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Sunday, April 08, 2007

QPR's Coventry Victory:Reports & Comments Compilation

League Table: Bottom 9

Coventry 41 -10 52
Burnley 40 0 48
Leicester 40 -9 47
QPR 41 -13 46
Hull 41 -14 44
Leeds 41 -23 42
Barnsley 41 -29 41
Southend 41 -26 39
Luton 41 -22 37

Coca-Cola League Round-up
Three wins in four matches show QPR have the character needed to escape the relegation zone into which they had been suckedPeter Wilson
Coventry 0 QPR 1
Queens Park Rangers have shown the character they needed in recent weeks to escape from the relegation zone into which they had been sucked. Three wins in four matches is the result, and only another sudden reversal in fortunes is likely to cause them further worries. Jimmy Smith, the midfielder on loan from Chelsea, was their saviour, firing in from close range after efforts Paul Furlong and Stefan Moore were stopped by keeper Andy Marshall. The honeymoon period is well over for Iain Dowie, who enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run after taking charge at the Ricoh Arena, but has now suffered two successive defeats. It was all different early on with visiting keeper Lee Camp keeping QPR on level terms. Sunday Times

JIMMY SMITH made it third time lucky for Queen's Park Rangers as he netted the last of three good chances to collect another valuable victory in the battle for survival.

The 20-year-old midfielder, on loan from Chelsea, made it three wins in four games as Rangers continued to pull away from the relegation zone.

John Gregory's men finally broke through six minutes into the second half when Smith found a way past Andy Marshall.

Veteran Paul Furlong was the first to pull a save out of the Coventry keeper. The ball then fell to Stefan Moore but once again Marshall was equal to the challenge and he blocked the effort.

But there was nothing the keeper could do when Smith pounced for his sixth goal of the season with the third attempt on his goal in seconds.

Coventry only had themselves to blame for failing to beat visiting keeper Lee Campafter after creating a string of first-half chances.
The former Derby man made an excellent save in only the seventh minute to deny Khalilou Fadiga when Dele Adebola saw his shot deflect off Danny Cullip.
It span to the Senegalese, who sent a left-foot shot goalwards, but Camp came out to narrow the angle and pushed the effort aside with a his left hand.
Camp's second intervention came just before the half hour when he threw himself at the feet of the on-rushing Michael Mifsud and timed his challenge perfectly to push the ball away.
Camp could only direct it into the path of Adam Virgo but he climbed to his feet and made a second stop. The keeper also managed to keep out a shot from Adebola at the second attempt.
Rangers could well have added to their lead when former Sky Blues striker Paul Furlong fired wide and Dexter Blackstock sent a shot over the bar.

COVENTRY CITY: *MARSHALL 8 - Virgo 6, Ward 6, Hawkins 6 (Page, 62mins, 6), Hall 7 - Whing 4 (McKenzie, 54mins, 5), Doyle 6, Hughes 7, Fadiga 6 - Mifsud 7 (Kyle, 68mins, 5), Adebola 6.
QPR: *CAMP 8 - Kanyuka 6, Stewart 6, Cullip 8, Timoska 7 (Bignot, 55mins, 6) - Ainsworth 6, Smith 7, Bolder 6 (Lomas, 71mins), Moore 7 - Furlong 6 (Nygaard, 62mins, 5), Blackstock 6. Ref: P Miller 7. People

Dowie's Disappointment
Coventry's below par performance against QPR gave Sky Blues boss Iain Dowie cause for concern but he hopes to have the players fired up again for Monday's trip to take on high flying Derby.

City lost a scrappy encounter by a goal to nil against the struggling R's and said that his players under-performed all over the park.

"We got sucked into a scrappy game full of set pieces," said the City boss. "We gave away too many fouls and our passing and movement wasn't good enough. It was a disappointing display and I didn't see it coming.

"We got into the way they wanted to play and on the couple of occasions when we did play football we had great opportunities but nowhere near enough.

