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QPR Game 1 2013

The 2013 QPR games were played at Loftus Road on Friday the 24th of May, with Game 1 kicking off at 16:30pm. There were unseasonably cool temperatures and rain showers throughout the day, but the Rs fans involved didn't let that dampen their spirits and made every effort to provide the watching fans with some excellent Friday night entertainment. Both teams possessed a great attacking threat throughout, but also featured rock solid Defenders at the back and this recipe produced an even game which ended in 4-4 draw, with both teams scoring late on to add to the excitement of the match.

Date: Friday 24th May
Venue: Loftus Road
QPR Home vs QPR Away
Game 1
Kick off: 4:30pm
Match Officials: Stuart Kenworthy, Chris Evans, Kevin Moore and Peter Munt

The Home side got the game underway wearing the famous Blue and White hooped shirts, while the Away side wore the change Red shirts with White detailing across the top. The first chance did not take long to arrive; just two mins into the game and the Away side had already hit the woodwork! Their Captain Ian Kennedy picked up the ball midway into the Home side’s half before exchanging a one-two with No 9 Neil Cooper. Kennedy then rounded the keeper only to see his resulting shot hit the lower left hand post.

After this chance it didn’t take long for the Away side to create another chance and open the scoring. Right Mid Wayne Richardson went on a marauding run down the right wing and powered into the box before trying his luck. His effort was well saved by Italian Goalkeeper Daniele Yousef Malak, before Ian Kennedy pounced on the rebound and tried to force the ball in, however his shot was well blocked by Centre Half Israel Amponsah, but much to the Home side’s despair the ball fell to Wayne Richardson again who stepped past the Keeper and put the ball into the net to open the scoring for the Away team after just 5 min (0-1).

The Away side were dominating the early possession; however against the run of play the Home side got their first real chance of the game. A ball from the back of the Home team's Defence was chipped over the Away side’s defensive line, allowing Centre Forward Paul Blakebrough to run through on goal, however his shot from the left was kept out by an impressive diving save at the near post by Away Keeper Matthew Brion.

The Home side's confidence built after that effort and they forced another corner after a shot from No 9 Paul Wakefield was forced over the bar by Brion. The resulting kick was taken by Wakefield and met by the head of Centre Half Israel Amponsah, the impressive No 4's bullet of a header gave Brion no chance, levelling the scores with less than 15mins gone (1-1).

However the Home side were only on level terms for a matter of mins. Brion took a free-kick halfway inside his half which unfortunately went straight to the feet of Wayne Richardson; the Winger went on a run towards the box before flicking the ball beyond the last Defender and into the path of No 6 Andrew Freeman, who finished comfortably into the bottom corner putting the side in Red ahead again with 15 mins played (1-2).

Compared to the 1st 15 the next 10 mins seem quiet in comparison with the Goalkeepers having little to occupy them. However, a good move down the Right Wing almost resulted in a goal for the Away team; No 10 Ian Kennedy picked the ball up on the right side and surged forward before playing the ball into Striker Neil Cooper. The No 9 completed a lovely side-flick pass, which found its way to Freeman; however Cooper's strike partner could only fire his effort over the bar, much to the despair of Left Mid Elliott Sexton who had got himself into a good position on the left side edge of the box.

The Away side’s No 7 Wayne Richardson was causing the Home side all sorts of problems down the left side of their defence. One on occasion he found himself down the right wing and cut the ball back for Paul Freeman to take a shot, however the No 11 was denied by a great save from Yousef Malak in the Home goal. Mins later and Richardson's his efforts were rewarded again when he exchanged a one-two down the right side with No 2 Vince Sexton. He then cut the ball back, this time to the No 10 Ian Kennedy, who swept the ball low past Malak and into the back of the net to increase his side's lead to 2 goals with just a couple of mins left to play in the 1st half (1-3).

The Home side responded well though, retaining possession from the kick off and mounting an attack on the Away side’s goal. No 11 Paul Blakebrough was released through on goal and he showed great Striking instincts to round Goalkeeper Brion and finish with the outside of his right foot to reduce the deficit to just one goal on the stroke of half time (2-3).

The referee brought to a close an exciting first half of end to end football, with both sides producing some good chances and scoring some great goals. The Home side will have been happy that they scored just as the half was ending, as this will mean they will come out of the changing room with the momentum.

