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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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QPR Defeat Watford 1-0 - QPR Official Site

QPR claimed bragging rights with a 1-0 win over local neighbours Watford that does little to ease the Hornets' relegation woes in the Coca Cola Championship.

With their safety assured in the second tier for another campaign, Akos Buzsaky's first-half penalty - his 11th goal of the season - for Rangers was enough to see off Malky Mackay's charges, as the R's clinched another welcome victory that pushes them ever-closer to the top half of the table and into 14th spot.

Rangers were ahead on 38 minutes, with Buzsaky blasting home from the spot after Adrian Mariappa was deemed to have brought down Dusko Tosic inside the box.

The R's had to endure sustained periods of Hornets pressure in the second half, and had Radek Cerny to thank for an excellent save when Danny Graham looked certain to level matters from close range.

However, despite the Watford barrage, QPR held firm to collect the points in W12.

R's boss Neil Warnock made two changes for the visit of local neighbours Watford.

Antonio German came into the side to replace Jay Simpson, while Rowan Vine was also handed a starting berth at the expense of Tamas Priskin.

Cerny was once again between the R's sticks, with skipper Mikele Leigertwood, Peter Ramage, Kaspars Gorkss and Tosic lining up in defence.

Hogan Ephraim and Adel Taarabt started out wide in midfield, with Buzsaky and Alejandro Faurlin in the middle.

Vine partnered German up top.

Buoyed by a vivacious Loftus Road crowd, the R's created the first opportunity of the half to find the net.

It was a clever move that almost paid dividends, with Taarabt deceiving everyone from a corner kick on the left when he stroked the ball to Buzsaky on the edge of the area - but the Hungarian playmaker could only smash wide of the goal.

Moments later, the R's went even closer.

Martin Taylor was adjudged to have felled German some 30 yards from goal, and from the resultant kick, Scott Loach had to be aware to beat away a ferocious low shot from Buzsaky.

Soon after, Faurlin was unlucky to see his smashed effort from distance go just over the crossbar, after he latched onto a weak clearance following Buzsaky's initial cross into the box.

Play then switched to the other end, and after the Hornets won a free-kick around 35-yards out, Henri Lansbury's dangerous cross missed everyone as the ball was caught by Cerny in the R's net.

Minutes later, Tosic's long ball was only headed back as far as the onrushing Ephraim 25-yards out, before the R's wide man blazed high and wide of the target.

Chances were not exactly at a premium - especially clear-cut ones - though Ramage had to be alert enough to guide the ball to Cerny while holding off Lansbury, after Graham's flick looked to have put the Arsenal youngster through one-on-one with the keeper.

Moments later, the game burst into life when the R's took a 38th minute lead from the penalty spot.

Faurlin, Vine and Tosic all combined down the left before the Serbian international's darting run into the box was adjudged to have been unfairly halted by Mariappa.

Buzsaky took hardly any run-up to the kick but finished in emphatic style, staying calm as he blasted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Just minutes after the start of the closing period, the R's went in hot pursuit of a second goal.

German swept a pass out to Vine on the left-hand side of the box. The striker twisted and turned his marker before sending a low centre across the penalty area that somehow missed a host of R's bodies before Mariappa eventually cleared the ball for a corner.

The game was turning in to a somewhat scrappy affair, with opportunities few and far between as the R's fought to hold on to the lead, and Watford pushed for an equalising goal.

Mackay's Hornets soon went closest yet to finding their first goal of the night.

Loach's long ball was misjudged by Ramage who slid to clear the ball, before substitute Marvin Sordell crossed for Graham, who somehow missed the ball as he attempted to head home just six yards from the target.

Rangers were hanging on, and moments later only a miracle save from Cerny prevented Watford from notching that equaliser.

Youngster Sordell was again involved, sliding a precise centre into the direction of Graham. The frontman looked odds-on to net from just a few-yards out, before his shot was superbly diverted wide by the trailing leg of a diving Cerny for Rangers.

Soon after, the R's almost grabbed a second with time running out at Loftus Road.

Vine received the ball out on the right, sliding sub Jay Simpson through on goal at an acute angle on the right, who saw his shot superbly parried to safety by Loach in the Watford goal.

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Leigertwood, Vine, Buzsaky (Oastler 71), Gorkss, Faurlin, Ephraim, Tosic, German (Simpson 73), Taarabt (Cook 41).

