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The Match Report Team bring you QPR 1-1 Burnley

A point away.

By The Match Report Team
January 3 2006

Could we get some points to help make the Christmas break not seem as bad? Would we change system back again? Read on to find out.....


Ainsworth (45+3)

McCann (10)


Sinclair (50)
McGreal (77)

1 Simon Royce
7 Matthew Rose (74)
5 Dan Shittu
2 Marcus Bignot
3 Mauro Milanese
11 Gareth Ainsworth
17 Lee Cook
40 Richard Langley (74)
14 Martin Rowlands
28 Shabazz Baidoo
30 Marc Nygaard (13)

15 Georges Santos (74)
27 Scott Donnelly (74)
12 Jake Cole
29 Paul Furlong(13)
18 Stefan Moore

12 Brian Jensen
6 Michael Duff
5 Frank Sinclair
4 John McGreal
21 Jon Harley
7 James O'Connor
8 Micah Hyde
22 Chris McCann
11 Wade Elliott (80)
14 Garreth O'Connor (68)
10 Ade Akinbiyi

23 Lee Grant
2 Wayne Thomas (80)
3 Danny Karbassiyoon
9 Graham Branch (68)
19 John Spicer

Referee: Keith Stroud
Asst. Referee: Steve Tomlinson
Asst. Referee: Roger Vaughan
Fourth Official: Eric Mackrell
Star Rating: *
Star Rating: ****
Star Rating: ****
Star Rating: **

Before I start, let me get one thing straight! Mr Stroud did not cause us to to put an inept display together in the second half or to give away a goal in the first half!

As for my analysis of the officials, the new rating system is 5* being the best and 1* the worst.

It became apparent very early on that this ref was not going to penalise their defence for being all over Ade, but was going to penalise, and be taken in by, every single one of there attackers against Frank and John. The first half I thought Mr Stroud officiated quite well. No bookings and only a couple of interesting decisions made. But then we had the second half! Mr Stroud was very much like our starting 11, completely inconsistent in the second half! Several times play was pulled up due to shall we say "over zealous" officiating and it did start to get at our lads. Sinclair went in the book very early in the second half for nothing and McGreal followed shortly afterwards. Quite frankly if they were booking offences then they both should have been sent off with later challenges! Without turning this into an essay (!) the other thing of note was the "supposed" clash of heads and resulting issue over encroachment on the playing field and refs decision on the restart.

The assistants didn't do anything of note and seemed to get most, if not all, decisions correct.

I have marked the fourth official down due to his handling of the QPR trainer (or lack of it!) and also the time shown over length of added time at end of game. Two streakers on the pitch for a definite two minutes, we have had numerous stoppages and substitutions, and yet he gives 3 minutes added time.

Attendance: 12,565
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Shots off Bar/Post
4 / 6
7 / 2
0 / 0
13 / 18
3 / 4
6 / 2

With a disappointing Christmas and very poor result and performance on Saturday all most fans wanted was an improvement! Something to show that our play off aspirations were not over. The team news gave hope. McGreal fit to start and an obvious change back to our preferred 4-5-1 with no GNW due to injury(?) we are told!

For the first time since Watford at home, the first half started and continued with us playing some good football. Chris McCann, making his professional debut, was running around like a mad hatter, James O'Connor was in combative mood. From back to front we were showing why we have play off hopes! On 10 minutes when McCann collected the ball, the obvious pass was through wide to Elliott, when he brought it inside on his left foot and placed it beyond the keeper you looked twice! A superb goal and the reaction from fans and players alike showed how he could go on and make a real impact in this second half of the season. We grew in confidence and when Ade shot from within 6 yards the keeper didn't even see the ball but somehow it hit him and came out. More was to follow and with other efforts including a great shot from distance by James O'Connor, their keeper kept them in the game. Quite frankly how we were not 4 or 5 up I will never know. So what on earth happened when a long and completely speculative ball from their half got "punted" up field and they scored with a looping header from the edge of our penalty area?! Personally I blame Jensen, others will blame Harley, some say it is collective blame. My last word on it is that the keeper should have come out and made it his!

The Second Half was always going to be interesting! Could we maintain our standard of play from the first half? Would Beast be able to shake off his obvious disappointment as he left for half time? With a couple of tremendous saves, Jensen certainly did show good character there is no doubt, unfortunately the standard of our play dropped completely. We maybe had a good ten minutes at the start, but then we just seemed to lose everything! Our formation was none existent, we showed very little control on the ball, stopped tackling, stopped passing (apart from heading it to them!) it was a shambles at times! The after match comments below suggest QPR took the game to us and we did well to defend etc. The fact is we let a very poor side dictate to us. Quite frankly it became a joke how they "banged" the ball in and we headed and kicked it straight back to them. I will single out the two main culprits being Duff and Hyde. I guess we had chances! They had chances! But let me set the record straight! Forget the play offs because overall this game was between two average mid table sides at best.

I have spent all night and this morning, trying to understand why this point away from home has upset me so much? Compared to recent away form it was a point after all. But it's frustration! With maybe the exception of Norwich and the depth of squad they have etc, Sheff Wed and QPR should have both been 3 points to a play off chasing side. It isn't the end of it. This is Burnley and with some good home games against teams above us it is in our hands. But add 5 points we lost to our current total and we'd now be 6th (joint 5th) with a 3 point gap. Has Christmas ended our hopes again?


Ian Holloway
"Today was very disappointing in the first half. We took too long on the ball and didn't pass at the right time. Micah Hyde was running the game but once we realised we needed to hit the long diagonal balls to get behind him we had some joy."

Steve Cotterill
"I thought we should have been four up at half time. Their goalkeeper has made three outstanding saves in the first half after we'd scored and two of them were special saves. If they go in, it's game over. I've said to Ade that he shouldn't put that down as a bad miss because it was a fantastic save after a great ball from Micah and a great cross by Wade Elliott and then good contact from Ade. Then Jon Harley and Brian Jensen got in a bit of a mix-up and they've both put their hand up and said they made a mistake, so that happens."

"I thought our boys were terrific today, particularly in the first half and we showed both sides of us today. We played some great football in the first half and we opened them up time and time again, so the game should have been dead and buried by half time. In the second half, we had to show the other side of us when they brought on their big lads and threw it in our box, but we showed our resilience and won the headers we needed to."

"All in all, I don't think 1-1 was a fair result, we did enough to win. Some of our passing and movement in the first half was excellent and would've opened up any team we'd have played. Our energy levels were fantastic, considering it was our fourth game in a week. It's a measure how far we've come because last season we were 3-0 down here in the first half and it could've been six then too!"

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