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QPR Game 2 2016

The 2nd of our QPR games at Loftus Road, home of “The Hoops” saw the players play out a thrilling 6-6 draw in completely different weather conditions to the early afternoon game. The rain fell heavily but that didn’t dampen the players’ spirit who put on a great show for the appreciative spectators in the stands.

Date: Monday 9th May 2016
Venue: Loftus Road
QPR (Home) vs QPR (Away)
Kick Off: 18:00 pm
Legends & Managers: Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Martin Rowlands & Kevin Gallen
Match Officials: Thomas Jaggs, Steve Daly, William Cannon & Steve Conway

A rapturous welcome from the spectators made for a great start to our 2nd QPR game at Loftus Road where the Home team kicked us off.

The Home team nearly had luck fall into their hands after Away No 4 Ben Watson’s back pass sold Away No 1 Matthew Lewis short and he sliced his first time clearance, to his relief, behind his post.

The 1st Away chance came when No 10 Andrew Lewis found captain William Lewis on the edge of the box but the No 9 struggled to challenge the keeper when he struck his shot.

However, the Home team went straight up the other end and scored! A long goal kick from the Home No 1 Paul O’Sullivan found the head of an Away defender whose clearance fell into the path of Home No 11 Matty Tilley who took his time and lobbed the ball delightfully over the keeper in the 10th min (1-0).

The equaliser from the Away side followed almost immediately, another through ball from Away No 10 Andrew Lewis found No 11 Neil O’Connell who skipped clear of the challenges of two Home defenders before guiding the ball in to the top corner in the 12th min (1-1)

Chipped goals must have been in the Home team’s pre match warm up! They scored their 2nd of the game when Home No 9 Mitch While broke free of the defence and tried his luck and succeeded in chipping the goalkeeper to make it (2-1) on 16 mins

Next there was a fantastic piece of defending from the Away team when their GK Matthew Lewis and No 2 Steve Hobden stopped Home No 20 Daniel Lloyd from scoring, with Away No 2 Steve Hobden expertly blocking the ball on the line.

The Away team made the most of that escape and another equaliser followed on 25mins when Away No 8 Darren Fox found Neil O’Connell at the back post, the striker laid it off to No 9 William Lewis to smash home from close range and finish off a brilliant team goal (2-2).

The impressive Away team No 11 Neil O’Connell was becoming hugely influential and he scored his 2nd of the game and gave the Away side the lead in the 33rd min when he confused defenders surrounding him before turning the other way and striking the ball into the top corner (2-3).

The Home side were determined not to go into the half-time behind though and they equalised when Home No 9 Mitch While found himself free of the defence and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper to make it (3-3) in the 40th min.

The referee called time on a fantastic end-to-end half where both teams had showed strong attacking performances, could either team break away and win the game? At the half-time break there was no end of expert knowledge for the teams to draw on with QPR Legends Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Martin Rowlands & Kevin Gallen all on hand to share their tactical expertise. 

Half Time: QPR (Home) 3 - 3 QPR (Away)

The Away side restarted the 2nd half but it was the Home team who showed quick attacking intent early on.

However the Away side soon stopped the Home side’s attacking intent and showed their own when taking the lead in the 50th min when Away No 2 Steve Hobden ran to the by-line before showing great vision to pick out No 9 William Lewis who fired the ball home for his 2nd of the night to make it (3-4).

The Away side were on top now and right on the hour mark they extended their lead to make it a 2 goal advantage for the team in Red and Black Hoops. The goal came when a corner from the right hand side found Away No 15 Dennis Freeman who was free to control the ball and quickly fire home from close range (3-5).

The goals kept coming and Away No 9 William Lewis secured the match ball after getting his hat trick goal in the 62nd min. He saw his shot beat the keeper at his near post to see the Away side’s total tally 6 for the night (3-6)!

It was time for the Home side to see if they could make a comeback and their response started in the 65th min when Home No 17’s Curtis Ishmael’s low shot just evaded goalkeeper Matthew Lewis and found the bottom corner of the net (4-6).

The Home team’s comeback continued in the 70th min, bringing them within 1 goal, when No 40 Darren O’Connor scored a bullet header direct from a corner for the score to become (5-6).

The Away team had the chance to stop the Home comeback when hat-trick hero Neil O’Connell pounced on a mistake in the home defence, but Home No 1 Paul O’Sullivan produced a brilliant diving save to deny him.

The Home side secured their great 2nd half comeback when Home No 9 Mitch While got his own hat trick after skipping and weaving through a tired Away defence before rounding the GK to bring the score to (6-6)!

And that was it, the Home team showed amazing character and great attitude to draw level after a dominant attacking performance from the Away side.

Finally massive thank you to QPR FC and the legends Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Martin Rowlands and Kevin Gallen for their time playing alongside the Football Aid players and sharing great stories about their playing times at Loftus Road.

Full Time: QPR (Home) 6 - 6 QPR (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Mitch While
Man of the Match Away: Neil O’Connell
Moment of the Match: William Lewis

Home Team: Paul O'Sullivan, Andrew Pigott, Andy Sinton & Wayne Fereday, Andy Giles, Adam Anjoyeb, Daniel Lloyd, Joe Paradiso (C), Danny McCaul, Mitch While
Ben Darling, Matty Tilley, Matthew Barnes, Darren O'Connor, Rob Thomas, Curtis Ishmael,
Home Mascot: Delilah Rose O'Connor

Away Team: Matthew Lewis, Steve Hobden, Martin Rowlands & Kevin Gallen, Ben Watson, David Dyndor, Joshua Landy, Gary Jones, Darren Fox, William Lewis (C), Andrew Lewis, Neil O'Connell, Steve Hobden, Dennis Freeman, Paul Freeman, Joe Freeman

A lovely moment at the end of the game and also HUGE congratulations to Away No 11 Neil O’Connell who proposed to his wife to be in the middle of the Loftus Road pitch, best wishes from all of us here at Football Aid!

Match Report written by Matt Annis