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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

QPR Relegated...Harford Slams The Players

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- Relegation? That's increasingly how it's beginning to look as QPR lost AGAIN 2-1 at home to Ipswich before a crowd of just under 11,000 (reported) .... UPDATED CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE

- Mick Harford was left seething after his side produced what he described as a performance that 'lacked commitment' against Ipswich Town.
- The Tractor Boys took the lead on eight minutes courtesy of David Norris, before Daryl Murphy added a second before the half-time whistle.
- Jay Simpson did pull one back for the R's on 66 minutes, though that wasn't of any consolation to Harford, who was evidently disgusted by his side's display at Loftus Road.
- "As a professional Club, that first-half performance was unacceptable. It was totally inept and was lacking everything.
- "It lacked effort and it lacked commitment, and that's what disappointed me more than anything.
- "Ipswich should have been out of sight. They had chance after chance. We had to make changes just to try and do something.
- "We played better in the second half but that doesn't really bother me at the moment, the first half performance does.
- Harford added: "I said at half time that the fans were right to show that reaction, the fans were booing and rightly so.
- "We all want to see attractive football, we want to see football being played in the right way, but if you don't set your stall out in the right way then you've got no chance.
- "The players have been informed that they now sit in a relegation fight." QPR

QPR vs Ipswich Town

Two first-half goals from David Norris and Daryl Murphy gave Ipswich Town their second away league win of the season, despite an improved second-half display from the R's.

Norris gave the Tractor Boys the lead on eight minutes, with his shot from just inside the box deflecting off a Rangers defender before finding the left-hand corner of the net.

And Town added number two just before the break. Jack Colback's precise cross from the left found Murphy in the penalty area, who made no mistake to thunder the ball past Carl Ikeme.

Jay Simpson did give the R's some hope when he pulled one back with just over 20 minutes remaining, but Rangers couldn't find their way past a stubborn Ipswich defence for a second time.

QPR boss Mick Harford made three changes for the visit of the Tractor Boys, all of which were enforced.

Mikele Leigertwood was unavailable as he started a three-match ban for his red card in Saturday's defeat at Peterborough United.

Peter Ramage - who was also dismissed in that clash at London Road for a second bookable offence - missed out as he served a one-game suspension, while Tamas Priskin was unavailable due to the terms of his loan deal that meant he was illegible to play against his parent Club.

That meant Damion Stewart came back into the centre of defence, while Hogan Ephraim also started out wide of the right-hand side of midfield for Rangers.

Carl Ikeme began in goal for the R's, behind a rearguard of Matt Connolly, Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss and Matt Hill.

Ephraim and stand-in skipper for the night Lee Cook - who impressed in that defeat at London Road on Saturday - started on the flanks, with Nigel Quashie and Alejandro Faurlin in the centre of midfield for Rangers.

Marcus Bent and Jay Simpson headed the R's attack.

Before the match a minute's silence was held in memory of QPR's Honorary Life President Harold Winton, who sadly lost his life on Monday following a prolonged battle with cancer.

The Tractor Boys had the first chance of the game to find the net.

Owen Garvan's delightful corner from the left was met by the head of Gareth McAuley, whose effort was too close to Ikeme as it bounced just in front of the keeper and safely into his hands.

Ikeme was powerless to keep out the Tractor Boys' next effort, however, as the visitors took the lead with the aid of a deflection.

After Jon Walters found the ball out on the right, he touched the ball on into the area for David Norris.

The midfielder let the ball roll across his body before sending in an effort that smashed against the leg of Gorkss before the ball found its way into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Undeterred, the R's almost instantly went on the offensive in search of an equaliser.

Good work from Hill, Faurlin and Cook eventually enabled Vine to find space and cross from the left-hand side.

Vine's centre bounced off the foot of a Town defender before looping up into the direction of Simpson, who somehow headed over with the goal at his mercy from just under six yards.

Soon after, the away side missed a glorious opportunity to add number two.

After a ball from deep on the right was played into the area, the unmarked Norris saw his header well saved by Ikeme at the back post before the keeper got up to superbly to thwart Murphy at close range from the rebound.

Moments later, Cook found Faurlin down the centre before the Argentine playmaker bustled past two players and into the area, though a timely intervention from Damien Delaney resulted in the ball going out for a corner.

Play then switched to the other end. McAuley's headerfound Walters on the left-hand byline, and when the Ipswich midfielder played a clever back-heal into the area in the direction of Murphy, the Irishman fired agonisingly wide of the right-hand post from close range.

The visitors weren't to be denied for too much longer, as they raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of Murphy.

Jack Colback's low cross into the box from the left fell to the feet of the unmarked Sunderland loanee 10-yards out, and the frontman made no mistake to fire the ball home into the net past Ikeme.

Seconds before the interval, Rangers almost pulled a goal back.

Ephraim's lovely free-kick from the left was met by the head of Stewart, whose stopping header looped over Arran Lee-Barrett and onto the top of the net.

As the second half got underway, the R's wasted no time in their attempt to get back into the match.

A cutting through pass found Simpson on the right-hand edge of the box, before the striker fashioned a thundering drive at Lee-Barrett's near post, who did well to beat the effort away for a corner.

Moments later, Walters drove into the area before squaring the ball left for Murphy, who took a touch before firing in an effort that was parried away and eventually caught by Ikeme.

