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Middlesbrough 2 QPR 0

PUBLISHED: 11:15 01 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:54 24 August 2010

By James Smith TWO penalties just before half-time proved enough to condemn Rangers to their sixth defeat in seven games and push them closer to the relegation zone. The Rs, who are now only two places above the bottom three, never really threatened to ta

By James Smith

TWO penalties just before half-time proved enough to condemn Rangers to their sixth defeat in seven games and push them closer to the relegation zone.

The Rs, who are now only two places above the bottom three, never really threatened to take anything from a dreary contest until they sent on Adel Taarabt midway through the second half.

But Barry Robson's brace of spot-kicks within a six-minute spell at the end of the first half had left them with too much to do, although Mikele Leigertwood rattled the woodwork late on.

Rangers started well, with Lee Cook and Akos Buzsaky combining to set up Jay Simpson, but he rifled the chance wide of Danny Coyne's goal.

At the other end, Carl Ikeme turned Gary O'Neil's free-kick around the post and Chris Killen was ruled offside as he slid home Barry Robson's pass.

But referee Andy Woolmer - who had earlier waved away a QPR penalty appeal when Cook went sprawling in the box - handed the home side an opportunity to open the scoring six minutes before half-time.

Peter Ramage was adjudged to have brought down Jeremie Aliadiere and this time Woolmer signalled a spot-kick, which Robson stepped up to ram down the centre of the goal.

Coyne then denied Simpson an immediate close-range equaliser, but Boro were awarded their second penalty of the game in injury time as Kaspars Gorkss allowed Leroy Lita to run across him.

A clumsy challenge from the Latvian defender prompted Woolmer to point to the spot again and Robson drilled the kick past Ikeme for the second time.

Rangers regrouped after the break and put together some decent spells of possession but, aside from a Damion Stewart flick-on that Coyne fielded with ease, rarely looked like scoring.

Taarabt, who replaced Alejandro Faurlin, finally troubled the keeper with a drive from the edge of the box, and then set up fellow substitute Marcus Bent for a strike that was disallowed for offside.

But Rangers knew it was not to be their day 10 minutes from time as Bent headed Ramage's cross down for Leigertwood, who stabbed the chance against the post with Coyne helpless.

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