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QPR Game 2 2012

The evening kick off at Loftus Road proved to be a very attacking encounter with both teams buoyed by their beloved Rs clinching Premier League survival in dramatic fashion at the Etihad stadium the previous day. Five goals by Away captain Mark Penney and goals by Andy Kearns and Brian Byrne emphasised a commanding Away team performance, enabling them to record an impressive 7-2 victory over their opponents. Both teams however did themselves proud in front of their loyal band of enthusiastic supporters.

QPR legends Wayne Fereday and Paul Furlong were also present to make the players day even more special as they lived their dream on their hallowed Premier League pitch.

Date: Monday 14th May 2012
Venue: Loftus Road
QPR Home vs QPR Away
Kick Off: 6:00pm
Legends: Wayne Fereday and Paul Furlong
Match Officials: Steve Woodison, Steve Daly and Scott Hollinshead 

The Away team in the distinctive Bright Orange shirts and Navy Blue shorts kicked off Game 2 at Loftus Road and due to the day's earlier rainfall, the pitch had a very quick surface, making playing conditions even more challenging. The ever supportive QPR community coaches were present in both dugouts and made both sets of teams feel like they were playing for the QPR first team with their constant dugout support, encouragement and passion for the game.

It was a scrappy opening to the game as neither team could really get hold of the ball as possession was constantly changing. The game itself was end to end with both sets of defenders winning every challenge and nullifying their opposition's attacks.

A great example of this was early in the game, after great possession by Paul Furlong to carry the ball to the edge of the Away team's area, he passed the ball out wide. A fantastic ball across the 6 yard area towards the Home team's Daniel Watson was thwarted after great defensive awareness by Brian Byrne who was able to get in front of the oncoming attacker and clear the threat for a corner kick. From the resultant corner, Dean Thorpe received a ball on the edge of the box and releasing a strike, but the pressure on his effort contributed to it ending up over the bar.

Legend Paul Furlong started to get on the ball and dictate play in the centre of the pitch and in one instance was able to run at the Away defence from the centre circle and pass out wide, before a deep ball into the box was half cleared by Brian Byrne's head before falling for Daniel Watson. The Home No 8 was able to control the ball on his chest but could only put his effort over the bar. It was a great chance after only 10 mins on the clock for the Home team to record the game's first goal.

The first goal of the game was scored by Captain Mark Penney in the 22nd min after a long ball by Andy Kearns. It was an unfortunate slip by Neil Collins on the edge of the box that let the high ball travel through the defence and for the alert Penney to half volley from around 12 yards out. It was a great right footed finish by Penney who took his chance very well as Jason Allen, the Home goalkeeper, could only get a hand to it. (0-1)

The defence was breached again by the Away team five mins later from a well worked corner. A whipped cross in by Robert Fullam to the far post found Centre Half Brian Byrne, who was unmarked and able to calmly side-foot a volley into the net to give his team a two goal advantage. The defence would have been disappointed with their marking for the goal. (0-2)

Just before the half hour mark the Home team responded well to the Away team's clinical finishing with Neil Collins able to use his pace down the right wing to beat two defenders and get an early cross into the front post. Captain Joe Paradiso attempted to get a shot away but a fantastic challenge by Brian Byrne blocked the shot and cleared the ball away from danger. Legend Wayne Fereday then did well to clear the rebounded ball away for a corner.

The ball was in the back of the net again shortly after, with a very quick counter attack by the Away side. Another long ball from Tarek Bibi was able to find the feet of Richard Butler. Butler received a give and go in the centre circle before using his pace to advance past the last man and firing into the keepers left corner. However the linesman on the near touchline deemed Butler offside when the ball was played and kept the Away team's advantage to two goals.

The Away team did get a deserved third goal of the game on 34 mins, as Robert Fullam did well to gain possession in the centre of the pitch before playing a short pass to Butler. Butler looked up and found the advancing David Brum, who played a defence splitting pass perfectly into the path of goal hungry No 9 Mark Penny, who was able to carry the ball closer to goal before sliding a composed finish into the keeper's right corner. The Home defence were clearly struggling with the striker's fantastic movement and clinical finishing. (0-3)

The relentless Away side were finding more space in the game, and two mins later another ball was won in the centre of the pitch by Brian Byrne, the No 4 was able to release Tarek Bibi down the right wing, and he was able to look up and slide in Robert Fullam. However a first class sliding challenge by Robert Pollington just inside the box denied the chance and knocked the ball out for a corner kick. It was certainly a tackle that fellow R's defender Anton Ferdinand would have been proud of himself!

The Away team proved to be a very convincing attacking force in the first half as the Home team were struggling to keep possession and contain the quick counter attacking play. Paul Furlong and his Home team will have felt they had to eradicate their loose passes in the 2nd half to stand any chance of coming back into the game.

