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Friday, July 30, 2010

QPR and Plymouth Draw...Warnock Satisfied and Notes Striker Signing Hopes

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QPR (squad v Plymouth Argyle): Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall, Leigertwood, Clarke, Helguson, Buzsaky, Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Connolly, Agyemang, Ramage, Cerny, Ephraim, Borrowdale, German, Parker, trialist.

QPR Official Site - Warnock NW: 'EXACTLY WHAT I EXPECTED'

Posted on: Fri 30 Jul 2010
Neil Warnock was pleased to see his side pushed all the way by Plymouth Argyle on Friday night, as the R's played out a 1-1 draw with the League One side.

Jamie Mackie - playing against his former Club for the first time since his summer move to Loftus Road - drew Rangers level late on, after Luke Summerfield handed the Pilgrims an early first half lead from the spot.

Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "Plymouth provided exactly the test I expected.

"That was just what we were after in terms of preparation for the opening day against Barnsley.

"It was a tough test against a very well organised side and it will stans us in great stead for next weekend."

Despite the arrival of Bradley Orr from Bristol City earlier in the day, the Rangers gaffer readily admitted his work in the transfer market is 'ongoing,' adding: "I still want to bring in one or two strikers and I'm confident I can do that over the next eight days.
"If we get the players I want, I'll be pleased with how we're set ahead of the season."

QPR Official Site - QPR 1, PLYMOUTH 1
- Jamie Mackie's 82nd minute strike against his former side meant that honours ended even between QPR and Plymouth Argyle at Loftus Road.

A pre-season friendly of two halves, the R's fell behind early on in the first half when Luke Summerfield struck home from the penalty spot, after Matt Connolly was adjudged to have tugged back Steve McLean in the area.

Undeterred, Rangers came out the better side after the break, and they were duly rewarded with eight minutes left to play.

Mackie broke free following Bradley Orr's sublime pass from deep, tucking the ball home to give the R's a share of the spoils.

The R's began proceedings at Loftus Road in an unchanged 4-3-3 formation.

Paddy Kenny was in goal for the Hoops.

Orr - who today signed a four-year deal following his switch from Bristol City - was at right-back in defence, with stand-in skipper Fitz Hall and Connolly in the centre and Clint Hill on the left.

Rangers deployed a three-man midfield of Mikele Leigertwood, Alejandro Faurlin and Akos Buzsaky.

Up top, Hogan Ephraim and Mackie played just off Patrick Agyemang.

QPR started brightly with a mixture of neat interplay and controlled passing, though it was Plymouth who had the first effort on goal when Onismor Bhasera's stinging 30-yard free-kick was well held by R's keeper Kenny.

Bhasera was then involved only minutes later when he sent in a vicious corner from the left that was met by the head of Krisztian Timar, who saw his header go just past the left-hand post.

Argyle didn't have to wait a great deal longer for the opening goal of the evening, however, after Matt Connolly brought down Mclean in the area following a ball that was played deep from defence.

Summerfield stepped up from 12 yards and did the rest, tucking the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net past Kenny who had no chance.

After the opening strike the game became somewhat of a scrappy affair, though the R's went their closest yet when Buzsaky's in-swinging free-kick from the left was nodded back towards goal by Orr and into the direction of Mackie, who saw his scuffed effort blocked for a corner.

From the resultant set-piece, Buzsaky played a clever centre into Faurlin on the edge of the area, and when the Argentinean playmaker guided an effort towards the target, Agyemang somehow dragged his shot wide from 10-yards out.

Argyle were next on the attack, and after a free-flowing passing move, Summerfield's cross from the right was met at the back post by the head of Rory Fallon, whose effort was straight at Kenny in the R's goal.

Seconds before half-time, the R's went closer still when Faurlin picked up Leigertwood's blocked effort on the edge of the area, though he could only fire a left-footed drive wide of the right-hand post.

