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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wayne Starts The Rout.......


Exeter 0-5 QPR

Rangers cup campaign started with a 350 mile round trip down to Devon to take on hosts Exeter City. Lee Brown brings you a review of how events unravelled.

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The thought of three trips to the West Country in a week was never appealing but Me, Sam and Justin of the Henley Mob started off the first leg of the three at 3.30 and enjoyed what was an incredibly smooth trip down the M4 and M5 into Exeter without hitting any traffic at all on the way down. We arrived just before 6.30 and went on the search for a cash machine. This simple task would usually take two seconds but 10minutes later we were still on the search..... I've never known it to be so hard to find one when it's needed, but this was like the Crystal Maze! I was waiting for Richard O'Brien to jump out and tell me that if I didn't find one in the next 3minutes I would be automatically locked in Exeter until one of my team mates could buy me out with a crystal...... luckily that didn’t happen.
After getting the cash and indulging in a greasy KFC, we set on our way for the 5 minute walk to the ground where we were unsure of what kind of team or display we were going to witness from the R's tonight.
Once we got in the ground and found ourselves our spot where we could catch a good view and have no-one that could block our views in the pleasant St James Terracing we were housed in for the evening. We soon met up with Mr Michael Whelan (plus friend) and we were ready to see what delights that were going to be thrown at us.

813 Rangers fans travelled down to Devon for tonight’s encounter, well done to all those.

Jim Magilton made seven changes from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Blackpool. Connolly, Stewart, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Ephraim, Vine and Agyemang came in for Ramage, Hall, Mahon, Rowlands, Balanta, Helguson and Taarabt. The first 3 moving to the bench, Rowlands missing out through injury, Helguson and Taarabt missed the game due to international call ups and Balanta wasn't included.

Team (from right to left) :- Cerny; Connolly, Stewart, Gorkss, Borrowdale; Routledge, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Ephraim; Vine, Agyemang.
Subs - Putnins, Ramage, Hall, Alberti, Ainsworth, Mahon, Pellicori.

The game started in a lively fashion and we had a pretty even opening 10 minutes. The first chance fell to the visitors. A good cross from the right hand side from Matt Connolly found Vine at the back post, his header was looped in the air, from our angle it looked as if it was going miles over, but we were surprised to see the ball drop down and hit the top of the crossbar and went over.
Exeter then started to knock the ball around with some good passing football and they soon created chances of their own. Three chances fell to Marcus Stewart, two of which tested Cerny but if he directed any of his efforts wide of Cerny rather than at him then it's more than likely he would've scored with one of them. As it was none of them troubled Cerny and the clean sheet remained intact.... for now.
Exeter continued to knock the ball around with considered ease and begun to control the midfield. Leigertwood and Buzsaky were mere spectators until the 35-40 minute mark and were really struggling to make any kind of impact on the game. Another Exeter chance come along in the form of a 25 yard effort but Cerny once again dealt with it with considerable ease.
Rangers enjoyed the final 5 minutes of the first half in ascendancy and Buzsaky enjoyed more possession in the centre of the field and was looking to feed in Routledge and Vine, who moved wide for the last 15 minutes of the first half, in the wide positions and trouble the Exeter full backs. This nearly happened, one cross flew in from the right hand side and one of the Exeter defenders headed the ball in the direction of their own goal but it ended up on the right side of the goal from his point of view. From the resulting corner Stewart and a header saved.

Half time then came and saved us!! It was a fairly even half but if I'm honest Exeter shaded it and had the better of the chances. Magilton definitely had a tough half time team talk to endure and really needed to kick us up the backsides to make sure that we wouldn't have a performance like that in the second half.

