Ipswich Town 0-2 Queens Park Rangers - Half-Time
Saturday, 20th Oct 2018 16:03
Luke Freeman’s goal direct from a corner and Tomer Hemed’s penalty have given QPR a 2-0 lead over the Blues at half-time at Portman Road.
Town boss Paul Hurst named the same XI which started the 3-2 win at Swansea a fortnight ago.
That saw Matthew Pennington again at right-back and Janoi Donacien on the left with Jonas Knudsen on the bench, which was also unchanged from the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Skipper Luke Chambers was over the illness which a number of players had suffered from during the last week and took his usual role at the centre of the defence, while Grant Ward, who we understand was the mystery pre-match injury doubt, was also in the XI.
QPR, wearing a lurid all pink away kit, made two changes from the team which drew 1-1 at home with Derby prior to the international break with Hemed and Pawel Wszolek replacing Nahki Wells and Jordan Cousins, who dropped to the bench.
The visitors, kicking towards the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, had the best of the opening few minutes but without creating a chance, although former Blues loanee Massimo Luongo blazed well wide following a corner on eight.
Three minutes later, Rangers went closer when Hemed headed over from another flag-kick.
The West Londoners threatened again on 13 when Wszolek got on to Chambers’s header back towards Gerken as they chased a ball down the right but the keeper saved the Polish international’s shot from a tight angle.
However, directly from the corner the visitors took the lead. Luke Freeman curled the ball in under the bar and Gerken was unable to get enough on it to turn it over.
Town found themselves behind before they had got going via another very preventable goal.
The visitors continued to have most of the ball and make all the running with the Blues unable to string anything together until the half-hour mark when a long spell of passing, largely orchestrated by Andre Dozzell, ended with Gwion Edwards whipping over a cross which was beyond any of his team-mates.
Moments later at the other end, a loose Nsiala pass gave the ball to Wszolek, who broke into the area before his shot was blocked.
Town were showing signs of finally making some headway, however, and they might have levelled on 35. Chalobah broke forward into the right of the box and cut back to an unmarked Ward, who mistimed his shot and the ball looped well wide.
But moments before the break the Blues found themselves 2-0 behind. After they had failed to clear another of Freeman’s corners from the right, the ball fell to Eberechi Eze, who tried to work himself space in the box before Nsiala slid in and upended him.
There was little doubt that it was a penalty and Hemed found the net from the spot with a low shot to Gerken’s left.
The whistle went within seconds to loud boos from the Portman Road crowd after a disastrous half from the Blues.
QPR started the stronger before being gifted their goal by they type of error which has been all to common from Town’s keepers and defence all season.
The Blues had started to get into the game and might have equalised through Ward - their only chance of the half - before QPR were handed their penalty and increased lead via Nsiala’s rash challenge.
Town need to be much, much better in the second half if they are to come anywhere close to claiming their first home win in more than six months.
Town: Gerken, Pennington, Nsiala, Chambers (c), Donacien, Skuse, Chalobah, Edwards, Dozzell, Ward, Sears. Subs: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Jackson, Nolan, Graham, Downes, Lankester.
QPR: Lumley, Rangel, Leistner (c), Lynch, Bidwell, Cameron, Luongo, Freeman, Eze, Wszolek, Hemed. Subs: Ingram, Hall, Cousins, Scowen, Smith, Osayi-Samuel, Wells. Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham).
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