QPR 1-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 9th Sep 2017 16:01
Jamie Mackie’s goal just before the break has given QPR a 1-0 lead over the Blues at half-time at Loftus Road.
New loanee Callum Connolly was handed his Blues debut at right-back with Jordan Spence the right centre-half, Dominic Iorfa to his left and Jonas Knudsen returning to left-back.
Town, in their red and black away kit, started with a four-man midfield with Martyn Waghorn on the left, Grant Ward on the right and Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes in the middle with Joe Garner partnering David McGoldrick up front.
Bersant Celina, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, was on the bench alongside Freddie Sears and Myles Kenlock - who both dropped out of the team having started the 2-0 home defeat to Fulham a fortnight ago - while Tom Adeyemi was included in the 18 for the first time since his summer move to the Blues.
QPR made three changes with Jack Robinson, Alex Baptiste and Pawel Wszolek replacing Steven Caulker, Darnell Furlong and Matt Smith.
The home side struck the game’s first shot, one-time Town target Conor Washington hitting a low effort through to Bartosz Bialkowski from 25 yards which the keeper claimed comfortably.
QPR went closer in the seventh minute when Massimo Luongo crossed from the right and Washington flicked a header wide at the far post when stretching.
The Blues threatened for the first time soon afterwards, McGoldrick crossing from the right after showing his skills but the ball was headed behind before it reached Garner.
Bialkowski was called into serious action for the first time on 12 when a cross from Wszolek following a corner somehow avoided everyone in the box but was returned from the byline by Luke Freeman, the Blues keeper doing well to punch it out of the danger area.
Town switched to the 4-3-3 system which had looked more likely given the personnel as the game approached the quarter of an hour mark with Waghorn moving to wide on the right.
The Blues had the ball in the net in the 25th minute after Garner had been fed in after good work from Waghorn and McGoldrick but the Blues number 14 had strayed offside.
Just before the half hour, Knudsen crossed from the left. Waghorn sent it back in from the right after Garner claimed to have been fouled - referee Andy Davies wasn’t interested - but McGoldrick was unable to trouble Alex Smithies with his header.
There was a scare for the Blues at the other end almost immediately when a Downes slip allowed Freeman a shot at goal from the edge of the box but Bialkowski batted it away.
Moments later, Iorfa slid in to make a superb challenge as Washington looked to break into the area. On 34 Downes was booked for a foul on Mackie.
The home side were continuing to have most of the ball and look the more dangerous side and in the 37th minute Josh Scowen struck a powerful effort from a tight angle on the right which Bialkowski palmed over.
In the 42nd minute Downes sent McGoldrick away with a superb pass but despite several twists and turns the Irish international was unable to find himself the space to shoot. Soon after, Waghorn hit a low effort from distance which Smithies claimed.
However, a minute later, QPR took the lead. After what had looked like a clear handball early in the move by Luongo, Mackie turned Wszolek’s right-wing cross past Bialkowski.
While the Rangers players celebrated stand-in skipper Skuse and Garner remonstrated with referee Davies regarding the handball.
Neither side threatened again before the break with Rangers having deserved to go in ahead, despite the contentious nature of the goal.
The home side had had most of the ball and created most of the game’s chances with Bialkowski much the busier of the keepers.
But, while Smithies hadn’t been seriously tested, Town had got themselves in decent positions on the break on one or two occasions but without making the most of their rare opportunities. However, they will have to improve after the break if they are to maintain their 100 per cent Championship away record.
QPR: Smithies, Bidwell, Onuoha (c), Freeman, Washington, Scowen, Mackie, Robinson, Baptiste, Luongo, Wszolek. Subs: Lumley, Furlong, Manning, Smith, Osayi-Samuel, LuaLua, Wheeler.
Town: Bialkowski, Connolly, Iorfa, Spence, Knudsen, Skuse (c), Downes, Ward, Waghorn, McGoldrick, Garner. Subs: Gerken, Celina, Adeyemi, Rowe, Sears, Kenlock, Woolfenden. Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).
Photo: Action Images
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