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Match Reports

Report: QPR 1 Rovers 1

Gallagher's strike earns Rovers a point on the road

10 September 2016

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Rovers claimed their second point of the season but it could very well have been all three after a hard-working display at Loftus Road.

The visitors had the better of the match for long spells in west London, but in the end they were indebted to a second goal in Rovers colours from Sam Gallagher for a share of the spoils.
The first half was a tight affair but it was Rovers with the best chance, Gallagher with a goalbound header that was somehow kept out on the line by Jake Bidwell.
Play opened up in the second half with again the Lancashire side impressing, Corry Evans saw a volley well saved by Alex Smithies, whilst Ben Marshall, Gordon Greer and Tommie Hoban all going close.
But after Tjaronn Chery had fired the hosts in front against the run of play on 65 minutes, the Hoops' lead would only last nine minutes as Rovers responded well to going behind.
Evans kept play alive on the edge of the box and as the midfielder sent the ball into the area, Gallagher rose highest to send a looping header high over Smithies and into the net.
Owen Coyle handed a debut to deadline day signing Charlie Mulgrew for the match against Queens Park Rangers. His inclusion the only change from the Fulham match last time out as Danny Guthrie dropped to the bench.
That saw Rovers line up 4-1-4-1 with Mulgrew in front of an unchanged back four, Gallagher out wide on the left with Ben Marshall and Hope Akpan in the centre and Craig Conway on the right. Danny Graham leading the line up front.
Heavy rain greeted the two teams as they took to the Loftus Road turf, with Rovers making the early running.
Just five minutes in a corner from Conway was nodded on by Akpan, but Tommie Hoban couldn't take advantage of the space around him and glanced the free header wide of goal.
Moments later the side in navy blue were back on the attack, but Akpan dragged his effort wide of goal.
The Hoops grew into the game as the half wore on but Rovers were never put under any undue pressure. James Perch with a well-struck shot on the run, but his rising effort cleared the bar, before a Sebastian Polter header was easily claimed by Jason Steele.
Conway almost caught out former Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies out with a left-footed shot from the corner of the area. Cutting in from the right, the Scot let fly, the ball going just shy of the near post as Smithies scrambled across.
Mulgrew was having a positive influence on the side sitting in front of the back four, but his match was to end prematurely after he came off worse in a challenge with Olamide Shodipo. Unable to continue, it meant a first appearance this season for Corry Evans.
Rovers ended the first half as strongly as they started with Gallagher a whisker away from giving the visitors the lead in added time.
Meeting a Conway corner the forward headed towards goal strongly, but Rangers defender Jake Bidwell somehow cleared the ball off the line to ensure both teams would go in all square.
But having had little to do in the opening 45, Jason Steele was called upon to make an important save just two minutes into the second.
A ball in from the flanks reached Nasser El Khayati who spun on the ball in the box, but the Rovers keeper showed great reactions in saving well with his legs.
Rovers responded well with a host of chances, Marshall forcing Smithies into a save with a shot from distance before Graham put a difficult headed opportunity just wide.
Then from a Conway corner the ball was only cleared as far as Evans, the midfielder struck the ball sweetly on the volley, Smithies diving to his left to push the ball behind for a corner from which Gordon Greer saw his goalbound shot deflect narrowly over.
But having gone so close at one end, they were to rue the home side taking the lead at the other.
With Marshall perhaps harshly adjudged to have fouled his man, Tjaronn Chery stepped up and curled the 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar. It was a sensational strike, but one very much against the run of play.
It could have gotten worse when Rangers immediately hit Rovers on the break. Only the legs of Steele stopping half-time sub Connor Washington from doubling the home side's advantage.
To their credit the reaction Rovers showed was just what was required. Greer was narrowly over with a header, before only last-ditch defending from Grant Hall stopped Graham from finding Gallagher in front of goal.
Rovers continued to press and on 74 minutes deservedly drew level. Evans with a clipped ball into the area to where Gallagher rose highest to send a looping header over Smithies and into the back of the net.
Sensing victory within their grasp Rovers went hunting for a second, Graham going agonisingly close with a glancing header that flashed across the area.
The closing stages saw both sides make further changes in an attempt to turn a point into three. Marvin Emnes and Martin Samuelsen on for Rovers, whilst QPR new boy Idrissa Sylla was introduced for the home side.
It would be the Hoops man who would have the best opportunity a minute from time, but Steele once more saved well with his legs to keep out Sylla's effort.
QPR: Smithies, Bidwell, Hall, Onuoha, Cousins, Chery, Polter (sub Washington 46 mins), El Khayati (sub Sylla 80 mins), Henry, Perch, Shodipo.
Subs not used: Ingram (GK), Borysiuk, Caulker, Kakay, Paul.
Goals: Chery 65 mins.
Booked: Shodipo 50 mins, Perch 61 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Lowe, Hoban, Greer, Williams, Marshall, Mulgrew (sub Evans 34 mins), Akpan, Conway, Gallagher (sub Emnes 77 mins), Graham (sub Samuelsen 83 mins).
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Feeney, Byrne, Guthrie.
Goals: Gallagher 74 mins.
Booked: Wiliams 42 mins, Akpan 47 mins, Lowe 85 mins.
Attendance: 13,210 (including 598 Rovers fans)

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