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QPR 2006

Football Aid Championship, Saturday 13th May, Loftus Road

QPR (Home) 3 QPR (Away) 2

A solid second half performance from keeper Tony Davis gave QPR Home the edge in this closely contended match at Loftus Road.

An energetic start to the game provided some excellent passages of play from both teams but it was McDonald’s Away side that enjoyed the first real scoring chance of the match. A quick break down the right wing saw striker Piggott with a clear sight of goal but centre half Alan Loomes’ staved off the danger with a superbly timed challenge.

Only a minute later, a lapse in concentration from the Home defence saw Senzolo clean through in a 2 on 1 situation with his shot blazing past the right hand post.

Waddock’s Home squad enjoyed a chance of their own in the 18th minute after skipper Gregory Loomes neatly played in Kent. An advancing Margolis smothered the striker’s shot keeping the score nil-nil.

The deadlock was broken in the 22nd minute after some good possession from the Away team lead to a parry between keeper David and midfielder Thorpe. Thorpe, much to the delight of the appreciative crowd, confidently slotted the resulting penalty home.

The game lit up in the 38th minute when QPR Home were awarded a free kick. Skipper Loomes sent a good, flighted ball into the area, which was flicked onto a perfectly positioned Alan Loomes to send the ball hammering into goal from the back post. The score 1-1 at half time.

The second half kicked off with McDonald’s men eager to build on their late first half goal. Substitute Martin was exquisitely played in from the centre midfield and with a change of pace rounded the Away defence and keeper before slotting the ball in from a tight angle.

Only two minutes later and Martin was on the prowl once more. After cutting inside the defence, he struck a beautiful shot, which took all of Margolis’ acrobatic skills to save.

QPR Away enjoyed their first real chance in the 65th minute. Nick Astaire danced through the opposition from the halfway line before selflessly passing to Hickton, perfectly positioned to finish the move. He shot crashed inches wide of the goal to keep the score at 2-1.

Home keeper, Davis pulled off a gorgeous save in the 68th minutes to deny Away once more and came under pressure seconds later when a good shot at goal from the right midfield skimmed over the post.

However, after some great forward play, Waddock’s Home side were awarded a free kick just outside the area. Deflected off Away’s defence, the ball fell at midfielder Smith’s feet and he deftly pushed the ball over the line to strengthen Home’s hard fought lead.

In the final ten minutes, Away enjoyed a hatful of chances testing keeper Davis to the limit. Senzolo beat Home’s offside trap to take Davis 1-on-1 but again steered his shot to the right of the goal to avoid the advancing keeper. Minutes later, a defensive error by the under pressure Home squad saw striker Buckland clean through on goal. It looked certain to be a goal before Davis pulled of an outstanding block to save Waddock’s men once more.

In the final few minutes of play, Away’s desperate efforts were rewarded. A quick break down the left wing culminated in substitute Hickton hammering home his shot under Davis to make the final score 3-2. Much to the delight of Home manager Gary Waddock, celebrating his first Football Aid win!

As Tony Davis commented after the match, ”Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to take part in this event, it truly was fantastic. Winning the game and the MOM award were the cherry on the cake. I thought the event was run very well and it was great to have a brief ground tour before the game as well.”

Defender Michael brown continued, ”I can honestly say that I was looking forward to the day and expected to enjoy myself. However I found the experience a whole lot more than that, it is a memory that will live with me forever a once in a lifetime experience (unless we make next year - fingers crossed) but it was a great experience and if 22 guys on their field of dreams can help those less fortunate to experience the pleasure of football and it be used to motivate them to excel then it was money and time well spent. An absolutely great day and many thanks again to Football Aid, Gary, Macca and the QPR team...”