"It's not like QPR dominated a game. They're scrapping for their lives and they scrapped out a win. The worst case scenario should have been a draw. Marshy made a couple of saves and they still had chance to whack the ball in. There were a couple of moments in our defence that we're not all about."

Dowie added that he was particularly disappointed with the standard of City's passing and says the whole squad will have to regroup quickly for a tough Easter Monday clash against the Rams.

"We didn't play with enough zip and endeavour but we'll learn a lot about each other from this. We've had a couple of difficult moments in the last week and I was just disappointed with the way we passed the ball because that's how I want us to play and we didn't do it today.

"We've got to put this to bed and move on. We've got a massive game away on Monday and I want us to start picking up some points on the road. We have to put it right and against Billy Davies' side that will be really tough. We know it's a tough task but it's one we are looking forward to." Coventry

By Andy Tilley, PA Sport

Click here for full match stats

On-loan midfielder Jimmy Smith scored the only goal of the game as QPR overcame Coventry in their Coca-Cola Championship clash at the Ricoh Arena.

Smith, 20, struck early in the second half to register his sixth Championship goal of the season since joining from Chelsea in September.

But prior to half-time, it had been another Hoops loanee, goalkeeper Lee Camp, who had kept the Sky Blues at bay with a sequence of fine saves.

Their victory was the Loftus Road side's third win in four games while Iain Dowie was left to reflect on back-to-back defeats for the first time since being installed as Coventry boss in February.

With less than 10 minutes on the clock Camp, in his second spell with Rangers from promotion-chasing Derby, produced a one-handed save to deny Khalilou Fadiga at close range.

Then, in the 23rd minute, half-hearted penalty appeals were waved away following Marcus Hall's tangle with Smith.

Five minutes later the hosts' Andy Whing set free Michael Mifsud but Camp was quickly off his line to smother the danger and then bounce up again to tackle Adam Virgo outside the penalty area.

In the 33rd minute unmarked City captain Elliott Ward headed down and wide from Virgo's left-wing corner and 10 minutes later Camp saved the same player's curling shot.

Camp was in action again moments before half-time as he flung himself low to his left to save at the foot of his post after Mifsud's half-volley on the turn.

Both sides ran out unchanged for the start of the second half which opened quietly and was soon interrupted for treatment to Sky Blues midfielder Stephen Hughes.

But Rangers were on the attack shortly afterwards and came close to opening the scoring in the 50th minute when Smith floated over a free-kick taken from the left wing.

And after Pat Kanyuka had headed down from the back post into the six-yard box, Paul Furlong mistimed his volley.

But the deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute after Adam Bolder burst into the Coventry box to set up Furlong, whose close-range effort was saved by Andy Marshall.

Marshall then denied Stefan Moore from the rebound but could do nothing about the next follow-up which was thundered home by Smith.

The goal triggered a series of substitutions as Whing, operating in midfield, was replaced by Leon McKenzie and Rangers' Sampsa Timoska was swapped for Marcus Bignot.

In the 63rd minute, Robert Page replaced Colin Hawkins in the Coventry defence and before play restarted, Marc Nygaard was on for Furlong.

Kevin Kyle, who replaced Mifsud in the 70th minute, completed the Coventry substitutions and two minutes later Steve Lomas replaced Bolder. But despite their re-arrangements, there would be no way back into the game for Coventry, who saw Dele Adebola head a close-range chance wide with five minutes remaining. Sporting Life

Also: Match Minute by Minute - Sporting Life

Midfielder Jimmy Smith eased QPR's relegation fears with the only goal in a tense game at the Ricoh Arena.

Smith - on loan from Chelsea - fired QPR ahead after Coventry keeper saved Paul Furlong's initial shot.

But the Londoners were also grateful to another fellow loanee Lee Camp who made great first-half saves to deny Khalilou Fadiga, Elliott Ward and Adam Virgo.

Dele Adebola headed a chance wide late on but the visitors held on to move five points clear of the drop zone.
Coventry boss Iain Dowie:
"It was a disappointing display and that was something I did not see coming.

"Our last two performances have been below par but it's not because the players feel the season is over.

