson on The Iron Player. Scunthorpe Official Site

- Jim Magilton could not contain his joy, after Rangers did enough to secure their first win of the 2009/10 Coca-Cola Championship campaign against Scunthorpe.
- Adel Taarabt's goal was the deciding factor in the 1-0 victory, and Magilton told www.qpr.co.uk: "I'm delighted.
- "I think that the performance was good, we haven't picked up the points some of our performances have deserved.
- "Today is as bright as we've started any game. We know that Scunthorpe are a difficult side to get anything from, so I'm really pleased for the players.
- "We know we can be better, sometimes we lacked composure, but it was important to get a win. We've got a win and now we can really hit the ground running in September.
- "For me, the players have had a lot of games in a short space of time. For some, it (the international break) will be a time of recharging the batteries and for others, it will be a lot of hard work."
- Rangers Gaffer Magilton added: "We'll sit down and we'll analyse the performance, but above all, I'm so pleased for them (the players) as they've come under a bit of criticism, and they stood up and they said: 'we're tall, we're brave.'
- "We know we can be better as a group, and we will be.
- "There are still a lot of things I want to introduce, but we've got an honest bunch of players, who are very respondent to what we throw at them.
- "Once they cross the white line, we want them to be more composed, but that will only come through winning games.
- "I think that these lads going off for two weeks know that they can be better, but I'm certainly delighted with the result
." QPR

QPR Official site - Scunthorpe 0 QPR 1
- Adel Taarabt's first-half strike was enough for the R's, who picked up their first league win of the season.
- He gave Rangers the lead on as early as three minutes, after a neat move saw him slot home when through on goal.
- Scunthorpe did put a certain amount of pressure on the visitors at stages, though it was not enough to beat a sturdy Rangers backline.
- R's Manager Jim Magilton made a total of seven changes from the side that progressed into the Carling Cup third round against Accrington Stanley, as Rangers went in search of their first league win of the campaign.
- Jay Simpson - after signing on loan from Arsenal this week - started in attack, whilst Taarabt - after an impressive performance from the bench in Tuesday night's 2-1 win - was also handed a place in the Rangers XI.
- Elsewhere, Hogan Ephraim kept his place in the side following his goal against Stanley, whilst Wayne Routledge - who also got on the scoresheet - started the game from the right.

As the game kicked-off at a windswept Glanford Park in front of a vocal R's gathering, in full voice following Rangers' Carling Cup third round draw away to Chelsea, it was the visitors who started the brighter - and how.
- Only a few minutes had passed on the clock when, after a good, early spell of possession, Rangers took a 3rd minute lead through Taarabt.
- After neat interplay with Alejandro Faurlin, the Tottenham loanee beat one man to put himself through on goal. The Moroccan made no mistake thereafter, coolly slotting past Joe Murphy in the Iron goal to put the R's into the driving seat.

The match, in this early stage, was being played solely in the hosts' half - and Rangers were starting to look good value for their early lead with a period of good possession.

Soon after, following a through ball down the right to Mikele Leigertwood from Faurlin, the midfielder sent in a rasping drive at goal, but Murphy was more than equal to that effort to beat the ball away.
- The pressure was mounting on the Scunthorpe defence, as the R's - who were now in total control -could have added a second when after a good pass from Taarabt, Ephraim beat his full-back before shooting just wide.

Moments later, it was the hosts on the attack for a brief moment, and when Paul Hayes cut-in past Peter Ramage, he could only fire the ball straight at Radek Cerny.

But it wasn't long before Rangers were back in the Scunthorpe half, and missed a great chance to put themselves two goals up.

After good play between Ramage and Routledge down the right-hand side, the winger sent in a teasing cross that landed to an unmarked Simpson, but he could only head wide from 10-yards out.

Even though Rangers seemed comfortable in defence, Scunthorpe were beginning to have a bit more of a say in proceedings.

When Martyn Woolford cut-in from the left just before half-time, his shot from near the edge of the area was only put wide for a corner by a trailing R's leg.

Moments before the break, Rangers could have double their advantage twice. When Faurlin's thundering shot after a Routledge cross looked destined for the net, that effort went just wide - before Simpson turned his marker from six-yards out, and scraped his effort off target.

As the players re-entered the field of play for the second period, it was the R's who continued to have the better of the game.

