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Adebola seals win after Rehman slip
Adebola seals win after Rehman slip
Saturday, 25th Nov 2006 15:59

QPR slumped to their first defeat in six matches with a poor display at home against Coventry.

After beating table toppers Cardiff last Friday night, QPR came crashing back down to earth with a defeat against the Sky Blues at Loftus Road.

Following three victories, perhaps it was on the cards this result. After all, we never do things easily and as Gregory rightly pointed out after the game - some people just expected us to turn up and win. This was never going to be the case and our fine scoring record under Gregory came to an end.

The only change from the Cardiff game was Nick Ward who replaced the injured Gareth Ainsworth, there was a return to the bench for Gallen and Rowlands alongside youngster Sean Thomas.

QPR created the first chance of the game and once again it was Lee Cook who put the ball into the box - something we have probably started to rely upon too much. Cook won a free kick on the left hand side and his well taken kick was met by Damien Stewart but he headed wide.

The visitors then tested Simon Royce early on with the impressive and hard working Cameron sending in a long range effort that stung the gloves our keeper. Darren Currie was proving a threat on the wing and was putting some decent balls into the box - something he'd done before at Loftus Road.

The official, Mr Penton, did little to endear himself to the crowd. During the 90 minutes he made countless bad decisions and he was assisted by two poor linesmen who followed his lead by getting decision upon decision wrong.

Michael Doyle was one of many Coventry players to send in a long range effort before the half was out. Defender Elliott Ward also sent a header over the bar before Cameron sent his effort towards the corner flag when he was only a few yards out!

Duffy made his way into the ref's book for a foul on Lee Cook, this was one of the few things he got right all afternoon as our winger was given precious little protection in the second half.

Their front two of Adebola and McKenzie caused us a fair few problems, with Adebola in particular running Rehman ragged. He's a lump of a player but we made him looked good. He out-fought Rehman who couldn't control him and the target man always had the beating of him. It's a shame we haven't learnt as I remember Adebola out muscling Rose at the away game last season.

We were stifled by our visitors and it wasn't until the end of the first half that we started to get back in the game. Jimmy Smith tried his luck with another effort from outside the box and then the hardworking Dexter Blackstock had his shot saved by Marshall. Blackstock left the field just before half time after he got injured in a collision with Stewart. It was reported that he had to go for an x-ray on his cheekbone. Ray Jones, scorer of the winner last weekend came on in what would be a physical battle with Robert Page.

Rangers then forced another couple of efforts before the half was out. Ray Jones almost immediately had a chance when a ball fell to him and his quick shot went narrowly wide. Rehman, of all people, had a great chance when his header went over the bar after a Lee Cook ball into the box.

Cook was next to test Marshall, this was after another excellent run and more quick footedness which brought the visiting keeper into a good save.

After finishing the half strongly we started the second half in a very poor fashion. Firstly McKenzie should have put the Sky Blues in front before Adebola did just that. McKenzie beat Bignot and then somehow managed to blast his shot into the stand when it seemed easier to put the ball in the back of the net.

Adebola didn't have the same problem though and just minutes later won the game. He received the ball with his back to goal with Rehman right behind him, Rehman let him turn and his strength and pace took him away from the former Fulham-man and as he entered the box Royce came off his line but he fired straight past him.

Under the Waddock regime if we went one down I generally felt that the game was over as we never looked as if we had the belief or fight in us to get back in the game. But since Gregory has taken over, going behind has been a somewhat regular occurrence! This was one game though that we couldn't get back into.

We did nearly equalised though within a few minutes. A ball was played into the far post and Nygaard met it with a looping header which went over Marshall but hit the bar.

Soon after Gregory decided to make a couple of changes as the ineffective Bailey and Nygaard were taken off. Bailey had a poor game and it was disappointing to see after he performed so well in the previous outings. Rowlands took the place of the youngster in the middle and had to play more of a holding role that he normally would. Nygaard was replaced by Gallen to a huge round of applause from the crowd.

