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Match Report


Posted Sat 07 Dec 13 at 17:00 PM

QPR 0 Rovers 0

Gary Bowyer's Rovers were full value for the point after a battling display at Loftus Road.

Ahead of the game the manager had called for a response and they certainly delivered, having the better of the play in the first half as Jason Lowe, Chris Taylor and Scott Dann all went close.

The R's improved after the break with Simon Eastwood pulling off a fantastic save to thwart Matty Phillips before Charlie Austin struck a post with a header.

It was nervy towards the end but Rovers held on to claim a worthy share of the spoils and their first clean sheet away from home since October last year, and one that was fully deserved.

Following Tuesday's night's disappointing display at Ipswich Town, Gary Bowyer made four changes for the trip to Loftus Road.

There was a change in goal as Simon Eastwood was given his Rovers league debut, then in defence Adam Henley replaced the suspended Todd Kane for his first appearance of the season.

In midfield, Ben Marshall got the nod ahead of Josh King, whilst Chris Taylor replaced DJ Campbell up front.

Despite the much changed line-up it was Rovers who had the better of the opening 45 minutes.

Just seven minutes in and Rovers fashioned the first opening, a good turn from Jordan Rhodes saw him get the better of Richard Dunne, he fed the ball back to Lee Williamson but he dragged his shot wide.

It was then Tom Cairney's turn to move the ball well towards goal, but his chipped ball aimed for Rhodes was claimed by Rob Green.

The chances kept coming Rovers' way, the best of them on 18 minutes. A superb cross from the left by Ben Marshall was met on the volley by a stretching Jason Lowe but somehow Clint Hill headed over his own bar on the line.

A spell of intense pressure followed by the side in red, putting free-kicks and corners into the area, the home side just about keeping Rovers at bay.

Simon Eastwood had a relatively quiet first half on his first league outing, a Joey Barton free-kick comfortably claimed.

Tommy Spurr was proving to be a useful supply line down the left hand side and he could have been claiming two assists at the end of the first half had fortune favoured Rovers.

A centre from the former Doncaster man on 42 minutes saw Chris Taylor attack but he headed over the bar. Then from a trademark long throw Scott Dann flicked just wide of the far post, Rhodes flung himself to try and claim a touch but just failed to do so.

The start of the second half saw Simon Eastwood called upon to make his first save of the match. After Scott Dann had been booked for a foul on Andy Johnson, Joey Barton took the resulting free-kick but Eastwood showed good hands to claim the ball.

Huge chances at each end soon followed. A poor touch from Clint Hill allowed Jason Lowe to steal the ball, he squared it to Rhodes 12 yards out but as he shaped to shoot he was outmuscled by Joey Barton.

Play was switched with Andy Johnson racing away down the right, his centre was dummied by Charlie Austin for Matt Phillips but from just six yards out Simon Eastwood pulled off a magnificent save to keep the ball out.

A double change was made by Harry Redknapp moments later as wide-men Hoilett and Phillips were replaced by Niko Kranjcar and Gary O'Neil.

Rovers also made a substitution as Josh King replaced Tom Cairney.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes it was the home side who started to increase the pressure.

Rovers were living on their nerves on 72 minutes when Assou-Ekotto got the better of King on the left, his cross was met by Charlie Austin but the forward headed against the foot of the post. As Eastwood looked to hook the ball away it went straight to Gary O'Neil but his shot could only hit the prone Austin on the ground and bounce to safety.

Former QPR man DJ Campbell was introduced with just less than 15 minutes remaining and he was involved in an 81st move that saw Chris Taylor denied by Green. After good work by King on the right, Campbell turned his marker to set up Taylor but his low effort was claimed.

Josh King took a whack to the back in that move and although he tried to continue he was unable to do so, that allowed David Dunn to make his 350th appearance for Rovers.

Four added minutes were shown with the home side firing long ball after long ball into the Rovers box but the visitors held strong to claim a fully deserved point.

They'd been poor in midweek at Ipswich Town, Gary Bowyer had demanded a response and the players delivered.

QPR: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill (c), Phillips (sub O'Neil 59 mins), Johnson, Austin, Carroll, Barton, Hoilett (sub Kranjcar 59 mins), Assou-Ekotto (sub Traore 88 mins).

Subs not used: Murphy (GK), Onuoha, Jenas, Henry.

Goals: None

Booked: None

ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley, Dann (c), Hanley, Spurr, Cairney (sub King 63 mins (sub Dunn 85 mins)), Lowe, Williamson, Marshall, Taylor, Rhodes (sub Campbell 76 mins).

Subs not used: Kean (GK), Kilgallon, Rochina, Judge.

Goals: None

Booked: Henley, Dann, Taylor, Spurr.

Attendance: 15,987 (809 Rovers fans)

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