Half-Time: QPR Home 0 - 3 QPR Away

The first goal of the 2nd half came from a throw-in after 56 mins taken by Tarek Bibi. Liam Bailey received the ball on the far touchline, before laying off a short ball to Andy Kearns. The No 11 was given plenty of time on the ball - when the Home side didn't close down the space - and from 30 yards out he hit an ambitious left footed chip towards goal, and unfortunately for the Home team the ball flew over the keepers' head and rifled into the roof of the net. (0-4)

It was determined work by Home team member Dario Castagnola a minute later to win the ball in the middle of the pitch and play it to his legend Paul Furlong. Furlong rolled back the years and showed his class as he was able to drive at the opposition with ease and round three defenders before attempting a left footed poke towards goal. However the already diving goalkeeper Matthew Brion did fantastically to pull off a one handed save and keep his chance of keeping a clean sheet alive.

Great passing from the Home team after 62 minutes allowed them to stretch the Away team's well structured formation and claim their first goal of the game. Seeing space to run in to at the edge of the box, Dean Thorpe seized the opportunity before squaring a left footed ball to Daniel Watson. Watson was unable to get a clean strike at goal, and neither could Joe Paradiso after great recovery work by the Away defence, but as the ball continued to pinball and ricochet around the Away team's goal line, Gary Goldberg's right foot cross, was forcefully headed in-off the bar into the net from close range by Daniel Watson. (1-4)

Shortly after getting a foot-hold back into the game, the Home team were punished by the clinical Away side after some poor passing gifted Penney his ‘Live the Dream' hat-trick. The ball was collected by Jason Allen after a misplaced pass by the Away side, however his resultant kick went straight into the path of Thomas Hyland in the centre circle who controlled and threaded a left-footed pass to Mark Penney, who was able to escape the clutches of Robert Pollington, to hit a first time shot, from inside the area across goal, into the keeper's right corner. (1-5)

The Home side seemed to pick up their play immediately after conceding a 5th goal and after some sustained pressure from the Home side, Captain Joe Paradiso took a corner in the 78th min which caused all sorts of defensive problems. An out-swinging cross to the near post was flicked on by Paul Hussey, who was under pressure from Matt Wilcox, and the ball dropped back into the danger area on the edge of the 6 yard box. Brian Byrne swung his left leg at the loose ball to attempt to clear the ball from danger, but as with every defender's nightmare, the ball flew past his own goalkeeper and into the net for an own goal. (2-5)

The Away team weren't finished with their attacking style of play, and after instant control by Andy Kearns in the centre of the pitch on 81 mins Kearns was able to thread a pin-point through-ball to hat-trick hero Mark Penney. As Allen advanced from his goal line, Penney had the time to slide a left footed strike past the keeper and across the line for the Away team's 6th goal. As with the rest of his goals, his 4th strike of the day was certainly well taken. (2-6)

The last goal of the game was scored again by the prolific Mark Penney with just 5 mins left after another misplaced Home team pass. The stray ball was picked up by Wayne Fereday in the left back position, just over the half way line, and the Away team legend then picked out the pacey Thomas Hyland on the left wing. Hyland was able to pass it across the edge of the box to Liam Bailey, who then knocked another square ball to the incoming Mark Penney who was able to take a touch and drill the ball past the keeper into the corner of the net to complete his 5-goal haul in style! (2-7)

The Away side were happy with their tally of 7 goals and played out the last few minutes having the majority of the possession to record another Football Aid Away team victory. It was a hugely entertaining game for the spectators and they applauded the efforts of every single player as they made their way down the tunnel and into their respective dressing rooms to reflect on their ‘Live the Dream' experience.  

QPR legend Wayne Fereday (196 League Appearances and 21 goals for QPR) on the winning side for today's match described the 2012 Football Aid experience perfectly "...for the fans, the guys who come out here and play on their hallowed turf, for them its brilliant...with the money they pay, all going to charity, is obviously something special".

Another fantastic ambassador for QPR Paul Furlong (149 Total Appearances and 58 goals for QPR), also explained "...when it comes to charity, I'm always there to lend a hand...it's a great ask to go out, do my best and enjoy the day."    

Full-Time: QPR Home 2 - 7 QPR Away

Man of the Match Home: Robert Pollington
Man of the Match Away: Brian Byrne
Moment of the Match: Mark Penny

Home Team: Allen, Collins, Furlong, Pollington, Thorpe, Singh, Goldberg, Watson, Paradiso (C), Thorpe, Kent, Walker, Castagnola, Hussey
Home Mascot: Carter Allen

Away Team: Brion, Kilshaw, Fereday, Byrne, Wilcox, Brum, Bibi, Butler, Penney (C), Fullam, Kearns, Hyland, Haydon, Wilcox, Bailey
Away Mascot: Sean Penney