Dowie added: "We want to finish in the top half of the table and as the form team in the division."

QPR winger Gareth Ainsworth:
"This will mean nothing if we can't get a result at home to Luton on Monday.

"The Luton game is a six-pointer but this was always going to be a close game against Coventry.

"Pretty football will get you promotion but it will not keep you up that's why you need grafters." BBC

Coventry 0 QPR 1
Last updated at 22:51pm on 7th April 2007


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QPR eased their relegation fears as Jimmy Smith grabbed the only goal in a drab encounter.

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder secured Rangers’ third win in four matches to improve their hopes of playing Championship football next season.

Rangers only had one effort on goal in a lacklustre first half when Adam Bolder’s 20-yard shot flew wide. Coventry had the better chances with QPR keeper Lee Camp blocking Michael Mifsud’s close-range effort then racing out to palm away Adam Virgo’s follow-up.

Camp again needed to be alert to tip Mifsud’s angled shot round a post after the Maltese international latched on to Andrew Whing’s pass.

The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute. Bolder’s cross caused mayhem and Coventry keeper Andy Marshall saved efforts by Paul Furlong and Stefan Moore,but the ball bounced off the bar to Smith to rifle a shot into the roof of the net.

Rangers had one late scare when the unmarked Dele Adebola headed Leon McKenzie’s cross wide from close-range. Mail

Rangers moved a step closer to retaining their Championship status, thanks to Jimmy Smith's 53rd minute winner at The Ricoh Arena.

The Chelsea loanee bagged the only goal of the game early in the second half, as the R's did their survival hopes the power of good with a deserved victory against out-of-sorts Coventry City.

Smith scored his first goal in just less than five months of first team football, when he smashed the ball home from close range, after Paul Furlong and Stefan Moore were earlier denied by Andy Marshall.

The R's were terrific value for their victory, with skipper for the day Danny Cullip leading by example at the heart of the visitors' defence and Moore marking his return to the fray with an accomplished display from the left hand side of midfield.

With one eye on the Bank Holiday Monday fixture against Luton Town, John Gregory made wholesale changes to the side which beat Preston four days earlier.

Moore joined Pat Kanyuka, Sampsa Timoska, Furlong and Smith in the starting XI, with Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas and Marc Nygaard dropping to the bench, and Michael Mancienne and Lee Cook missing out altogether.

On a warm afternoon in the Midlands, the Hoops - buoyed by their three-point return against Preston on Tuesday evening - made a promising start.

Indeed, it was the R's who created the first opportunity of the match on five minutes. Gifted far too much space 25-yards from goal, Adam Bolder smashed a fearsome right footed effort a yard wide of Andy Marshall's left hand post.

Coventry responded in kind though, with first Khalilou Fadiga, and then Elliott Ward, firing efforts on goal.

Fadiga forced Camp to tip the ball round from point blank range on six minutes and from the resultant corner, Ward's downward header was diverted to safety by the outstretched leg of Timoska.

In a free flowing opening, Ainsworth drilled a cross-come-shot agonisingly wide, as both sides made the most of the perfect playing surface at The Ricoh Arena.

The R's had strong appeals for a spot-kick waved away midway through the half, when Smith appeared to be bundled to ground inside the box,

Smith seemed convinced there was contact as he got goal-side of Marcus Hall, yet despite vocal appeals from the Rangers bench, referee Mr Miller - on the advice of his assistant - waved play on.

Camp had to be at his agile best to dash from his line on the half hour to deny Michael Misfud, after the Maltese striker evaded the last line of the R's defence.

Having knocked the diminutive forward off his stride with a strong save at his feet, Camp picked himself up to thwart Andrew Whing with the type of challenge a centre-half would be happy with.

Ward was all too often gifted the freedom of the six-yard box from dead-ball situations and when the Sky Blues' skipper met Fadiga's corner kick on 32 minutes, only a poor header prevented him from calling Camp into action for the second time in as many minutes.

