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QPR Game 1 2018

With the sun in the sky and warm weather forecast all day, the conditions couldn’t have been better at Loftus Road for the start of another fantastic event day in association with QPR in the Community Trust. The Game 1 players certainly didn’t disappoint, serving up 10 goals and plenty of entertainment for the watching fans in the stands. The Away team ran out 1-9 winners in the end, but both teams contributed hugely towards making it a great experience for all involved.  

Date: Tuesday 8th May 2018
Venue: Loftus Road
QPR (Home) vs QPR (Away)
Kick Off: 14:00 pm
Legends & Managers: Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Lee Cook, Danny Shittu & Marc Bircham
Match Officials: Peter Hazell, John Ferns & Mark Mellor

The match kicked off in glorious sunshine, with the warm spring weather in West London ensuring players and fans alike were in great spirits ahead of Game 1. In addition the presence of a fantastic array of QPR Legends only added to the feverish atmosphere amongst the crowd at Loftus Road, with Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Lee Cook, Danny Shittu and Marc Bircham all due to play alongside our fans.  

The teams settled quickly and Home No 11 Ben Tritta had an early opportunity, however his attempt on goal was struck just too high. However it was the Away team, wearing Black and Red hoops, who were to take the lead after just 9mins. Bradley Smith did well to win the ball back with a sliding tackle in midfield and played the ball to fellow midfielder David Traynor, the No 6 looked up and spotting his captain Philip Joyce in space, Traynor proceeded to loft a great ball beyond the defence which allowed Joyce to run clear on goal, the No 11 steadied himself before clinically firing a low right foot shot past the keeper’s despairing dive (0-1).    

Marc Bircham’s Away team were full of confidence now and when Philip Joyce fed Tony Hine on the right and sprinted into the box for the return, he narrowly missed getting onto the end of Hine’s dangerous ball into the box. Hine’s delivery from the right was causing the Home team problems and when he swung in a corner soon after, his centre halve Chris Lazenby came very close to heading it home.

However they didn’t have long to wait for their 2nd goal and with 20mins gone they doubled their lead with a brilliantly worked goal. The move started with a quick long throw from keeper Adam Joyce to Bradley Smith, the No 10 played the ball to Philip Joyce on the centre circle who turned and fed Otto Heinz, the striker released Tony Hine on the right, the right mid squared the ball to Bradley Smith - who had made a great run from midfield - and the skilful midfielder’s 1st time shot with his left foot gave Home keeper Mustapha Pour Dara no chance (0-2).

Pour Dara was called into action moments later when the Away side almost increased their lead from a corner, however a brilliant double save from the keeper kept his side in the game! Legend Andy Sinton had entered the fray and helped start an attacking move down the left for the Home team, however the Away keeper Adam Joyce got down brilliantly to smother the Antony Horne’s shot on goal.

Sinton was starting to cause the Away team problems and when he raced into the box and collected a pass from the left hand side, the Away defender had no option but to trip the former England International winger. Home Captain Dan Watson stepped up and placed the ball on the penalty spot confidently and proceeded to expertly wrong foot the Away keeper and side foot the ball into the right hand corner (1-2). With 36mins on the clock the Home side were back in the game!

However the Away team responded well to losing their clean-sheet and they hit back (with a bang!) on 44mins. Legend Danny Shittu played the ball into the feet of Philip Joyce and the striker did well to turn and play the ball back to the left foot of Tony Hine and the No 7 did the rest, smashing an unstoppable strike high into the right hand side of the goal! (1-3)

Hine’s stunning goal was to be the last real action of the half and it ended with the Away team leading 1-3. The Home team had battled hard to stay in the contest, however the impressive Away team had taken their chances well and fully deserved their 2 goal lead.  

Half-Time: QPR (Home) 1 - 3 QPR (Away)

The Away side’s lively substitute Ali Candler had shown flashes of his promise late in the 1st half and he was to light up the match soon after the break. The ball was worked well up to striker Philip Joyce from midfield and when he played Candler in on the left side of the box the winger expertly side footed the ball into the far corner of the net (1-4).

Home keeper Mustapha Pour Dara was called into action again soon afterwards and the stopper did brilliantly to block an effort from Tony Hine from 10 yards out and then he did even better to throw himself at the feet of Candler to block his follow up from less than 2 yards out! 

With both teams keen to get the all important next goal, play raged from end to end and the Away team almost increased their lead after a good passing move allowed midfielder dynamo Bradley Smith to get a shot off with his left foot, however Mustapha Pour Dara was equal to the task and he smothered the ball well. The impressive Smith tested the Home keeper again soon afterwards, however Pour Dara saved that effort comfortably as well. The keeper was called into action soon afterwards, however he did brilliantly to dive low to his left to save Tony Hine’s effort on goal.