Subs: Putnins, Simpson, Brown, Parker, Priskin.
Goals: Buzsaky (pen) 38
Bookings: Buzsaky, Cook, Ephraim
Watford: Loach, Mariappa, Lansbury, McGinn (Sordell 46), Graham, Jenkins (Bryan 82), Harley, Bennett (Doyley 46), Taylor, Eustace, Hodson.
Subs: Lee, Hoskins, Henderson, Sordell
Bookings: Mariappa
Referee: Mr P Miller
Attendance: 13, 171 (2299) QPR

Posted on: Tue 20 Apr 2010
Neil Warnock was honest enough to admit the R's weren't at their free-flowing best, but nevertheless praised his charges for a 'professional display' against struggling Watford.

Akos Buzsaky's first half spot-kick proved to be the difference, as Rangers climbed up to 14th place in the Coca Cola Championship.

"I thought we were quite professional," Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk.

"It's tough when you're safe and you play against a team fighting for their lives.

"We didn't create too much, but I thought we deserved the win.

"We owed it to our supporters first and foremost, and of course the other teams in the relegation fight.

"No-one can point any fingers at us tonight."

Warnock added: "We couldn't hold it up-front for 20 minutes and that gave them momentum.

"But I can't remember them having a shot on target to be honest.

"I thought we defended quite well and Peter Ramage was absolutely outstanding again.

"Gorkssy had a good second half, heading everything clear too.

"The centre-halves were vital and I thought we coped with what they threw at us very well."

Warnock is looking forward to the R's last two games of the season against Barnsley and Newcastle United, adding: "Every game I'm learning.

"We tried a few different permutations tonight and I gave a young lad his debut.

"That's what I've got to do now, but I still want to finish undefeated and if we could get another four points I'd be very please QPR


Akos Buzsaky's blast for QPR leaves Watford on the precipiceQPR 1-0 Watford
Barney Ronay
League One football remains a distinct possibility for Watford next season after a low-key 1-0 defeat and a performance of impressive energy but little attacking guile or incision. "We threw everything we had at them in the second half," was the manager Malky MacKay's verdict afterwards, but on this evidence that doesn't amount to a great deal. Watford are now two points above the relegation places and without an away win in 16 matches.

In December Queens Park Rangers' Hungarian playmaker Akos Buzsaky was spotted wandering about in tears outside the away dressing room after a 3-1 defeat at Watford that ended with him allegedly being head-butted by the then manager Jim Magilton. Here Buzsaky had a happier time, scoring the only goal from the penalty in what for Rangers was a dead rubber, safety having been achieved via results elsewhere at the weekend.

Neil Warnock's Rangers settled the quicker, Buzsaky drawing an awkward lunging save from Scott Loach with a swerving free-kick from 35 yards after seven minutes.

This match had been postponed in mid-February after Biblical-style deluges and Watford in particular still looked like a team playing through heavy mud in a first half of few chances.

It came as a genuine surprise when the Serbian Dusko Tosic produced the first real moment of thrust in attack after 38 minutes, cutting in from the left and beating two men before appearing to be dragged down by Adrian Mariappa. The referee took a moment and then awarded the penalty, and Buzsaky buried it.

Watford pushed forward with intent at the start of the second half, the substitute Marvin Sordell providing a muscular and purposeful presence in attack alongside the previously isolated Danny Graham. It was from Sordell's excellent cross from the left on 64 minutes that Graham failed to connect with his header from six yards out. Moments later Sorvell crossed again and Graham's point-blank shot was blocked by Peter Ramage on the line.

Watford's best efforts at a late aerial bombardment were easily repelled by Kaspars Gorkss. "The players need to show the character they showed in the second half [when we play] against Reading on Saturday," MacKay said, but he will be hoping for a little more devil too.

From The Times April 21, 2010
Akos Buzsaky calls tune to leave Watford looking down
Queens Park Rangers 1 Watford 0 - Russell Kempson

Sir Elton John, Watford’s honorary life president, is doing a “Playing for Players” gig at Vicarage Road next month to raise money to improve the squad. Unless Watford pick up sufficient points from their last two Coca-Cola Championship matches, the pop legend could be playing for players of League One standard only.

Relegation, indeed, beckons. Watford need three points from their two remaining fixtures — at home to Reading on Saturday and away to Coventry City on the final day of the season — to guarentee a fourth year in the second tier of English football.

To judge by their performance against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road last night, that might just be beyond them. From the start, Watford were nervous and unadventurous. Even a late rally near the end failed to make any lasting impression and a record of one win in nine matches, at the business end of the season, is enough to have John wailing a lament come May 29, the day of his concert. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road might be appropriate.

”I was disappointed with the first half,” Malkay Mackay, the Watford manager, said. “Both sides looked to be sizing each other up. But we threw everything at them after half-time. I told the lads to go out without fear and they did.