R's gaffer Warnock decided to freshen things up at the break, with Kaspars Gorkss, Shaun Derry, Josh Parker and Heidar Helguson replacing Connolly, Leigertwood, Buzsaky and Agyemang respectively.

It was a set of changes that almost instantly brought QPR to life, with Parker in particular making an impression early on with a notable driving run from midfield.

The Hoops were seeing a lot more of the ball in the second half, and substitute keeper Colin Doyle had to be alert to beat Faurlin's thunderous free-kick away from goal at his back post.

Play then switched to the other end, where Bhasera was unlucky to see his stabbed effort go wide following a mix-up in the R's ranks when a ball played from deep bounced in between the Hoops' last man and keeper.

However, Rangers were soon back on the attack, and after Ephraim sent over devastating centre from the right, an unmarked Gorkss could only head wide from 12-yards out.

The R's were edging ever-closer, and only a last-ditch tackle at the near post could prevent Helguson from tapping home after Parker did well to burst down the right and play over a lovely cross from the byline.

Plymouth could - and probably should - have doubled their advantage minutes later when Bhasera broke free down the left and found Fallon unmarked at the back post, but he could only nod agonisingly wide of Kenny's left-hand post.

At the other end, the R's missed a golden chance of their own when Parker's centre from the left handed Ephraim with a free-header 10-yards out, who headed an effort harmlessly over the bar.

QPR weren't to be beaten, however, and after Orr's stunning long-range pass from deep, Mackie nipped in behind the last defender before tucking the ball home into the bottom corner from 10 yards.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Connolly (Gorkss 46), Hall (Ramage 72), Leigertwood (Derry 46), Ephraim (Trialist), Mackie, Agyemang (Helguson 46) (German 84), Buzsaky (Parker 46), Faurlin.
Subs: Borrowdale, Cerny.
Goals: Mackie (82)

Plymouth Argyle: Larrieu (Doyle 46), Johnson (Clark 46), Arnason (N'Gala 46), Fallon, Bhasera (Noone 63), Summerfield, Peterlin, Timar (Manuel 78), Molyneux, Zuber (Duguid 46), McLean (Bolasie 63).

Subs: R Patterson, Wright-Phillips, J Patterson, Seip.

Goals: Summerfield (pen 11)

Referee: Mr P Russell

Attendance: 2,844 QPR

Plymouth Official Site - QPR 1 ARGYLE 1


ARGYLE manager Peter Reid's understated observation that "we're getting there" after Wednesday's 1-0 victory at Hereford was franked by an eye-catching performance by the Pilgrims at Loftus Road 48 hours later.

Luke Summerfield's 11th-minute penalty, after Steve MacLean had been fouled in the process of finishing off Rory Fallon's headed through-ball, gave the Pilgrims the lead.

They held on to it for 70 minutes before Home Park old boy Jamie Mackie scored what can only be described as a typical Jamie Mackie goal, bustling his way on to a half-chance and slotting home from a difficult angle despite the attentions of Kári Árnason.

It was not so much the result against higher-grade opposition that raised hopes that improving pre-season form can be carried on to the opening npower League 1 match at Southampton next Saturday, but the sight of a squad obviously growing in confidence and ambition.

Much of the passing and movement was delightful; the commitment to the cause was reminiscent of cup-tie defending; and there was a courage and assurance about some of the decision-making. It was just a shame that the old failing of a lack of goals did not emphasise the effort in ,and quality of, the display.

Five of the Argyle starting line-up in Shepherd's Bush had begun on the substitutes' bench for the 1-0 victory at Hereford two days earlier.

Notable among the quintet was Stéphane Zubar, a defender from Guadelope lately plying his trade with SC Vaslui, in Romania's Liga 1. His brother, Ronald, played 23 times for Wolves in the Premier League last season.

Trialist Lee Molyneux was given a first start of this pre-season at left-back, while the match-winner at Hereford, MacLean partnered Fallon up front. Romain Larrieu was recalled in goal with trialist Colin Doyle on the bench.

