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QPR 2009

On a bright evening at Loftus Road, twenty-eight Super Hoops fans donned their team’s colours and stepped out of the tunnel and onto the hallowed turf. An excellent crowd packed themselves into the stands to watch the 2009 Football Aid game, which had both teams operating under the watching eye of club legend Stan Bowles. 

Thursday 30th April 2009
QPR Home Vs QPR Away
Loftus Road
KO: 6:00 pm
Legends: David Robinson, Marc Bircham, Anthony Hennelly and Gareth Ainsworth
Match Officials Julian Hitchcock, Steven Foster, Douglas Foster and Jon Payne 

Fresh from their tour of the newly refurbished main stand facilities, the two teams began in an even fashion. It was left to the impressive Away striker Mark Marley and QPR home team legend Marc Bircham to dominate the early stages, with the latter seeing a shot loop onto the top of the net on the 10 minute mark. However the game was brought to life two minutes later when fellow Away striker Mark Pottle broke through on goal only to be denied by a brilliant moment of the match contender - a slide tackle by James Gadd from the Home team. This was to be a recurring trend as centre back Gadd was to pull out two perfectly times challenges in the next 10 minutes to deny the Away side’s Mark Marley and Frankie Bircham respectively. 

The Away team continued to dominate the game, with the lively Marley who, through on goal in the 24th minute, only managed to pull a left footed shot agonisingly wide of the goalkeeper’s left hand post.  Even more drama was to follow a minute later when after a good display from Bircham, Marley’s header astonishingly hit off both posts and then out of the goal area. Just after the half hour mark, Marley was involved again as he slipped a great ball through for Pottle to run in on goal with, however again the chance went amiss, this time due to a great diving save from Home goalkeeper Dan Warren, who also grabbed the follow up. As if the Away team couldn’t come any closer to scoring, more great play from the impressive striker Marley ended up in a pinpoint cross which was unfortunately skewed wide by Pottle.

However the drama of this paled in comparison to that which took place on the brink of half time when it looked as though the Away team had scored.  A deflected shot from the edge of the area was ruled offside, very much to the derision of the Away players and the crowd. Thus the players went in at half time in a 0-0 stalemate. 

Half Time – QPR Home 0-0 QPR Away

No doubt the Away team would have been the more disappointed at the scoreless first half, however in a shocking development, the beginning of the second half had the Home side making the first decisive intervention. Instigated by midfielder Joe Paradiso’s slotted ball through the defence, Home striker Greg Loomes sent a looped sidefooted shot into the net to provide the first goal of the game.

This goal against the run of play seemed to temporarily deflate the Away team, who were still adjusting to the half time substitutions (which notably had saw playing legend Mark Bircham swap sides into the Away team). Pottle did try and spark things up with a good run which resulted in confusion in the home box and an accidental back pass to goalkeeper Warren, who averted the danger.  However it was not until the 60th minute when Bircham burst through on the right wing, delivering a dangerous ball into the area which was handballed by Home defender Stuart Morgan. The resulting penalty was taken by Mark Marley, only for the ball to sensationally hit off the bar, with the striker also unable to control the rebound.  

Now on all out attack, left winger Jack Dennehy took the ball clean through but again Home goalkeeper Warren made a sharp save, disallowing Dennehy’s subsequent back healed attempt. This pressure finally took its toll on the 75 minute mark, when after a great cross from Dennehy, defender Paul Jaggers crept in at the front post to toe in the equaliser. 

The Away team were not to experience any problems in scoring their second goal three minutes later, with Bircham, again the catalyst, bringing the ball forward before it eventually fell back to Jaggers. The defender was able to drill the ball home from the edge of the area to get his second goal in just as many minutes.  

In the closing stages of the game, the onus was now on the Home team to attack. A shot from Joe Paradiso in the 84th minute caused some threat, before finally being grasped by Away keeper Robert Smith. In the final minute, there was one final push from the Home team. Some great play from midfielder Tony Jackson led to a good cross and a headed chance, which was pushed into the ground and agonisingly went wide. And that was the end to what was a fiercely contested game, with both keepers taking credit in keeping the score down.

Full Time QPR Home 1-2 QPR Away

Home Team: Warren, Morgan, Bircham, Burgin, Gadd, Wood, Jackson, Favell, Loomes, Paradiso, Kent, Edmonds, Long, Walker, Dillon

Away Team: Smith, Collins, Ainsworth, Ironside, Jaggers, L Bircham, F Bircham, Patterson, M Pottle, L Pottle, Marley, Suggett, Freeman, Kirk, Dennehy

Mascots: John Dillon and Mark Edwards and Emily Ironside

Man of the Match (Home) - Dan Warren
Man of the Match (Away) - Paul Jaggers
Moment of the Match – James Gadd