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Magilton turns on his players as Accrington cause a scare - full match report
Magilton turns on his players as Accrington cause a scare - full match report
Wednesday, 26th Aug 2009 11:36

Jim Magilton threatened to ‘shake the living daylights’ out of his underperforming squad and singled individual players out for special critcism as the R’s laboured to a narrow win against League Two side Accrington Stanley. Metallica Hoop was there for LFW.

Following the weekend draw with Nottingham Forest Jim Magilton continued his policy of chopping and changing the side against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday. Tom Heaton made his debut in goal behind a back four of Ramage, Gorkss, Stewart and Connolly. A midfield four started with Buzsaky on the right, the gruesome twosome of Mahon and Leigertwood in the centre and Ephraim wide on the left. Vine and Agyemang partnered each other in attack. I was sitting at the front of the lower loft so you will have to excuse me if I've mistaken a player for someone else and it is hard to make out sometimes - a bit like going in goal in 5-a-side.

Rangers started poorly with many passes going straight to Accrington players and one easy ball across to Stewart from Gorkss sailing way over his head and out for a throw. Stewart had a rather perplexed expression on his face after that one and it rather summed up the first half performance from QPR. Accrington started much the brighter of the two sides, knocking the ball into space and trying little through balls that belied their lowly league status.

Big Pat had the first half chance for Rangers but he hit a long way over from just inside the left of the penalty are. That was followed by a jinking run from Vine that culminated in him finally turning his man before hitting a tame shot at the impressive Martin in the Stanley goal on 17 minutes.

Sean McConville gave Heaton his first save in competitive football for Rangers with a speculative drive that the keeper easily gobbled up showing safe hands. Hearts were beating a little faster moments later though when a poor backpass from Stewart to Heaton bounced slowly to him, he did not receive a call for ‘man on’ and as he hurriedly tried to clear the ball he seemed to catch the oncoming McConville who went down like a scuttled pocket Battleship. Cue agonised expression, moaning etc. However when he realised only a goal kick had been given, he jumped swiftly up like a greyhound from trap one and ran after the referee for a good 25 yards. Jesus would have been proud of the seemingly miraculous recovery. McConville was rightly booed for some time afterwards.

To be honest we were shocking and Accrington were unlucky not to take the lead when Symes broke in to the box from the right and shot low forcing Heaton into a flying save to beat the ball out. The rebound looked sure to be put in by the onrushing forward but luckily Gorkss just managed to get back in time.

A few minutes later a free kick was given away by Leigertwood for climbing and the ball was driven home by Luke Joyce to force another flying save from Heaton. This time the rebound was met by McConville who shot low only to see the recovered onrushing Heaton make a fine save with his trailing leg and then hold the ball. This young keeper to me looks a very decent prospect on this evidence.

On 39 minutes a great through ball saw Vine beat the offside trap but his low effort was saved by Martin. Half time, cue loads of boo's all round.

Perhaps not surprisingly changes were made at half time with the ineffective Agyemang replaced with Taarabt and the out of sorts Gorkss replaced by Borrowdale. It is reassuring to know that Borrowdale actually exists. I now know as I have seen, as Darth Vader would have said, "With mine own eyes".

Rangers started off much brighter in the second half with Taarabt running at the Accrington defence, showing good skill but an inability to shoot accurately. On 48 minutes a headed flick by Mahon was met by the roaming Stewart who fired just wide from the angle. Accrington seemed to be tiring but Rangers didn't look like scoring until Taarabt held the ball and sent it powerfully thought to the corner flag, I thought it would go out but Ramage chased it down and delivered a brilliant cross straight onto Ephraim who brought in down, skinned the two defenders and beautifully lobbed Martin. A very nice goal and credit to Ramage who chased that ball down and delivered a nice cross.

Rangers nearly made it two immediately after the restart when Leigertwood fed Vine and Martin was equal to his shot.

Routledge then replaced Mahon as Magilton attempted to put the tie to bed, but Accrington were not finished and someone unleashed what would have been described in the days we last played Accrington as "a rhasper!" from 25 yards that was well beaten out by Heaton.

With four minutes of added time to play Routledge unleashed a rhasper of his own from 20 yards after beating two defenders to make room. It cannoned off the underside of the bar and in giving Martin no chance.

That really should have been it but as usual Rangers decided to give away a late goal. Stanley’s Michael Symes tucking home a consolation with virtually the last kick of the game. A 2-0 scoreline would have been harsh on Accrington and their excellent bunch of noisy supporters so maybe it was fair enough. I would not think Stanley were mere lower League 2 fair on this evidence and fair play to them and their supporters.

Rangers need to improve before Saturday but there were some plus points - the main being Heaton looking a solid understudy to Radek.

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QPR: Heaton 8, Ramage 7, Stewart 5, Gorkss 5 (Borrowdale 46, 5) Connolly 7, Ephraim 7, Mahon 4 (Routledge 68, 7) Leigertwood 5, Buzsaky 4, Vine 4, Agyemang 2 (Taarabt 46, 6)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Helguson, Pellicori, Balanta
Booked: Ramage (foul)
Goals: Ephraim 68 (assisted Ramage), Routledge 90 (assisted Ephraim)

Accrington Stanley: Martin, Kempson, Edwards, Winnard, Murphy (Kee 73), Procter, Joyce, Ryan (Turner 81), McConville (Grant 73), Symes, Miles
Subs Not Used: Dunbavin, Richardson, Paul Mullin, Gary King
Booked: Ryan
Goals: Symes 90

QPR Star Man: Tom Heaton 8
Attendance: 5,203
Referee: Craig Pawson (Sheffield)

QPR ratings taken from the interactive match ratings at time of press

Photo: Action Images

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