On Saturday, Reading may have nothing to play for but their players will be playing for contracts there and maybe at other clubs. No one’s got a right to stay in this division but we’ve got to make sure we do.”

In stark contrast, QPR played with a rare freedom that was born out of Championship safety. It had been confirmed on Sunday, when the Sheffield clubs — Wednesday and United — had fought out a 1-1 draw in the Steel City derby at Hillsborough.

Not that Neil Warnock, the former United manager, was popping the champagne corks. “Let’s be perfectly honest,” he wrote in his programme notes. “It’s not exactly something to celebrate. We should be competing towards the top end of this division with the players we have.”

Watford will vouch for that, having spent most of the first half chasing shadows. Adrian Mariappa chased Dusko Tosic a shade too recklessly in the 37th minute and brought him crashing to the ground in the area.

“There was very little contact, if any,” Mackay reflected ruefully. Akos Buzsaky stepped up to send Scott Loach the wrong way from the penalty spot. It was Buzsaky who walked out of the dressing room after a row with Jim Magilton, then the manager, following QPR’s 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road in December.

Watford lay in sixth place after that victory but a sorry sequence of only four wins in 24 had seen them plummet to earth. They may plummet even farther, all the way into League One, if they are not careful. At least an improved second-half display gives them some hope in their final two fixtures. If they do not secure the three points necessary for survival, they will have to rely on the other strugglers — Wednesday and Crystal Palace — to falter.

For all Watford’s huff and puff, honest endeavour and frequent forays forward, Radek Cerny, the QPR goalkeeper, hardly had to make a save. He would not have been able to had Danny Graham connected properly with Marvin Sordell’s fierce cross but the ball flashed past Graham’s diving body and away to safety. “On another day, that might have gone in,” Mackay said.

Neil Warnock, the QPR manager, feels for Mackay. “It’s horrible for him, being in the position he is,” Warnock said. “I’ve got a lot of time for Malky and his team had a right go at us in the second half. It’s also been hard for us over the past few weeks. I can’t wait for the summer, to have a break and then get going again.”

For QPR and Warnock, they can rest easy. For Watford and Mackay, as for many at this year, it’s squeaky-bum time" The Times

Watford Official Site - CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
Tue 20 Apr 2010
A first-half penalty was the difference between the two teams in west London this evening (Tuesday) as the Golden Boys lost out 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers.

The first 45 minutes saw few chances created by either side but the Golden Boys only really got into their stride after half time.

Speaking after the game, Malky Mackay said: "We both looked as if we were sizing each other up in the first half, I don't think we were on the front foot in the first half.

"There is no reason why it should have been a tentative start from us.

"Sometimes that comes with inexperience and there is an inconsistency with inexperience and I think that showed tonight.

"We had to come out with real character in the second half."

Watford did just that after the break but despite greater pressure and chances created they couldn't find a way to net the all-important equaliser.

Marvin Sordell made a real difference in attack, while Lloyd Doyley returned to defence as well after half time.

"Marvin came on and put some great runs in and put in some chances that we should have scored from" added Malky.

"I certainly think we were on the ascendancy in the second half - the three chances we had in the box, we've got to be putting those away at this level and we've got to be clinical.

"We've got to take the courage we showed in the second half into our match on Saturday against Reading."

The 'Orns have two games remaining, firstly against The Royals at Vicarage Road before they travel to face Coventry City in the Midlands.

However, the manager takes heart and belief from the second half showing at Loftus Road.

He added: "To go and play the second half the way we did and show the courage we did to get into the goalscoring chances, being in and around the box and testing their goalkeeper - that gives me hope."

We have to start on the front foot on Saturday then we can be a team to be reckoned with." Watford

Newcastle 44 98 54 87
West Brom 44 89 41 87
Nottm Forest 44 75 22 60
Cardiff 44 73 20 70
Leicester 44 70 13 58
Swansea 44 68 5 40
Blackpool 44 66 15 72
Middlesbrough 44 61 10 57
Reading 44 60 5 64 2-2 FT v Sc*n*horpe
Sheff Utd 44 59 2 57
Bristol City 44 59 -10 53
Doncaster 44 56 0 55
Ipswich 44 55 -8 48
QPR 44 54 -7 57 1-0 FT v Watford
Preston 44 54 -11 57
Derby 44 53 -11 50
Coventry 44 53 -13 46
Barnsley 44 53 -15 52
Sc*n*horpe 44 51 -21 57 2-2 FT v Reading
Watford 44 48 -14 54 0-1 FT v QPR
Crystal Palace * 44 47 -3 47

Sheff Wed 44 46 -19 45
Plymouth 44 41 -21 42
Peterborough 44 31 -34 44 - BBC

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