There was a strong Argyle look to the Rangers' set-up, with last season's leading Pilgrims' scorer Mackie and Hungarian international midfielder Ákos Buzsáky being cajoled from a bench that included former manager Neil Warnock and his assistant Mick Jones.

Argyle started brightly and should have taken an early lead from Onismore Bhasera's eighth-minute corner.

The Zimbabwean's precise delivery to the near post was met by Kris Timár, who met the ball with a full-blooded header. Had the attempt been on target, it is doubtful whether goalkeeper Paddy Kenny would have had much of a chance, but it was not.

No matter, Argyle continued to press and were rewarded when MacLean was hauled down by Matthew Connolly in the penalty area as he raced on to Rory Fallon's inviting flick-on. Summerfield stepped up and became only the fourth Argyle player to find the net in pre-season, his penalty low and hard to Kenny's right.

The Pilgrims remained good value for their lead, but twice survived scares when they switched off to two Buzsáky set-pieces: a free-kick that was allowed to go all the way to the far post and across goal before being cleared; and a corner that was played short and ended with Patrick Agyemang poking the ball wide.

The best moves, though, came from Argyle, and Fallon was at the centre of a lot of them. He began the move that ended with a raking cross from Summerfield from the right wing that found the New Zealander's perceptive run for a header that was saved by Kenny at the foot of his post.

Doyle was one of four half-time substitutes made by Peter Reid, and he immediately showed his worth against an invigorated QPR by pawing away an on-target free-kick by Alejandro Faurlin.

Argyle responded with a quicksilver move that caught Rangers napping as Bhasera broke through and toed a lob over Kenny, who had rushed off his goal-line to meet the threat, and only just the wrong side of the post.

At the other end, Timár continued his pre-season renaissance with a massive tackle to deny Heidar Helguson on the edge of his six-yard box after Josh Parker crossed low and hard from the Rangers' right.

Fallon should have extended Argyle's lead midway through the second half when Chris Clark engineered a break for Yala Bolasie to cross. Fallon, whose marker Fitz Hall was lying injured in the centre of the pitch, was unmarked but sent his header wide.

That was the last we saw of Fallon as the inevitable slew of substitutions threatened to interrupt the game's flow.

One of the cast of extras, Craig Noone, nearly killed Kenny with an inswinging free-kick that the former Sheffield United man spilled, but the ball spewed out of his hands for a corner.

Argyle paid the price for earlier profligacy when Mackie squared the game, and the Pilgrims had to settle for a share of the spoils that was the least they deserved.

Queens Park Rangers: 1 Paddy Kenny; 2 Bradley Orr, 4 Matthew Connolly (16 Kaspar Gorkss half-time), 5 Fitz Hall (capt, 14 Peter Ramage 72), 3 Clint Hill; (12 Gary Borrowdale 85) 6 Mikele Leigertwood (17 Josh Parker half-time), 10 Ákos Buzsáky (18 Shaun Derry half-time), 11 Alejandro Faurlin; 8 Jamie Mackie, 9 Patrick Agyemang (20 Heidar Helguson half-time, 15 Antonio German 85), 7 Hogan Ephraim (19 A Trialist 78). Substitutes (not used): 13 Radek Cerny (gk).

Argyle: 1 Romain Larrieu (33 Colin Doyle half-time); 31 Stéphane Zubar (3 Bondz N'Gala half-time), 11 Kári Árnason (capt), 23 Krisztián Timár (18 Laurent Manuel 79), 28 Lee Molyneux (29 Jim Paterson 85); 20 Luke Summerfield (2 Karl Duguid half-time), 21 Anton Peterlin, 7 Damien Johnson (6 Chris Clark half-time), 15 Onismor Bhasera (17 Craig Noone 63); 32 Steve MacLean (19 Yannick Bolasie 63), 14 Rory Fallon (8 Rory Patterson 73). Substitutes (not used): 10 Bradley Wright-Phillips, 30 Marcel Seip.

Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire). Plymouth

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