Though neither side were to create much in the opening minutes, and fully aware of this, Magilton sent on a fresh face, as Rowan Vine replaced the brilliant scorer Taarabt.

And it was a change that seemed to give Rangers a boost. Not least when after a superb corner from the left by Ephraim, the clearance fell to Fitz Hall, whose powerful shot was expertly tipped away by Murphy for Scunthorpe.

Not long after that chance, a Leigertwood effort went just over the bar after the ball was put in his direction near the area.

The game was now less of the intricate passing fixture that it had been for so much of the match, as the Iron went in search of a goal to level the game.

Scunthorpe had a good chance to do so too, but when Garry Thompson got the ball down the right, his attempt was well caught by Cerny.

Although Scunthorpe were now having more of the game, Rangers had a late chance to add a second when Vine could only blast over after a good lay-off from substitute Heidar Helguson.

The R's thought they had a good claim for a penalty when Routledge seemed to be brought down in the area, but the referee waved away the claim and booked him. Not so pleased with the decision was an understandably irate Magilton, and he was sent off after arguing his case on the touchline.

That didn't matter however, as Rangers saw out the rest of the game to get a vital first win of their league campaign.

Scunthorpe United: Murphy, Williams, Togwell (McCann 61), Byrne, Sparrow (Thompson 70), Hayes, Hooper, Mirfin, Woolford, O'Connor (Wright 61), Spence. Subs not used: Lillis, Forte, Morris, Crosby. Bookings: Murphy (1)
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge, Connolly, Faurlin (Mahon 81), Simpson (Helguson 70), Ephraim, Borrowdale, Taarabt (Vine 56). Subs not used: Heaton, Stewart, Buzsaky, Pellicori. Goals: Taarabt (3) Bookings: Routledge (87)
Referee: Mr G Salisbury Attendance: 5, 866 (682) QPR

Scunthorpe Official Site - Scunthorpe United 0-1 Queens Park Rangers
-Click here for a minute-by-minute analysis of the game
- The Iron lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers in their latest Championship home fixture.
- An early goal from Adel Taarabt settled a contest which had few real opportunities.
- Scunthorpe tried to fight their way back into the game, but a solid Rangers backline held firm in the final game before a two-week international break.

United headed into the home match with Queens Park Rangers making three changes from the side that won at Swansea on Tuesday evening.

Niall Canavan, who starred in that game, is ruled out with an ankle injury - meaning that Cliff Byrne returns to the fold in his capacity as captain.

Josh Wright and Jonathan Forte drop to the bench, and as a consequence, Michael O'Connor and Gary Hooper make the initial X1.
- Furthermore, there's no place in the starting lineup for Grant McCann; and veteran Andy Crosby has grabbed a place on the bench.
- Joe Murphy started the match in goal, with Jordan Spence, David Mirfin, Byrne and Marcus Williams forming the defence.

The midfield consisted of Matt Sparrow, Sam Togwell, O'Connor and Martyn Woolford, while Hooper partnered Paul Hayes up front.

Within the opening few seconds there was an incident as Murphy brought down Routledge flying down the right wing.

The Hoops then went ahead minutes later as attacker Adel Taarabt, on loan from Tottenham, eased his way through the back four and poked past the onrushing Murphy.

The hosts had a penalty claim denied on 10 minutes when Hooper liked to be brought down in the penalty area by Gary Borrowdale. Referee Graham Salisbury was having none of it, however.
- QPR were having the better of things going forward, and Hogan Ephraim was next toi come close when he cut inside and drilled a low effort goalwards which went just wide of Murphy's bottom left-hand post.

There was another opportunity for the visiting side 19 minutes in when Jay Simpson powered wide a header following Taarabt''s cross. Murphy was angry with his defence for allowing the visitors too much space.

Although they were working hard, United were struggling to impose themselves on the opposition and they worried for a moment when top scorer Gary Hooper picked up a head injury.
- After a short delay for treatment though he came back onto the pitch, and it was he who manufactured the next shot on goal for the home team.

The frontman found space down the right-hand side of the 18-yard box and sped into it before firing in a low shot which was well stopped by Radek Cerny.

Sparrow and Woolford linked up well on 34 minutes, with the cross from the latter after a one-two just failed to reach Sparrow.

Three minutes later, Spence's speculative volleyed shot, just after the Hoops had failed to clear properly, went high and wide of goal.

Simpson had one last chance for the hosts before half-time, but his low shot trickled past Murphy's bottom right-hand post.

