since 1878

Queens Park Rangers (0) 2 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

NPower Championship 2010-11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Referee: Kevin Wright

Manager: Neil Warnock

Loftus Road 20:00

Attendance: 16,587

Manager: Paul Jewell

Match Number: 3398


 Clint Hill (77)
 Heidar Helguson (83)


Ishmael MillerAkos Buzsaky (75)
Dan ShittuMatthew Connolly (90)


 Mark Kennedy (57)



Paddy Kenny

Bradley Orr

Clint Hill

Fitz Hall

Dan Shittu

Shaun Derry

Adel Taarabt

Alejandro Faurlin

Wayne Routledge

Heidar Helguson

Ishmael Miller



Radek Cerny

Kaspars Gorkss

Matthew Connolly

Pascal Chimbonda

Akos Buzsaky

Petter VaagenMoen

Rob Hulse

Match Report

Queens Park Rangers 2 Ipswich Town 0

Rumours of Queens Park Rangers’ demise as promotion favourites were dispelled at Loftus Road when Clint Hill emerged as the unlikely match-winner to maintain a healthy five-point lead at the top of the Championship.

Rangers had drawn their previous two games and Ipswich, showing new guile under Paul Jewell, looked to have done enough to take a point. But two goals in the final 13 minutes, with Heidar Helguson adding to Hill’s earlier goal.

Neil Warnock may boast the tightest backline in the Championship but Rangers’ maverick yet endearing manager took the step of dropping twin central defenders Kaspars Gorkss and Matthew Connolly after openly criticising them recently.

That Rangers went into this game having conceded just 20 goals meant little to Warnock, who introduced Fitz Hall and Danny Shittu, the latter making his first appearance since leaving Rangers in 2006.

There was much anticipation about the meeting of style and skill of Adel Taarabt, 21, Rangers’ former Spurs midfielder, and Connor Wickham, Ipswich’s 17-year-old prospect. Both began quietly as Rangers looked to consolidate their position as promotion favourites while Ipswich attempted to continue their recovery programme under Jewell.

Rangers were the first to threaten, with two loanees testing the visitors. Ishmeal Miller, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, fed Wayne Routledge, but the Newcastle player, under pressure, chipped the ball narrowly wide.

Ipswich began to settle and when, in the 31st minute, Grant Leadbitter despatched an outswinging corner, Hill had to make a timely clearance. Leadbitter went close again for Ipswich, his shot rising just wide of the right post, and then Gareth McAuley was similarly close with a header.

Rangers hinted at taking the lead during a goalmouth melee that saw four home players have shots blocked as they found Ipswich’s defence in resolute mood.

Jimmy Bullard, on loan at Portman Road from Hull, had a chance before the interval but his shot, from 20 yards, struck a team-mate to bring a relatively poor opening 45 minutes to a disappointing conclusion.

Warnock clearly said something to motivate his side; within the opening five minutes of the second half they almost scored twice.

Firstly, Routledge set up Miller but Marton Fulop, the Ipswich goalkeeper, saved well on his line. And from the resultant corner, Shittu sent the ball back into the area and Helguson, on his 350th appearance in English football, attempted a spectacular diving header but directed the ball just off target.

With an hour played Paddy Kenny made the game’s best save, the Rangers’ goalkeeper diving to his right to parry Lee Martin’s precise shot and gathering at the second attempt.

With time running out Rangers pressed for a late winner and Shittu attempted, again, to mark his return with a goal only for McAuley to make a superb interception.

But in the 77th minute the goal arrived when, from Taarabt’s well-flighted corner, Damien Delaney failed to clear and Hill became the unlikely antidote to Ipswich’s doggedness, his brave header beating Fulop from close range. Hill then turned provider, his cross allowing Helguson to claim his 10th goal of the season.

John Ley (The Telegraph)

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