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Sunday, January 17, 2010

'Pool pay the penalty as connolly wonder goal earns point.

Mick Harford's second reign in charge of first team affairs came two days after Paul Hart's departure. In front of him and the R's was a long trip to the North-West where former a Rangers' manager Ian Holloway and his high flying Blackpool side prepared to challenge them.

With no Lofty Heights representation at the game and myself not even close to a radio to write as things happen, I was glad to take up Nik Brumsack's offer to do a match report for me. A massive thanks to Nik for doing this at short notice, I hope you enjoy reading this.

Four changes were made to the side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United on Tuesday night, as Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage, Gary Borrowdale and Jay Simpson were all dropped. Carl Ikeme made his debut behind the sticks whilst Fitz Hall, Matthew Connolly and Adel Taarabt were all recalled to the side.


Rangers couldn’t have got off to a bad start, however, and were soon a goal down as Brett Ormerod got away from Fitz Hall before delivering an excellent ball into the box that was thumped home by an unmarked Charlie Adam at the back post.

The hosts were nearly two goals to the good midway through the first half as Keith Southern saw his shot fly narrowly wide of Ikeme’s goal.

Taarabt’s return to the starting line-up was having the desired effect, and he almost put the hoops level ten minutes before the break. Bamboozling full-back Neal Eardley, the Spurs loanee’s shot was deflected away. Taarabt continued to be a nuisance to the Blackpool backline and after more excellent work from the Moroccan, Wayne Routledge was just unable to get on the end of a ball that drifted across the six-yard box.

Half-time came and went with Rangers bringing on Hogan Ephraim for the somewhat disappointing Akos Buzsaky.


Barely five minutes into the second half and that man was at it again, as Taarabt made some room for himself before firing a shot that beat Rachubka all ends up before agonisingly hitting both posts and deflecting to safety.

Rangers were continuing to grow in confidence, and were finally rewarded after 54 minutes when Ephraim’s shot was harshly adjudged by Trevor Kettle to have hit the hand of Ardley. Taarabt took the penalty, stepping up coolly before cheekily chipping the ball down the middle to bring Rangers level.

Ephraim was becoming more and more involved as the game went on and nearly gave Rangers the lead midway through the second half, shooting just wide from Wayne Routledge’s fine pass.

It was, however, the Seasiders who regained the lead with a quarter of an hour to go as Southern’s long-range shot was flicked skilfully by Gary Taylor-Fletcher past Ikeme in the R’s goal.

Harford quickly sent on Peter Ramage and Antonio German in the hope of salvaging something from the game, and with just five minutes to play, the Superhoops were again level with a goal fit to grace any ground. After German headed the ball into his path, Matt Connolly took two touches to steady himself before sending an unstoppable 25-yard volley past the helpless Rachubka and into the net.

There were to be no more goals as Rangers were forced to settle for a very well-earned point.


Blackpool: Rachubka, Crainey, Southern, Eardley, Evatt, Ormerod, Vaughan (Euell, 89), Taylor-Fletcher (Nardiello, 89), Baptiste, Adam, Bannan (Burgess, 62)

Subs: Martin, Euell, Gilks, Nardiello, Edwards, Butler.

Adam (39)

Goals: Adam (9), Taylor-Fletcher (76)

QPR: Ikeme, Stewart, Hall (Ramage, 77), Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Ephraim, 46), Agyemang, Gorkss, Connolly, Faurlin (German 80), Taarabt.

Subs: Cerny, Balanta, Simpson, Borrowdale.

Bookings: Routledge (90)

Goals: Taarabt (pen, 64), Connolly (84)

Referee: Mr T Kettle

Attendance: 7,600 (Away: 459)


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