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Sunday, April 13, 2008

QPR's Hull Draw - Reports and Comments

With 3 games remaining, QPR are currently 14th with 55 points, which means QPR can no longer make the playoffs!. Table

People/Andrew Collomosse - 13 April 2008 TURNER EARNER
Hull 1 QPR 1

Michael Turner handed the Tigers a get-out-of-jail card with an equaliser as disappointed home fans were heading for the exits.

Ruthless Hull looked to be down and out after a first-half goal from visiting striker Dexter Blackstock but Turner struck in injury-time.

Caleb Folan got away down the right and when the cross came in, the Hull defender popped up in exactly the right place.

It was a goal that prevented the Tigers from slipping to a fourth home defeat of the season, and keeps alive the dream of automatic promotion with games at Barnsley and Sheffield United to come.

Former Bolton and Newcastle chief Sam Allardyce, an old pal of Hull boss Phil Brown, was among a crowd of over 22,000 hoping to see the Tigers take a decisive step nearer the top flight for the first time in their 104-year history.

And ex-England manager Steve McClaren, a former Hull player, was also present sitting alongside Rangers supremo Flavio Briatore.

But there was little for the big names to get excited about in a low-key affair Hull were looking for their fifth home win on the bounce, a run that had produced 13 goals without reply.

But instead they started badly and fell away in a first-half performance that belied their lofty status.

Rangers were sharper from the word go and might have gone in front in the 10th minute when Gareth Ainsworth sent Patrick Agyemang clear, only for Bo Myhill to deny him a ninth goal since moving from Preston in January.

But Rangers fans only had three minutes longer to wait for the opening goal.

Not for the first time, the dangerous Hogan Ephraim got away down the left and Hull defender Wayne Brown almost turned the cross into his own net.

Myhill managed to keep the ball out but was helpless when the ensuing scramble ended with Blackstock bundling the ball in.

Ten minutes later Myhill did well to palm away another Ephraim cross but there was a fleeting moment of hope for Hull in the 25th minute.

A 20-yard free-kick from Andy Dawson looked to be heading for the top corner only for Lee Camp to claw the ball away.

Hull were denied a penalty when Fraizer Campbell went down under a challenge by Damion Stewart seven minutes later, but it was a rare moment of hope for the lacklustre home side.

The Tigers were little better at the start of the second half as Rangers dominated through Martin Rowland and Gavin Mahon.

Henrik Pedersen hit a 58th-minute chance over, but that was the signal for Hull to get up a head of steam.

Folan headed wide in the 69th minute and four minutes later Camp fumbled a free-kick from Dean Windass but recovered in time.

Campbell then broke free only to shoot into the side-netting and in the 81st minute he headed on only to see Camp save the close-range follow-up header from Folan.

Five minutes of added time handed Hull a precious lifeline.

Turner had gone up for a free-kick from Dawson and even though the ball was cleared the defender hung around to grab the equaliser.

Hull: Myhill 6 - Ricketts 5, Turner 6, Brown 5, Dawson 5 - Garcia 5 (Hughes, 52mins, 6), Marney 5, Ashbee 5, Pedersen 5 (Folan, 60mins, 6) - *CAMPBELL 7, Windass 5 (Fagan, 75mins).

Qpr: Camp 6 - Mancienne 6, Hall 7, Stewart 7, Delaney 6 - Ainsworth 7 (Connolly, 90mins), *ROWLANDS 8, Mahon 7, Ephraim 7 - Agyemang 7 (Balanta, 80mins), Blackstock 7 (Leigertwood, 55mins, 6). Ref: G Laws 6. People


Luigi de Canio was determined to look on the bright side after watching his side held to a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium.

Having fought back to clinch a draw in injury time against Preston the previous week, Rangers experienced the other side of the coin as Michael Turner's late strike cancelled out a first-half goal from Dexter Blackstock.

"Last week we ourselves lived through a tough game and managed to come out with a draw, today we were on the opposing side, so we must accept the result," De Canio told www.qpr.co.uk
"All throughout the game I never feared the team would lose, the way they were performing on the pitch.
"We must look to improve all the time and learn from games such as this one. Today we saw how important it is to have a squad of players who can step up when others are missing."
The QPR boss confessed he did not have a clear view of Blackstock's controversial 13th-minute goal, which the linesman ruled had crossed the line despite Hull protests.
"From my position on the bench, I really couldn't see it," admitted De Canio. "The linesman was level and, if he thought it was a goal, it probably was." QPR

Hull manager Phil Brown was philosophical after Michael Turner earned a point for his promotion-chasing team with a stoppage-time equaliser at the KC Stadium.

Turner cancelled out a controversial opener from Dexter Blackstock after 13 minutes to earn a 1-1 draw that keeps Hull in the hunt for a top-two place.

Although he admitted the Tigers were not at their sharpest after a two-week break without a match, Brown was happy with his side's "desire and determination".

However, he was left exasperated by the decision to award Blackstock the opening goal, and even QPR boss Luigi De Canio admitted that his team had been "definitely lucky" with the strike.

Blackstock scrambled the ball towards goal after Bo Myhill had parried an attempted clearance from Wayne Brown, and although Andy Dawson hacked the ball away, the assistant referee flagged for a goal.

"I've just seen replays of the incident from three different angles and it's completely inconclusive," said Brown.

"There is no way on earth anyone can say for sure that the ball crossed the line.

"We had a clean sheet and yet we've drawn 1-1!"

Brown refused to blame a two-week break since his team's last match for Hull's rusty display.

"When you are in a rich vein of form, you want the games to come thick and fast, but we are not using the break as an excuse," he added.

"I would have had to make five or six changes if we had actually played last Saturday.

"We showed desire and determination today, and a bit of bottle in the second half to get the ball down a bit more in the second half.

"Our second half performance was good enough to get something from the game, but we weren't at our best."

De Canio added: "We were definitely lucky to be awarded the goal, but we did deserve something from the game.

"In the second half both of our centre-forwards picked up injuries, and when you don't have that presence, it can be difficult to break out.

"We have problems in the treatment room, and we are struggling with injuries.

"When you consider the fantastic results they (Hull) have had, this is not only a good result, but a deserved one."

The visitors took the lead when former Hull defender Damien Delaney survived a handball appeal on the edge of his own area and broke away down the left.

Delaney found Hogan Ephraim, who delivered a low cross into the six-yard box. Brown diverted the cross towards his own goal, but although Myhill got a hand on the ball, Blackstock was on hand to claim the goal.

Myhill then had to be alert to palm away a looping header from Fitz Hall following a corner from Martin Rowlands, and the Hull goalkeeper produced another fine save to keep out a dangerous cross-shot from Ephraim.

Hull's Fraizer Campbell fired into the side-netting and then headed straight at Lee Camp with time running out.

However, in the first minute of stoppage time, Folan surged down the right and delivered a low centre, and Turner fired the ball home at the far post to score for the fourth home game in a row. Sporting Life

See Earlier Reports and comments of Hull 1 QPR 1

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