Camp thwarted Ward from an acute angle as the half reached its conclusion, before the Derby loanee was in the right place at the right time to tip Mifsud's effort wide on the stroke of half-time.

Rangers began the second half as they started the first, with Furlong just failing to apply the all-important touch to Kanyuka's back post header.

The R's impressive start to the half was rewarded inside seven second half minutes, courtesy of Smith's sixth goal of the campaign.

Furlong seemed destined to fire the R's in front, but when he was thwarted at point-blank range by Marshall, the ball fell to Moore.

Marshall produced yet more heroics to deny him, but he was powerless to thwart Smith, who arrived bang on cue to smash home the rebound from an acute angle.

It was no less than the R's deserved and Smith's celebration in front of the Sky Blues press-box was met with a huge roar by the Rangers faithful in the away end.

Sensing the game was slipping away from his side, Sky Blues gaffer Iain Dowie introduced the gangly Kevin Kyle 20 minutes from time.

But it was Rangers who continued to carve out the better openings, with Ainsworth getting to the by-line 15 minutes from time, only to cross the ball straight into the arms of Marshall with Nygaard waiting to pounce.

Coventry City: Marshall, Whing (McKenzie 54), Hall, Ward, Hughes, Doyle, Adebola, Fadiga, Mifsud (Kyle 70), Hawkins (Page 63), Virgo.

Subs: Steele, Cameron.


Bookings: Doyle 68, Virgo 84

Red Cards:

QPR: Camp, Cullip, Bolder (Lomas 71), Ainsworth, Moore, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska (Bignot 55), Furlong (Nygaard 63), Blackstock, Smith.

Subs: Cole, Ricketts.

Goals: Smith 52

Bookings: Moore 76, Kanyuka 79

Red Cards:

Referee: P Miller

Attendance: 22, 850 (1, 925)


John Gregory let his players do the talking in the wake of the R's sensational victory against the Sky Blues.

Moments after the full-time whistle, Gareth Ainsworth spoke of his delight to www.qpr.co.uk: "It wasn't pretty but it's a massive result - our most important of the season.

"The gaffer made some changes and each and every player that came in were first class.

"The centre-halves deserve a huge mention. We knew Coventry would lump balls forward, but we dealt with them superbly.

"We've had our ten minutes of euphoria, but we're back down to earth now and the focus is now very much on Luton.''

Dexter Blackstock - who led the line superbly for the R's - was chuffed to bits with the result, commenting: "The feeling of winning at places like here is just amazing.

"Coventry are a big side in the Championship and it's a great scalp for us.''

Blackstock picked up an ankle injury late on, but he carried on courageously and he's hopeful he'll be available for selection for the visit of Luton Town to Loftus Road on Bank Holiday Monday.

"I got a kick on it, but we'd used all three subs so I had to carry on.

"Fingers crossed I'll be okay for Luton. It's another massive match for us.''

Goalkeeper Lee Camp, who kept a second clean sheet in as many matches, added: "We believe we can beat anyone in this division and we've proved what we're capable of over the last few weeks.

"This is a massive win, but it will count for nothing if we don't follow it up by beating Luton.''

It was left to Ainsworth to have the final say, though: "The team spirit at this Club never ceases to amaze me,'' he said.

"Each and every player would die for the shirt and you can see how much it means.'' QPR

Pre-Match: Team Selection - QPR Official Site

Stefan Moore starts at The Ricoh Arena, as John Gregory rings the changes for the trip to the Midlands.

Moore joins Pat Kanyuka, Sampsa Timoska, Paul Furlong and Jimmy Smith in the starting XI.

Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas and Marc Nygaard drop to the bench, while Michael Mancienne and Lee Cook miss out altogether.

Coventry City: Marshall, Whing, Hall, Ward, Hughes, Doyle, Adebola, Fadiga, Mifsud, Hawkins, Virgo.

Subs: Steele, Page, Kyle, McKenzie, Cameron.

QPR: Camp, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth, Moore, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska, Furlong, Blackstock, Smith.

Subs: Cole, Bignot, Lomas, Nygaard, Ricketts. QPR

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