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QPR Game 1 2014

The first of the Football Aid matches at Loftus Road in 2014 was very tense and entertaining, it looked like being your typical comeback match but it showed the grit and determination of the players that one side was able to hang onto their lead despite some very good opponents who tested their defensive resolve. All in all it was a an extremely close game with most of the play centring around the battle in midfield, chances were at a premium but there was plenty of entertainment for all the watching R's fans in the Loftus Road stands.

Date: Wednesday 21st of May 2014
Venue: Loftus Road
QPR (Home) vs QPR (Away)
Game 1
Kick off: 15:00 pm
Legends: Richard Langley, Kevin Gallen and Steve Gallen
Match Officials: Phillip Taylor, Phil Dawes, Vic Kelly and Gary Taylor

With a wide selection of Legends available the players were spoilt for choice and had plenty of expert advice and encouragement supplied to them. Suitably enthused and prepared the two QPR teams strode out under the ‘This is Loftus Road’ sign onto the pitch to start their big match. The Away side won the toss and elected to stay down the Loftus Road end, giving the kick off to the Home team.

The play started at a great pace and the Away side nearly took a very early lead when one of their players charged in to take the ball off the Home side. He then passed to No 9 John Day upfront who sent it on to No 7 Matt Wood on the edge of the box. Wood then passed to No 11 Paul Chappel whose strong shot on goal was stopped by a great save from Home Keeper and Captain Paolo Pappagallo. The Home stopper was called into action soon afterwards when No 6 Ryan Adams took a good shot on goal, however his effort was well stopped again by Pappagallo.

Both teams were pressing for an early lead with the Away side having a few more chances then the Home side and Pappagallo was working hard to keep all the Away team efforts out. After one such save the Home team counter attacked swiftly and charged up the opposite end before sending a cross into the box for No 6 Martin Patterson. Patterson controlled the ball well and half-volleyed it over keeper John Turrell's head into the top of the net. This broke the deadlock and put the Home team ahead in the 16th min (1-0).

After their opening goal the Home team carried on their dominance in the 1st half despite both teams creating multiple chances in some good end to end play. These chances, however, failed to be converted to goals for much of the 1st half, however the deadlock was broken when No 11 Chris Suggett sent a through ball forward from the left wing to Legend Steve Gallen. The former QPR midfielder played a clever one-two with No 9 Mark Penney and then hit a shot that Away keeper John Turrell wasn’t able to keep out and the ball slipped past him and into the goal. The Home side now had a comfortable lead after 43 mins (2-0).

With a two goal deficit to make up the Away team pushed back up the Home end to try and get a goal back before half time and their persistence paid off when No 5 Adam Paget beat multiple defenders and passed to No 6 Ryan Adams. Adams was left with plenty of space and from 25 yards out he proceeded to hammer the ball past the keeper into the back of the net. This gave the Away team renewed hope with half time approaching only a min later (2-1).

The teams had played well in the 1st half with neither team looking like they would run away from their opponents. Passing and chances on goal had been abundant but good goalkeeping and strong defending from both sides had kept the scores down. Only the 2nd half would tell which of the teams would come out on top.

Half Time: QPR (Home) 2 - 1 QPR (Away)

The players had given their all in the 1st half but the expert advice of the legends, and the much needed break at half time, ensured that the players were ready to go once again soon after.

The Home team soon reasserted themselves and pushed towards the Away goal, Legend Richard Langley sent a the ball through a group of defenders for No 14 Steve Constable to run on to. He then went one on one with John Turrell and the keeper just managed to get his finger tips to the ball after charging down Constable’s shot.

The Home side kept looking for their next goal and they soon found it despite fierce opposition from their opponents. Home No 6 Martin Patterson tried to find a teammate but even though it missed his intended target the ball was picked up by Striker Mark Penney. Despite calls that he was offside he made his way into the box and faced off with the Keeper. Turrell charged down Penney and managed to keep out his initial shot but he just failed to hold the ball and Penney got hold of the ball again before firing his 2nd effort into the back of the net. The Home side had now regained their two goal lead in the 57th min (3-1).

Possession alternated frequently over the course of the 2nd half and neither side were afforded many clear-cut chances, even though they got close to goal on several occasions. One very close chance came from a Home throw in at the Away end. It was almost cleared by the defence but came to Legend Richard Langley who put the ball into the middle of the box where No 8 Mark Kelly came in and hit it running full pelt at the Keeper John Turrell. However Turrell did brilliantly to keep out the initial shot and also a 2nd effort from No 10 Neil O’Connell as well.

It looked like the rest of the 2nd half would pass without another goal until the Away side began to up their game as the clock ticked down. They pushed forward, looking to draw level again and when their main chance came it fell to No 16 Paul Freeman. As the ball came down from a headed clearance, Freeman fired of an unstoppable shot across the goal into the bottom left corner, completely surprising the Home GK Paolo Pappagallo. The Away team were one step closer to equalising in the 84th min (3-2).

However although they tried continually, the Away side weren't able to equalise before full time and the score remained the same. Though both teams played well and made use of the chances they created, the goalkeepers and defences from both teams performed so well that ultimately it was a low scoring affair. Although satisfied with their performance, the Away team were disappointed at their narrow defeat and it was the Home team who gained the satisfaction of achieving a close victory. However both sets of QPR players will retain fantastic memories of what had been an excellent occasion for all those lucky enough to witness it.

Full Time: QPR (Home) 3 - 2 QPR (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Darren Gormley
Man of the Match Away: Robert Amor
Moment of the Match: John Turrell

Home Team: Paolo Pappagallo, Matt Kilshaw, Richard Langley, Darren Gormley, William Johnson, Martin Patterson, Daniel Watson, Mark Kelly, Mark Penney, Neil O’Connell, Chris Suggett, Steven Constable, Sam Denne, Scott Fielding, Kyle Loomes
Home Mascot: William Constable

Away Team: John Turrell, Daniel Lloyd, Kevin Gallen, Steve Gallen, Robert Amor, Adam Paget, Ryan Adams, Matt Wood, James Walker-Paget, John Day, Mark Tatam (C), Paul Chappell, Michail Retsinas, Dennis Freeman, Paul Freeman, Joe Freeman
Away Mascot: Isaac Tatam