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Match Report


Posted Wed 16 Sep 15 at 21:45 PM

Report: QPR 2 Rovers 2

Rovers' search for that first win of the season still eludes them after they were twice pegged back by Queens Park Rangers.

Not for the first time this season, spurned chances proved costly as Rovers had to settle for just a point at Loftus Road.

A strong first half showing saw Rovers open the scoring on 14 minutes when Shane Duffy scored at the back post. But it was their inability to add to their lead when on top that would come back to bite them when Charlie Austin's centre deflected off Adam Henley moments into the second half.

The response from the Lancashire club was excellent with Jordan Rhodes superbly scoring his second goal in as many games on the hour mark.

But with the three points within their grasp poor marking at the back post allowed Nedum Onuoha to head home to level the scores once more with 11 minutes remaining.

Rovers pressed in the closing stages to get their noses in front a third time, but they were left frustrated in having to settle for just the one point.

Ahead of the game Rovers made just the one change from the side that faced Fulham on Sunday, with Fode Koita getting the nod to partner Jordan Rhodes up front in place of Nathan Delfouneso who dropped to the bench.

The Hoops also made the one change with Smithies handed a debut in goal following Rob Green's sending off at the weekend.

But the game had barely got underway when Rovers were forced into making an early change. As Rovers cleared a QPR corner from the right, Tommy Spurr was left prone on the turf  after taking a knee to the cheek.

Jason Steele and Grant Hanley immediately called for assistance for their team-mate, and after a lengthy spell of treatment the Rovers man was eventually stretchered off to be replaced by Markus Olsson. Thankfully there was good news from the dressing room at half-time with Spurr sat up and conscious.

However Rovers responded in emphatic fashion, taking the lead in the 14th minute.

After Karl Henry had fouled Craig Conway on the near side, the Scot sent a high ball to the back post, Shane Duffy got the better of Smithies and as the ball dropped, the defender poked it over the line.

It was the first time this season that Rovers had scored the opening goal in a game.

Sensing a nervousness from the home side, Rovers immediately went looking for a second. Craig Conway saw a rasping drive saved, whilst only a last-ditch tackle from Nedum Onuoha prevented Jordan Rhodes from getting his shot away when well placed.

Ben Marshall then found Rhodes with a reverse pass, but again as the striker waited for the ball to come down, a Rangers defender, this time James Perch, was able to get the ball away,

Rovers continued with their bright attacking play, Conway with a fizzing centre to the near post which Rhodes couldn't connect with, as they looked to score a second play their play more than deserved.

At the other end, aside from a couple of wayward efforts from distance that troubled the visiting Rovers fans more than Steele's goal, the home side's best chance of the half came in added time.

Charlie Austin took the ball to the byline before lifting a centre for Tjaronn Chery but his header was well off target.

The half ended with yet another chance spurned by Rovers, Marshall feeding Markus Olsson on the overlap down the left, he centred for Rhodes but a combination of Smithies and Gabriele Angella somehow stopped the ball from crossing the line.

But as well as Rovers had played in the first half, they didn't have the goals to show for their dominance, and that would come home to roost less than 30 seconds into the second half.

A ball into the Rovers box deflected off the back of Duffy into the path of Austin, and although Steele brilliantly saved his initial effort, the forward's ball back across the six-yard box rebounded off the unfortunate Adam Henley and into the back of the net.

Rovers looked to respond immediately but Rhodes was just unable to leap high enough to reach a hooked pass from Olsson. The Swede was then at the right place at the other end to block a shot from Chery. The home fans' appeals that he had handled in the process went unheard.

But on the hour mark Rovers regained their advantage a wonderfully taken goal from Rhodes.

As Steele hit a goal kick long upfield, Koita flicked on for his strike partner, Rhodes first lifted the ball over Onuoha, before holding off the defender and sliding the ball home.

Rangers missed a great chance to get back on level terms on 73 minutes with a quick counter-attack. As Phillips races away down the left, his centre picked out Massimio Luongo in front of goal, but inexplicably he chose to pass and the chance was gone as Olsson defended well against substitute Jamie Mackie.

But Rovers' advantage didn't last much longer as the Hoops levelled once more with 11 minutes remaining.

Daniel Tozser hit a corner to the back post to where a fast arriving and criminally unmarked Onuoha headed home. Steele did get a strong hand to the ball but it had too much power and nestled in the back of the net.

With both sides looking for a winner, play became increasingly stretched in the final ten minutes.

Steele had to save well to deny Luongo, whilst Rovers substitute Nathan Delfouneso went close with a right-footed shot that just cleared the crossbar.

In added time Rovers looked to grab a third goal that would have given them the points, but despite threatening late with a series of corners, they were left to settle just the one point.

QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Phillips, Chery (sub Mackie 68 mins), Austin, Konchesky, Henry, Luongo, Perch, Angella, Tozser.

Subs not used: Lumley (GK), Hall, Hill, Gladwin, Doughty, Faurlin.

Goals: Henley (OG) 46 mins, Onuoha 79 mins.

Booked: Smithies, Austin.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr (sub Olsson 8 mins), Marshall (sub Lawrence 89 mins), Guthrie, Evans, Conway, Koita (sub Delfouneso 82 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Kilgallon, O'Sullivan, Akpan.

Goals: Duffy 14 mins, Rhodes 60 mins.

Booked: Henley, Guthrie.

Attendance: 14,007 (including 425 Rovers fans).

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