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Monday, March 17, 2008

QPR's Scunthorpe Victory: Further Reports and Comments

BBC- Dexter Blackstock's Perspective
Play-offs now a long shot for QPR

Dexter Blackstock has scored two goals this season (Getty Images)
QPR striker Dexter Blackstock says they will probably have to win every game if they are going to make the play-offs.
"If we win all our games or six out of the last seven we might have a sniff," Blackstock told BBC London 94.9 after Saturday's 3-1 win over Scunthorpe.

Rangers have hit form, losing just once in their last ten home games, scoring 22 goals in those matches.

"I think we might have left it a bit too late this year so we're building for next year," said Blackstock.

Saturday's win lifted QPR to 12th, just seven points shy of the play-off pack but also, perhaps more importantly in the short term, eight points clear of trouble.

"Getting over the 50-points barrier was massive," admitted Blackstock. "If we hadn't won today or on Tuesday night we could have been only two points off relegation.

"There's some massive teams down there scrapping to stay in this league and we don't want to be in that dogfight.

"But next year we're looking for promotion, no two ways about it." BBC


Posted on: Sun 16 Mar 2008

A full review of Geoff Horsfield's performance against QPR at Loftus Road, following his every move in the game brought to you by www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk.

It was a game which - particularly in the second half - he struggled to get involved in, as the Iron were forced to defend deeply against a threatening QPR side.

It was always going to be a tough fixture for United coming away to such a big club, however they certainly showed the home team what they are made of in the first half as we had most possession of the ball, creating chances, and taking to an early lead after eight minutes.

Unfortunately, the Iron conceded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, which in many eyes saw Scunthorpe begin to fade, as QPR began to come through as the stronger side, to then take them into a 3-1 victory.

It was another agonising defeat for the Iron, who still insist on giving everything they have got to stay in this league.

Geoff Horsfield

Horsfield started the game up front by himself, with Matt Sparrow playing just behind him and Paul Hayes being moved to play on the right-wing.

The Horse got his first touch of the ball two minutes into the game when the fourth official flagged him for handling as he received the ball from a Joe Murphy free kick.

Sixth minute - He won a free kick for the Iron after being held back by QPR's Fitz Hall outside the penalty area, which was taken by Grant McCann who slotted the ball into the goalkeeper's bottom left hand corner to give the Iron an eighth minute lead.

11th minute - Horsfield failed to get on to the end of Cork's cross which was deflected and resulted in the Iron's first corner of the game.

16th minute - Horsfield was brought down 15 yards from QPR's penalty area but no free kick was given, shortly followed by another tackle on him to win the Iron a free kick in their half.

18th minute - McCann took the Iron's second corner of the game, with Horsfield heading the ball over the crossbar.

After not having much involvement for a spell, the Horse managed a header into the QPR penalty area, for McCann to then produce a dangerous shot, but went wide to the right of the goal.

36th minute - Horsfield gave away a free kick just outside the right of the Iron penalty area for a challenge on Michael Mancienne. Buzsaky then took the free kick, and it was a wasteful effort as the ball went straight over the top of the cross bar.

40 minutes into the game and Horsfield made a defensive clearance moments away from the Iron conceding a penalty after Izzy Iriekpen's foul, which gave Martin Rowlands the perfect opportunity to get QPR back in the game bringing the scoreline up to 1-1 on the verge of half time.

In the first half, the Iron had looked every inch a threat to QPR having put on a great performance in a high tempo opening period, marking a big improvement from the away performance at Hull City last week.

Two minutes into the second half, Horsfield is fouled yet again by Fitz Hall to win the Iron a freekick from 20 yards out. The free kick was then rolled in by Jim Goodwin to Horsfield, who turned to have a shot on target, but saw it saved by the keeper.

52nd minute - He was fouled by Mancienne to win the Iron a freekick about 10 yards from the penalty box. The free kick was then taken by Jim Goodwin which went a shade too high for Andy Crosby to get onto the end of and went out for a goal kick.

QPR started to look more of a threat to United, gaining more of the possession, leaving Horsfield with little to do. When the Iron gain possession in the opposition's half, clearances are made by QPR, leaving us with few chances, as they gain back possession of the ball again.

Fitz Hall however keeps up a habit of holding Horsfield back every time he receives the ball.

Midway in the QPR half, the Horse manages to flick on a header meant for Matt Sparrow, who was ahead of him towards the penalty box, but QPR then gained possession of the ball again taking it back into the Iron half.

77 minutes into the second half and still Horsfield hasn't really had much possession of the ball, maybe beginning to tire himself out a little.

After conceding a second goal, the Iron defence are finding themselves with more and more work to be done to not let another goal be conceded by defending deeper as QPR are now looking by far the stronger side.

90th minute - Goodwin takes an Iron free kick 15 metres from the penalty box, hitting the ball through to an un-alert Horsfield, resulting in the ball going out for a goal kick.

By Sara Steels Scunthorpe
Sunday Mirror - John Gubba - LUIGI JOY AS HOOPS ROLL ON
Martin Rowlands' hotly disputed penalty inspired a win that hoisted Queens Park Rangers one place further up the table, and all but banished the fear of relegation that had haunted them earlier this season.

Late goals by Patrick Agyemang and Rowan Vine finished Scunthorpe off, and left Rangers fans celebrating another impressive win under manager Luigi De Canio.

But the manner of defeat was hard to swallow for the visitors, who had taken the lead through Grant McCann's brilliant eighth-minute free-kick.

"It wasn't a penalty and it's not the first time this season that a big decision has gone against us," complained frustrated boss Nigel Adkins, after seeing his players lose their way in the fallout of the penalty drama at the end of the first half.

"We feel very, very hard done by yet again," he added.

Adkins' men were left fuming when referee Mike Thorpe pointed to the spot after Izzy Iriekpen's tackle sent Vine crashing as they challenged for a ball heading well away from goal.

Keeper Joe Murphy was booked in the prolonged protests, before Rowlands sent him the wrong way from the spot to make it level at the break.

It was a crushing blow for the visitors and De Canio admitted it was not a good overall display by the referee.

"On several other occasions I thought the referee did not favour us, and I accepted his mistakes," he said.

"What I will take from this game is the attitude of my team, who showed constant hunger. This is what I have been looking for."

Rangers' persistence finally saw Agyemang drill Rangers ahead late on when he was set up by Akos Buzsaky.

Watched by Bernie Ecclestone - who chose Loftus Road rather than the start of the Formula One season in Australia - Vine completed Rangers' win when he lobbed home deep into injury-time.

It completed a rousing fightback after Fitz Hall's early foul on Geoff Horsfield conceded the free-kick from which McCann beat Lee Camp with ease from 20 yards.

Camp 6, Mancienne 6, Hall 6 Connolly 6, Delaney 6, BUZSAKY 8 (Mahon 5), Rowlands 7 (Stewart 5), Leigertwood 6, Vine 6, Agyemang 7 (Lee 5), Blackstock 6.
Manager De Canio 6

Murphy 7, Iriekpen 6, Crosby 6, Baraclough 6, Butler 6, Hayes 6 (Hurst 5), Goodwin 7, Cork 6, Sparrow 6, McCann 7 (May 5), Horsfield 6.

Manager Adkins 6

Referee M Thorpe 5

MAN OF THE MATCH AKOS BUZSAKY -Another quality display on the right of midfield Sunday Mirror

Also: Earlier QPR-Scunthorpe Report and comments

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