Play soon switched to the other end. Buzsaky's teasing free-kick from deep almost found the net when it cannoned off the head of an Ipswich defender before looping up and hitting the roof of the net.

Rangers didn't have to wait too much longer for their first goal of the game, and from the resulting corner kick, they pulled one back.

Buzsaky was again involved, curling in a free-kick that was cleared to Cook on the edge of the penalty area.

The winger in turn fired a shot into the box that deflected back into the path of Simpson from six-yards out, who had the simplest of tasks to fire the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Soon after, Rosenior and Healy combined well down the right before the latter crossed for Murphy, who somehow turned the ball wide of Ikeme's right-hand post from close range.

Rangers continued to press their opponents in the latter stages of the affair - namely when Simpson's stinging low shot was well held by Lee-Barrett - but Ipswich held out to take all three points.

QPR: Ikeme, Stewart, Bent (Vine 10), Gorkss, Quashie (Taarabt 46), Connolly, Cook, Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, Ephraim (Buzsaky 46).

Subs not used: Balanta, Cerny, Borrowdale, German.

Goals: Simpson (66)

Bookings: Connolly (35)

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, McAuley, Peters, Garvan (Rosenior 65), Walters, Leadbitter, Norris, Colback, Murphy (Stead 85), Counago (Healy 65).

Subs not used: Murphy, Balkestein, Edwards, Quinn.

Goals: Norris (8), Murphy (38)

Bookings: Norris (64), Walters (72)

Referee: Mr F Graham

Attendance: 10, 940 (1409) QPR

EADT24 * Ipswich Town FC Blues hold on for vital victory

QPR 1 Ipswich Town 2

by Carl Marston

A BLISTERING first-half display from Ipswich Town proved just enough to secure a precious three points for Roy Keane's men at Loftus Road.

Town were in complete control before the break, thanks to goals from David Norris and Daryl Murphy. It was Murphy's second goal in as many games since his loan move from Sunderland.

But it then turned into the classic "game of two halves" as hosts QPR tore into Town during the second period. It was suddenly one-way traffic in the other direction, and Jay Simpson's close range goal on

67 minutes set up a very nervous last quarter of the game.

However, this time, after so many late disappointments already this season, Town held on gamely to record only their sixth league victory of the season.

It was a win that Town needed so badly, although they are still only one point clear of the bottom three, due to Reading's win over Plymouth.

Town fully deserved their early lead, handed to them by livewire Norris' deadly finish after just eight minutes.

It may have taken seven-and-a-half minutes later than their opener against Middlesbrough just four days earlier, but this time it was to send them on their way to a vital three points.

A slick pass from skipper Jon Walters found Norris in acres of space, just inside the penalty area, and the ex-Plymouth midfielder rammed home his shot from 16 yards out. The ball took a deflection on its way past keeper Carl Ikeme.

Town looked dangerous whenever they ventured forward - and they spent almost the whole of the first half on the attack - so it was no surprise when Murphy doubled the lead in the 38th minute.

Murphy actually started the move by spreading the ball out to the left flank. Jack Colback slid the ball across the edge of the penalty area and Norris dummied for Murphy to stroll in and guide his shot beyond the reach of Ikeme with his sweet left foot.

But it was all change in the second half, as QPR finally clicked out of first gear.

And the nerves began jangling when Simpson made it 2-1 in the 67th minute. Town failed to clear a corner, with the ball ricocheting off Jaime Peters and into the path of Simpson, who bundled home from close range.

Yet QPR could not find an equaliser, much to the relief of Town's big away following" EADT24

Coca-Cola Championship
West Brom 30 59 30 61 2-0 FT v Scunthorpe
Newcastle 29 59 28 48 0-3 FT v Derby
Nottm Forest 30 55 23 46 0-1 FT v Coventry
Cardiff 29 48 20 55 2-0 FT v Peterborough
Swansea 29 48 6 26 1-0 v Crystal Palace
Leicester 28 43 3 31 0-0 FT v Doncaster
Sheff Utd 30 42 0 42 1-2 FT v Preston
Middlesbrough 30 41 8 42 2-1 FT v Barnsley
Blackpool 30 40 6 46 0-2 FT v Sheff Wed
Barnsley 29 39 -5 38 1-2 FT v Middlesbrough
Watford 29 38 -2 41 2-0 FT v Bristol City
Preston 29 38 -6 34 2-1 FT v Sheff Utd
Bristol City 29 37 -6 34 0-2 FT v Watford
Coventry 30 37 -7 34 1-0 FT v Nottm Forest
Derby 30 36 -8 33 3-0 FT v Newcastle
Doncaster 28 34 -2 34 0-0 FT v Leicester
QPR 29 34 -6 41 1-2 FT v Ipswich
Sheff Wed 30 34 -11 36 2-0 FT v Blackpool
Crystal Palace * 29 33 2 33 0-1 v Swansea
Ipswich 29 33 -7 34 2-1 FT v QPR
Scunthorpe 29 33 -16 34 0-2 FT v West Brom
Reading 29 32 -14 32 2-1 FT v Plymouth
Plymouth 28 24 -16 24 1-2 FT v Reading
Peterborough 30 21 -20 33 0-2 FT v Cardiff

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