Ther Iron had the final chance of the first half in the third minute out of four in first half stoppage time when Spence struck a low left footed shot after being set up by Williams on the left wing. It was a routine stop for Cerny though.

The hosts struggled to get going in the second half, and Fitz Hall's volley drew another excellent reaction stop from Murphy as he stopped the Hoops from doubling their lead.

From the subsequent corner, Mikele Leigertwood looped a shot just over the crossbar.

There was a double Iron alteration straight after to try and claw their way back into the game. O'Connor and Togwell were replaced by Grant McCann and Josh Wright.

Hooper had a chance to equalise three minutes later but was judged to be offside as he volleyed an attempt against the post.

Then Byrne, only just, failed to connect with Wright's free-kick from deep as the hosts looked to up the pressure.

Thompson came on for Sparrow on 70 minutes and had a good chance five minutes later when he was played into space down the right and sent the ball powerfully across goal. Cerny held on to it though.

Moments after that, Wright's curling free kick from the left was tipped out by Cerny for a corner.

After the Hoops had cleared, Wright's cross from deep was then headed well wide by Byrne.

McCann then took a free-kick from 30 yards which was tipped out blow to his left by Cerny.
- The visitors were always a danger on the break, and Rowan Vine smashed a shot over the crossbar on 80 minutes.
- They also had a penalty shout denied when Routledge took a tumble under pressure from Murphy. The referee showed him a yellow card though.
- With two minutes left tot go, McCann's free-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box found MIrfin, whose header went just wide.
- Just before that, QPR boss Jim Magilton had been sent to the directors' box after disagreeing with a decision.
- There were five minutes of stoppage time, and Scunthorpe continued to seek an equaliser. McCann clipped a free-kick into the box and Hooper attempted to score with an overhead kick. However, he missed the ball and it drifted wide. That proved to be the last chance of the game.
- United are next in action in a fortnight's time when they visit Crystal Palace.
Attendance: 5,866 (682 away).
Iron Bar man of the match: Paul Hayes.
Sponsors' man of the match: Jordan Spence. Scunthorpe

- QPR's season finally got up and running after Adel Taarabt's early goal secured a first win under Jim Magilton.
- The on-loan Tottenham forward conjured up a moment of Premier League class to lift the pressure on Magilton, the latest manager tasked with guiding Flavio Briatore's Rangers to promotion.
- The visitors should have won more comfortably, with Iron goalkeeper Joe Murphy denying Fitz Hall and Mikele Leigertwood, but Magilton will not be complaining despite having to watch the final few minutes from the stands.
- The Irishman was unhappy after his side were denied a late penalty when Wayne Routledge appeared to be felled by Murphy - only to be booked for a dive.
- Murphy was already on a yellow card after bringing down Jay Simpson, Rangers' new loan signing from Arsenal, who had burst clear inside the opening 30 seconds.
- But the Londoners' lightning start was rewarded in the third minute when Taarabt picked up possession some 35 yards out, glided past a couple of Iron defenders into the area and coolly rolled the ball past Murphy for his first goal of the season.
- Leigertwood almost made it two but Murphy did well to block the midfielder's shot, before Hogan Ephraim drove wide and Simpson headed Routledge's cross the wrong side of the post.
- But Scunthorpe weathered the early storm without conceding a second, and as they got a foothold in the game Paul Hayes, Gary Hooper and Jordan Spence all had shots saved by Radek Cerny.
- Shortly before the break Alejandro Faurlin fired narrowly wide before Simpson turned well in the area only to scuff his shot off target.
- Murphy kept his side in the game on the hour mark with a fine reaction save from Hall's volley after a half-cleared corner fell to the big centre-half.
- Leigertwood chipped over the crossbar as Rangers threatened again, but as the second half progressed without a killer second goal the visitors got edgy.
- Scunthorpe felt they could have had a penalty when Hayes tumbled in area but referee Graham Salisbury was not interested.
- Cliff Byrne headed over and Grant McCann's free-kick was blocked by Cerny as the hosts searched for a leveller.
- At the other end Rangers substitutes Heidar Helguson and Rowan Vine linked well in the area, but the latter blazed over the crossbar.
- Routledge then rounded Murphy and appeared to be brought down by the keeper, only to earn a booking for his troubles to the disbelief of Magilton, who was sent to the stands for his protests...." Sporting Life

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