However the MOTM keeper could do nothing to stop the Away side going further ahead on 77mins. Ali Candler latched onto a clearance on the left hand side of the pitch and played a quick one-two with Philip Joyce, the striker’s return ball was perfectly weighted and Candler didn’t have to break stride before sweeping the ball into the far side of the net. The left mid’s 2nd goal of the game was almost a carbon copy of his 1st! (1-5) 

Back came the Home side and when Legend Andy Sinton play in No 17 Antony Horne on the left side of the area the pacy left mid looked like getting a goal back for his team, however Away keeper Adam Joyce did brilliantly to narrow the angle to block his initial shot and parry his follow up away to safety. 

With both sides showing signs of tiredness due to the hot conditions, defences were being stretched at both ends and although the Home side had their opportunities, with 10mins to go it was the Away side who scored next and it was another very well worked goal. The ball was played up to Philip Joyce on the edge of the area and the striker instantly played the ball wide to Tony Hine, the No 7 fired a pinpoint cross into the box which found Ali Candler in space and the No 17 made no mistake, powering a header in from 6 yards out to complete an impressive hat-trick! (1-6)

The Home team’s resistance was broken and within 2mins it was 7-up for the Red and Blue side. Midfielder James Stansfield slotted a great through ball to man of the moment Ali Candler and the skilful attacker rounded the keeper before poking the ball home with the outside of his right boot (1-7).    

The Home team were desperate to get a consolation goal for all their 2nd half efforts and they tested the Away keeper with two excellent efforts from distance in quick succession, however Adam Joyce was equal to the task and expertly tipped over the 1st effort and parried away the 2nd.

However with 86mins gone it was the Away team who stretched even further ahead. Ali Candler turning provider this time, swinging in a cross from the left which Philip Joyce brilliantly headed home (1-8).

With seconds remaining the Home No 11 Ben Tritta almost got a consolation for his side, however his excellent right foot effort from distance was just too high and crashed back off the crossbar!

The Away team sealed the win in the 90th minute with an outrageous goal from Nathan Rogers, collecting the ball midway in the opposition half the fullback looked up and saw Pour Dara off his line and produced a stunning lob from 30 yards out that sailed over the keeper’s head high into the net! (1-9).

The referee’s whistle went immediately afterwards, bringing to an end a hugely entertaining encounter. The impressive Away team with a convincing win in the end, however the Home team could also be proud of their efforts and both sets of players left the field to a thoroughly deserved round of applause from the watching fans in the stands. 

Huge thanks again to QPR FC, QPR in the Community Trust and our 5 x QPR Legends for their fantastic support.     

Full-Time: QPR (Home) 1 - 9 QPR (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Mustapha Pour Dara
Man of the Match Away: Chris Lazenby
Moment of the Match: Ali Candler

Home Team: Mustapha Pour Dara, Andy Sinton, Wayne Fereday, Lee Cook, Tom Hyland, Nathan Muran, Joe Hunter, Paul Szumilewicz, Gavin Masterson-Andrews, Dan Watson (C), Paul Sissons, Ben Tritta, Mark Feehan, Kevin Dennis, Jack Feehan, Antony Horne
Home Mascot: Zakie Johns

Away Team: Adam Joyce, Nathan Rogers, Danny Shittu, Marc Bircham, Chris Lazenby, Harry Butler, David Traynor, Tony Hine, Gary Durkin, Otto Heinz, Bradley Smith, Philip Joyce (C), James Stansfield, Dave Candler, Paul Watts, Ali Candler
Away Mascot: Oliver Szwejkowski

Match Report written by Simon Farnan

Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: info@mattnuttallphotography.co.uk

If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07789 500569 or E-mail: swchillpics@gmail.com

“Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know we all thoroughly enjoyed the QPR (game one) yesterday. You organise the matches so well and make it a truly memorable experience. All the legends yesterday were very friendly and approachable. Dave and Ali Candler (QPR season ticket holders) thought it was great and they are already planning for next year’s Football Aid event at QPR! Thanks again and hope to see you next year!”
Paul Watts – G1 Away Team No.16

“I loved every minute of it (admittedly as expected). One of the guys mentioned it is addictive, and it is very true. I will be definitely a regular feature, so plan to come next year too. Good luck with the project going forward.”
Otto Heinz – G1 Away Team No.9

“Another fantastic day out with a great selection of legends.”
Ben Tritta – G1 Home Team No.11

“Thanks for the usual great, well organised day. An absolute pleasure to be on the same team as Andy Sinton, Lee Cook and Wayne Fereday. Shame about the result, but the better team won. Already looking towards next year, and will be back in the gym next week.”
Paul Sissons – Game 1 Home Team No.10

“QPR @FootballAid Game earlier with @JackFeeehan Great to catch up and privileged to play alongside ex-Wolf @AndySintonQPR”
Mark Feehan – Home Team No.14