QPR Report Twitter Feed

Saturday, April 21, 2007

QPR Beat Cardiff and Guarantee Championship Football Next Season

QPR Beat Cardiff 1-0 (Blackstock)...

Coventry 44 53 -15 45 1-2 FT v Sheff Wed
QPR 44 52 -12 53 1-0 FT v Cardiff
Leicester 44 50 -13 47 1-0 FT v Preston
Barnsley 44 50 -24 53 2-0 FT v Crystal Palace
Hull 44 46 -16 49 1-1 FT v Stoke
Leeds 44 45 -24 45 0-1 FT v Southampton
Southend 44 42 -28 45 1-2 FT v Plymouth
Luton 44 37 -25 50
League Table


Rangers guaranteed their Championship status thanks to Dexter Blackstock's first half header.

The golden-boy of the Loftus Road terraces nodded home his 14th goal of the season in the 23rd minute, as John Gregory's men picked up their fourth win in five outings.

The victory, coupled with Leeds United failing to win on their travels, confirmed Rangers' place in the second tier of English football for another season.

In a first period dominated by the hosts, Blackstock went one step closer to reaching his goals target for the season when he leapt above a static Cardiff defence to head home Lee Cook's centre.

The Bluebirds improved after the break, but victory was no less than the R's deserved and with other results going in their favour, the party was just starting at W12.

Gregory welcomed back Cook to the starting XI, with Jimmy Smith making way.

Inspirational defender Danny Cullip missed out with a groin injury, so Pat Kanyuka was handed a rare start at the heart of the R's defence.

Top-scorer Michael Chopra led the Bluebirds frontline and it was he who created the first opportunity of the afternoon inside the opening 60 seconds.

After Adam Bolder sent the Cardiff striker sprawling to ground, the former Newcastle player curled a sublime 25-yard free-kick inches wide of Lee Camp's left hand post, with the keeper seemingly beaten all ends up.

Play soon switched to the other end and after the ball ricocheted into the path of Steve Lomas, his six-yard effort was somehow kept out by the covering Roger Johnson.

Marc Nygaard seemed to destined to pounce from close range, but a moments hesitancy from the Danish front-man proved costly and chance was gone.

After a somewhat nervy opening, the R's were enjoying the lion's share of possession and when Nygaard flicked on into the path of Dexter Blackstock, the R's top-scorer kicked at thin air from eight-yards.

The pressure was relentless and when Bolder's rampaging raid into the penalty area ended with him going to ground under Stephen McPhail's challenge, the home crowd were convinced referee Mr Thorpe would award a spot-kick.

Unbelievably, the decision was not forthcoming, much to the angst of Bolder and midfield partner Lomas, who immediately ran to the match official voicing their disappointment.

Cardiff custodian David Forde was being forced to work overtime, tipping Kevin McNaughton's ill-timed deflection around the post in the 14th minute.

Rangers were encamped in the Cardiff half and the frustrations clearly got the better of Chopra, who picked up a 19th minute booking for a late lunge on Bolder.

The breakthrough the R's fast start fully warranted arrived midway through the half.

True to form this season, Cook provided the all-important assist, flighting an inviting in-swinging ball into the heart of the six-yard box, which Blackstock headed home in style.

It was no less than the hosts deserved and the fact the returning Cook - missing for the previous three matches with a knee injury - played a part, only served to underline his importance to the R's side.

In a tactical switch by Gregory, Cook and Martin Rowlands swapped flanks and when the former sent Nygaard through down the right channel, only an untimely slip prevented the R's from creating yet another opportunity.

The change was only a temporary one though, with the two players reverting to their regular wide berths as the half neared a conclusion.

The R's nearly paid the ultimate price for switching off on the stroke of half-time though, when Willo Flood's cut-back from a quickly taken free-kick flashed across the six-yard box and beyond the outstretched boot of the on-rushing Steven Thompson.

The Bluebirds made a promising start to the second half, with the otherwise quiet Chopra firing a volley straight at Camp from 18-yards, before Joe Ledley's effort from an acute angle was hacked to safety by Damion Stewart.

With the sun beating down on Loftus Road, Cardiff full-back Kerrea Gilbert was lucky not to pick up a second booking in as many minutes for a late lunge on Nygaard.

