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sql/match-reports/1997-98/1997-8-9-0.htm

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

Division 1 1997-98

Saturday, August 9, 1997

Referee: C Wilkes

Manager: Unknown

Loftus Road

Attendance: 17,614

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2689

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MaddixPerry
BrazierSinclair
GallenSlade

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Harper

Rose

Brevett

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Morrow

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Brazier

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Perry

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Slade

Match Report

Queens Park Rangers 0 Ipswich Town 0

QPR were left cursing their luck after a superb finish failed to give them an opening day victory against a spirited Ipswich side at Loftus Road.

The last 20 minutes resembled the Alamo as Rangers laid siege to the Ipswich goal, only for outstanding keeper Richard Wright to deny them at every turn.

Rangers, missing 2.75 million pounds signing Mike Sheron with a thigh strain and with Trevor Sinclair only fit enough to sit on the bench, looked nervous in the first half as Ipswich took control.

Scowcroft and Geraint Williams both had good chances before Mick Stockwell was put through in the 14th minute only to scuff his shot.

Corners were a constant source of problem for the Rangers defence and new signing Mark Venus was unlucky not to give Ipswich the lead in the 35th minute when his downward header was cleared off the line by Paul Murray.

Ipswich thought they had scored in the 45th minute when Paul Groves' chip was headed in at close range by Scowcroft only for the referee to rule it out for offside.

The second half proved to be a different story as Rangers slowly took command and created a host of chances to take the lead.

Kevin Gallen's powerful drive was well held by Wright in the 58th minute and four minutes later Murray stole down the right and shot from a tight angle, only for Wright to keep it out with his legs.

Gallen and Murray played an exquisite one-two in the 70th minute but when Murray squared the ball towards John Spencer, the little Scotsman could not quite add the finishing touch in front of an open goal.

Ipswich were not finished though and a minute later, Simon Milton put Stockwell away only for him to shoot wide with just the keeper to beat. Sinclair stepped off the bench for the last 20 minutes and it was he who sparked Rangers' superb finish to the game.

Spencer thought he should have had a penalty after being brought down by Wright but there was more drama to come as Sinclair fired just over from 30 yards and then Gallen had another shot saved.

On 78 minutes, substitute Steve Slade had the ball in the net with his first touch only for it to be ruled out for offside while two minutes later Spencer's shot was parried by Wright into the path of Slade only for the striker to hit the outside of the post.

Rangers' last chance fell to Sinclair and he almost won the game with another spectacular effort.

Last year's Goal of the Season winner tried to repeat the feat with another stunning overhead kick but this time it flew inches over the bar.

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