Personally, although I don't think Nygaard performed particularly well I think its strange that some fans take such delight in cheering him from the pitch. He's never going to be a neat and tidy looking forward but after he went off we started putting high balls into the ball and it was only Ray Jones who was ever going to win them as Gallen isn't that type of player.

We tried to get back into the game but in all truth although Gallen, Cook and Smith all fired in long range efforts we didn't really make the keeper work hard enough. He just didn't have enough saves to make.

Lee Cook was continuing to be our shining light going forward, the majority of our attacks were centred around him but its just a shame that he was effectively kicked off the park. On a number of occasions he was taken down but nothing was given by the clueless Penton. Robert Page was one player very lucky not to find his way into the ref's box. He wrestled with Ray Jones in the second half and was virtually dragging him to the floor and he then swung his arm at Lee Cook during one of his mesmerising runs.

At the other end McKenzie had a chance to seal the game but planted his header wide of Royce's wide. Rangers continued to attack but we just couldn't break them down. The hard work and determination was there today but the goals just dried up - not surprising when you look at our goal scoring record over the last few months.

Royce even turned from keeper into attacker as he came up for some corners towards the end. I personally thought we had one good penalty shout but I wasn't in the least bit surprised that we didn't get it. On one occasion Gallen was wrestled to the ground by a Coventry player who was basically hugging our club captain! The ref wasn't interested though.

Damion Stewart also turned into a makeshift attacker and he nearly grabbed a dramatic equaliser but couldn't quite connect with a Bignot cross. Stewart was vastly improved today and although his positioning can somewhat be questioned his effort and commitment was first class. He made a couple of Shittu-like charges into the opposition half and it can't be a pleasant sight with him bearing down on you!

It just wasn't to be our days though and the Stewart chance summed it all up, we just weren't going to score. An individual error again costs us really as at least one person should have got a challenge in on Adebola.

Bignot was again steady although did get carried away on a couple of occasions and get caught in possession. Mancienne was average today and got caught out of position a couple of times. Stewart as already mentioned was strong today while Rehman had a real battle on his hands.

Our central midfielders had a bad day at the office, Smith was quiet and Bailey had a very poor game. Nick Ward just didn't really click for me on the right and I would be far happier seeing Rowlands there and providing another attacking route rather than just Lee cook.

Cook was again very good and made some dazzling runs, some of the skills on show are a joy to watch, I just wonder how long we can hang on to him if he keeps this up.

We didn't look as threatening in attack and it was a shame to see Blackstock go off. Nygaard didn't really get into the game but would have been better suited when we started putting high balls into the box.

Next up we entertain Roy Keane's Sunderland on Tuesday night. It'll be another big test and we'll have to improve if we are to get anything out of the game.

QPR: Royce 7, Mancienne 6, Rehman 6, Stewart 7, Bignot 7, Ward 6, Bailey 6 (Rowlands 56, 7), Smith 6, Cook 8*, Nygaard 6 (Gallen 56, 6), Blackstock 7 (R Jones 44).
Subs Not Used: Thomas, Milanese.
Booked: Ward.

Coventry: Marshall, Duffy, Page, Ward, Hall, Currie (Kyle 84), Doyle, Cameron, Clarke, Adebola, McKenzie.
Subs Not Used: Gonzlalez-Robles, Birchall, Bischoff, Tabb.
Booked: Duffy, Hall, Kyle.
Goals: Adebola 48.

Attendance: 12,840

QPR Man of the Match - Lee Cook - Again, yes sorry but what can we do when he keeps on playing like this? Dazzling runs again today, the only thing missing was a final product. However perhaps now we are starting to rely on him too much, all our attacks are immediately played out wide to him with some players just expecting him to do the rest.

Referee: C Penton (Sussex) 3 - A shocking display and the worst we've seen in W12 this season. He got the simple things wrong and didn't offer players any protection. In fact he gets most of his points for turning up as he offered nothing when on the pitch. He blew up when advantage would have been more appropriate and his linesmen were a disgrace at times as well. Poor show Mr Penton.

Photo: Action Images



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