Queens Park Rangers 2 Doncaster Rovers 1
Wednesday, 1st January 2014 at Loftus Road, London
Sky Bet League Championship
Referee – Mr G Scott
Attendance – 15,807 (443 visitors)
The first day of a new calendar year and the weather is atrocious, with incessant heavy rain falling and an extremely blustery wind blowing.
Rovers made two changes from Sunday’s starting line-up, with Federico Macheda and Theo Robinson replacing Martin Woods and Alex Peterson.
The home side kicked off, with the Rovers holding off their initial attack and then winning a corner in the third minute, which was cleared.
Two minutes later and a cross from the home right by Simpson gave Austin a header that was easily saved by Turnbull.
Five minutes on and Simpson produced another cross from the right for Barton, 25yards out to fire just wide of the far post.
An early substitution was made by the home side when Hoilett went down and was replaced by Phillips.
On the quarter hour a low cross from the left byline by Robinson went across the face of goal but Duffy at the far post couldn’t quite get to it and the chance went begging.
The next ten minutes or so the Rovers enjoyed a terrific spell of possession football penning the home side in their own half.
A good link-up between Macheda and Wellens, gave the latter a chance to get into the penalty area but then shot wide.
Just before the half hour, Wakefield followed up the attack and from 25yards fired high and wide.
Past the half hour and the home side got back into the game, with Barton shooting well wide from 30yards.
Back came the Rovers having the better of the game as time ran down to the break.
In the 43rd minute they finally got their reward when Barton was robbed in midfield by Macheda, who took it on before releasing ROBINSON on the right to fire across the keeper into the far bottom corner.
A good first half for the Rovers against one of the top teams and they had done it by playing some good football and when needed, good defending.
Half Time – Queens Park Rangers 0 Doncaster Rovers 1
The home side made a second substitution at the start of the second half, Andy Johnson replacing Benayoun.
The home side won an early corner which was headed wide of the far post then, in the 52nd minute, the Rovers had a chance when Macheda received in the area about 15 yards out.
His shot was blocked and his second attempt was deflected for a corner and after an almighty melee in the penalty area the ball was cleared leaving O’Neill and Wellens on the floor needing treatment.
Both players resumed and in the 56th minute the home team were presented with an easy equaliser whena cross from their left was miskicked on the edge of the six yard box by a Rovers defender.
The ball ran loose but PHILLIPS got to it first and from 2yards slotted into the net.
This raised the home crowd, who had roundly booed their team off the pitch at half time, to urged the Rangers to greater efforts.
This the home team did and for the next twenty minutes the Rovers found themselves under the cosh but they defended magnificently.
As the last ten minutes or so came up the Rovers lifted the siege and Duffy put over a good cross that forced Green to punch away.
Play evened out as time began to run out. Then, in the third minute of added time, a Rovers free kick on the right was cleared and the home team went down their right. A wicked cross came over for AUSTIN to rise highest and head in.
It was a cruel blow after a good Rovers performance.
Result – Queens Park Rangers 2 (Phillips 56 Austin 90+3) Doncaster Rovers1 (Robinson 43)
Teams – QPR – Rob Green; Danny Simpson, Richard Dunne, Nedum Onuoha, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Junior Hoilett, Joey Barton, Nico Kranjcar, Yossi Benayoun, Gary O’Neill, Charlie Austin
Subs used – Matt Phillips for Hoilett 13 mins; Andrew Johnson for Benayoun 46 mins; Armand Traore for Kranjcar 84 mins;
Subs not used –, Clint Hill, Tom Carroll, Karl Henry, Brian Murphy gk
Cautions – O’Neill 14 mins; Johnson 90+4mins;
ROVERS – Ross Turnbull; Liam Wakefield, Paul Quinn, Luke McCullough, Enda Stevens; Mark Duffy, Richie Wellens, Dean Furman, David Cotterill; Federico Macheda, Theo Robinson
Subs used – Chris Brown for Robinson 78 mins; Harry Forrester for Macheda 83 mins;
Subs not used – Martin Woods, Marc de Val, Kyle Bennett, Alex Peterson, Jon Maxted gk
Caution – Brown 86 mins;