Exeter came out in the second half and played the same good, fluid football that troubled Rangers in the first half and again started winning the midfield battle. Another Stewart effort went begging and let the visitors off once again.
I exchanged a few texts with Gobi at this point about how weak our midfield were looking and how we needed a leader and a battler in the centre of the midfield so we could start to win the battle and begin to take the game to Exeter. As these texts were exchanged this happened..........
Leigertwood won the ball in midfield and spotted the run of Routledge, he lifted a ball over the Exeter defence which set Routledge clear. Having beaten the offside trap it was a straight race between Routledge and Paul Jones, the ball bounced and Routledge got there first and neatly dinked his effort over Jones and into the empty net in slow motion. 53 minutes, 1-0!!
Goes to show how fans think they know everything..... clearly not! Ha-ha.
Despite conceding the goal Exeter to be fair to them continued to take the game to Rangers and soon nearly got their reward. A corner from the right hand side was met by Craig McAllister, a former Rangers trialist, his header was powered towards goal and was destined to be the equaliser, and unfortunately the header was once again straight at Cerny.
Shortly after this chance it was the R's that hit the attack in the form of Agyemang. He took on his defender and threaded a ball through two defenders to the oncoming Routledge who found space just inside the box, he unleashed a shot from a tightish angle which found the back of the net. 61 minutes, 2-0!
What were we all worrying about? The game had been turned on its head in 8 minutes.
Three minutes later Rangers had a corner on the left hand side. Buzsaky floated in a ball to the back post where Gorkss fired a header at goal, it hit the defender on the line, and from our angle the ball crossed the line, but the linesman flagged and signalled for a deliberate handball on the line rather than give the goal. Goldbourne was sent off for the handball and Routledge was given the ball to try and clinch his hat-trick. The penalty was put away with ease and Routledge grabbed the match ball with an 11 minute hat trick. 64 minutes, 3-0!
Routledge was immediately substituted and was given a good reception by the R's fans, he was replaced by Gareth Ainsworth. Rowan Vine also came off and he was replaced by debutant Alessandro Pellicori.
With the extra man advantage Rangers took the game by the throat and really began to assert their authority on the game. Soon the Superhoops started to play the smooth passing game that Magilton has tried to install in the team.
Agyemang then came off and was replaced by Mahon. We then adapted a 4-4-1-1 formation with Pellicori up top on his own with Buzsaky supporting him in his most effective role.
Ainsworth was soon in the action after coming on. Ephraim sent in a deep ball to the back post about 8 yards out, Ainsworth looped his header towards the top left corner and beat the keeper but a defender was on the line to clear for a corner, if he wasn't there then Pellicori would've been on hand to nod home from all of a yard out.
Pellicori did then get his first chance of the game after running clear of the defence but blazed his effort over. Luckily the offside flag had already gone up.
Pellicori's movement and positioning for every ball that entered the box was worrying the Exeter defence and was also enabling Buzsaky to finally show us what we know he can do.
On 85 minutes we saw the fourth goal of the game.
Buzsaky swung in a far post cross once again and this was again met by Gorkss who couldn't put any power on his header but the ball fell to Stewart 4yards out with his back to goal, he kicked the ball back over his head and found the unmarked Pellicori and he fired home his volley from 4yards out, grabbing his first competitive goal for Rangers and no-one can say he didn't deserve it. Hopefully people will give him a bit more of a chance after seeing his performance tonight.
Rangers however hadn't finished. Ephraim was wide on the left hand side, cut in and curled in a sublime effort from 18 yards out. This was by far the best goal of the night and completed the scoring for tonight’s game.

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QPR: Cerny, Stewart, Leigertwood, Routledge (Ainsworth 65), Vine (Pellicori 65), Buzsaky, Agyemang (Mahon 71), Gorkss, Connolly, Ephraim, Borrowdale.

Subs: Putnins, Ramage, Hall, Alberti.

Goals: Routledge (53 , 61, 64), Pellicori (85), Ephraim (89).

The Mobs Man Of The Match - Wayne Routledge. Who else!


In summary the score line did flatter us a hell of a lot but it was pleasing to see us still create chances and finally take them. Exeter caused all sorts of problems for our midfield and if they had done like we did and took any one of them then we really could be reading a different story. Improvements to be made but the positives to take out of the game are - a clean sheet, Connolly looking solid as ever, Routledge's hat trick and constant threat and finally, Pellicori coming on and showing the fans what he is capable of and hopefully staking a claim for a start in one of the coming games.

We shall look forward to the second trip down to Devon on Saturday.

U R'SSSSSSSSS

2 Comments:

  • At 12:49 pm, Blogger Bobo said…

    Triumphant effort Lee and all the R's fans that made the pilgrimage. A little worrying that the midfield took so long to assert itself considering their "best in the Championship status" but it all worked out. Great to see Gaz in the mix again and Pellicori sounds very encouraging!

    Bobo

     
  • At 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Excellent report Lee , have you ever thought of taking it up as a proffession ?

    well done , really enjoyed reading that : ))

    Eileen x

     

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