He soon made way for Paul Parry and from their very next attack, Sampsa Timoska and Marcus Bignot combined to thwart the substitute from close range.

If the R's were by far the better team in the first half, the same could not be said in the second period. Yet despite enjoying the majority of possession, time and time again Cardiff failed to breach a resilient Rangers rearguard, who shone despite the absence of regulars Cullip and Michael Mancienne.

A flurry of late bookings failed to take the shine off the R's performance and with results from elsewhere filtering through, the atmosphere at full-time reached fever pitch.

QPR: Camp, Bignot, Bolder, Rowlands (Smith 70), Lomas, Cook, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska, Nygaard, Blackstock (Furlong 83).
Subs: Cole, Milanese, Bailey.
Scorers: Blackstock 22
Bookings: Bolder 67, Bignot 87, Cook 90
Red Cards:

Cardiff City: Forde, Gilbert (Parry 56), McNaughton, Whittingham, Chopra, Thompson (Feeney 71), McPhail, Johnson, Flood (Blake 74), Ledley, Gunter.
Subs: Alexander, Green.
Bookings: Chopra 19, Gilbert 53, Ledley 90
Red Cards:
Referee: Mr M Thorpe
Attendance: 12, 710

QPR v Cardiff
E-mail Article Print-Friendly Subscribe to RSS Feed
Post to del.icio.us

Click here for full match stats

Dexter Blackstock handed QPR a half-time lead over Cardiff as John Gregory's side went in search of their third straight home win in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Rangers dominated the opening period at Loftus Road against a City side now well adrift of the play-off pack after enduring a six-game winless streak.

Blackstock headed the opener midway through the first half as Rangers looked set to extend their recent renaissance.

Lee Cook returned to the QPR starting line-up after recovering from a medial knee ligament problem while Cardiff were still without the suspended Simon Walton and Ricardo Scimeca, who is waiting to find out whether his season is over following a recurrence of groin and stomach problems.

The Hoops have found some level of consistency at precisely the right time to ease clear of the drop zone and appeared determined to build on back-to-back home wins over Preston and Luton in the opening stages.

The evergreen Steve Lomas fired goalward from close range in the sixth minute but Roger Johnson was on hand to punt the ball away to safety while Patrick Kanyuka steered a tame header over from the edge of the penalty area five minutes later as the hosts pushed for an opener.

A fine save from City goalkeeper David Forde denied Blackstock's rasping 12-yard drive shortly and Adam Bolder blazed wide from distance before the home side deservedly opened the scoring with 23 minutes gone.

Cook made in-roads down the right flank and whipped in a cross which Blackstock rose powerfully to meet and head high past Forde to take his tally for the season to 14 goals in all competitions.

The former Southampton striker, signed by Rangers for £275,000 last August, has now scored five goals in his last six games and City struggled to deal with his trademark pace and power.

Peter Whittingham created Cardiff's only noteworthy chance of the half but he failed to trouble goalkeeper Lee Camp from 25 yards. Sporting Life

After a three match absence due to injury, Lee Cook returns to the R's starting XI for the crucial clash with Cardiff City.

The R's wing-wizard was forced from the fray with a knee injury against Preston North End on April 3rd, but having come through a full week's training unscathed, he takes his place on the left hand side of the Hoops midfield.

Martin Rowlands, Adam Bolder and Steve Lomas complete the midfield quartet, while top-scorer Dexter Blackstock is joined in attack by Marc Nygaard.

Lee Camp starts in goal for the R's, behind a back four minus the inspirational Danny Cullip. The former Nottingham Forest defender misses out with a groin injury and is replaced by Pat Kanyuka.

Club Captain Marcus Bignot lines up at left back, in a back four which also includes Sampsa Timoska and Damion Stewart.

In a late change to the advertised match officials, Mick Thorpe replaces Uriah Rennie.

QPR: Camp, Bignot, Bolder, Rowlands, Lomas, Cook, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska, Nygaard, Blackstock.
Subs: Cole, Milanese, Bailey, Furlong, Smith.

Cardiff City: Forde, Gilbert, McNaughton, Whittingham, Chopra, Thompson, McPhail, Johnson, Flood, Ledley, Gunter.
Subs: Alexander, Parry, Green, Feeney, Blake.
Starting Line Up

Blog Archive