Half time: QPR Home 2 - 3 QPR Away

The Away side got the game underway again, however it took a while to get going, with the fluency of play from the first half initially missing. The only threat in the first 10 mins was when Wayne Richardson, the ever dangerous Away side’s Right Winger, tricked his way past several defenders before being tackled well in the box by No 14 Christopher Suggett.

The Home side then countered after an Away attack and No 11 Paul Blakebrough found himself through on goal with only a last ditch sliding tackle from Centre Half Adrian Alcock stopping him levelling the scores. Just mins later and the Home side hit on the counter again and this time with more success. The skilful Home Centre Half Israel Amponsah regained possession of the ball at the back and mounted a counter attack, before playing a great through ball to Paul Blakebrough who proceed to finish the move off in style with a sumptuous 25-yard chip which went straight over Keeper Matthew Brion and into the net to make it all even after 65 mins (3-3) It was the clinical No 11's 2nd goal of the game, what a Loftus Road debut he was having!

Straight from kick off the Away side wanted their lead back, and it was Wayne Richardson to the fore again playing a great through ball to Centre Forward Neil Cooper, the Striker fired in a low shot at the near post, however it was well saved by Yousef Malak in goal. 5 mins later and the Away side almost found the net again through the same man. Captain Ian Kennedy made a pacy run down the left wing and his resulting cross was met by Cooper, but his effort was once again saved well by Yousef Malak.

Despite the team in Red's pressure it looked like the Home side had won the game with less than 10 mins remaining when Paul Wakefield slid the ball into the goal. A run down the left side by No 14 Christopher Suggett ended in a low driven cross which matched the run of the unmarked Striker Paul Wakefield, the Striker made no mistake from close range putting his side ahead for the 1st time in the game with only mins left on the clock (4-3).

Just a min later and the Away side were attacking the Home box to find their equaliser. After a cross went just over Centre Forward Neil Cooper’s head the resulting throw-in was taken by the Home side but went straight back to the Away side’s No 14 Matt Rocks. With a dangerous attack mounting the Home side’s Centre Half Israel Amponsah stepped in to intercept the ball, but his attempted pass bounced off No 5 Steve Foreman and fell straight back to Matt Rocks. The Midfielder's shot from just outside the box bounced past Keeper Yousef Malak and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal to make it all even with just over five mins to go (4-4).

There was then a chance for the Home side which could’ve won them the game. Away Keeper Brion attempted to punch clear a high ball into the box from No 14 Christopher Suggett, however the ball fell to a surprised Paul Blakebrough but he couldn’t capitalise from the mistake and his shot went just wide, much to the relief of the Away team. One last hopeful last punt from the Away side into the box only resulted in a flicked on header which came to nothing and the referee blew for full time, ending a thoroughly exciting game of football.

Both sides were evenly matched in their attacking threat, with the Home side’s No 11 Paul Blakebrough finishing magnificently twice to keep his side in the game, while the Away side’s right flank, which consisted of No 7 Wayne Richardson’s pace and No 5 Steve Foreman’s passing, caused the Home team problems throughout. However, to match this attacking threat both sides had well organised and rock solid defenders such as Israel Amponsah and Adrian Alcock, with Yousef Malak and Brion also impressing in goal. It was a close game throughout, with both sides taking the lead at some point, but neither could capitalise and go on to win the game and in the end the score line was an accurate portrayal of how well matched the two teams were.

Full time: QPR Home 4 - 4 QPR Away

Man of the Match Home: Israel Amponsah
Man of the Match Away: Ian Kennedy
Moment of the Match: Paul Blakebrough

Home Team: D. Yousef Malak, Adam Clark, Israel Amponsah, Ian Graham, Ray Gartland (C), Emo Ros, Dave Wheatley, Paul Wakefield , Augusto De Bartolo, Paul Blakebrough, Christopher Suggett , Mark Gates , Adam Clark (2), Simon Byron
Home Mascot: Alfie Graham

Away Team: Matthew Brion, Vince Sexton, Adrian Alcock, Steve Foreman, Andrew Freeman , Wayne Richardson , Elliott Sexton, Neil Cooper, Ian Kennedy (C), Paul Freeman, Matt Rocks, Neil Collins, Andrew Pearcey, Graeme Hawkins
Away Mascot: Lily Pearcey