Hull City 2 QPR 1
PUBLISHED: 11:36 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky THIS might seem ridiculous after conceding yet another injury-time goal – but Rangers are using up their luck when they don t really need it. An Ipswich goal and/or penalty that wasn t spotted, a fortuitous draw with Preston and, on Saturday,
By Ben Kosky
THIS might seem ridiculous after conceding yet another injury-time goal - but Rangers are using up their luck when they don't really need it.
An Ipswich goal and/or penalty that wasn't spotted, a fortuitous draw with Preston and, on Saturday, a goal that even its official scorer, Dexter Blackstock, was somewhat sceptical about.
Hogan Ephraim's 13th-minute cross deflected off Michael Turner and was stopped by Tigers goalkeeper Bo Myhill before Blackstock nudged it onto the post and back onto the goal-line.
The linesman ruled that the whole ball had crossed the line and referee Graham Laws infuriated the Hull fans by confirming the goal - only for Turner to rescue a point with the equaliser in added time.
"We were definitely lucky to be awarded the goal, but we did deserve something from the game," admitted QPR boss Luigi de Canio.
"All throughout the game I never feared the team would lose, the way they were performing. We must look to improve all the time and learn from games such as this."
Let's hope Rangers do that - because, not for the first time this season, they were architects of their own anti-climax by defending too deep in the second half and encouraging pressure.
Hull, struggling to cope with the burden of sudden expectation, looked clueless early on and Gareth Ainsworth and Patrick Agyemang both tested Myhill before Blackstock's controversial opener.
Although Lee Camp was called into action in the 25th minute, flinging out an arm to tip Andy Dawson's free-kick over the bar, the Rs' defence, well marshalled by Fitz Hall, looked solid.
Ainsworth - recalled to the starting line-up for the first time since the FA Cup derby at Chelsea - and Ephraim both found gaps in the Tigers' back line, but were unable to deliver a telling final ball.
The loss of Blackstock to an ankle injury 10 minutes into the second half reduced Rangers' bite in attack and Hull, who brought on Caleb Folan as a third striker, began to seize the initiative.
Folan's header, from a Bryan Hughes cross, flew just wide of the far post, while Camp parried a Dean Windass free-kick, but pounced on the loose ball before any of the hungry Tigers could react.
The skilful Fraizer Campbell started to find more space and headed one opportunity straight at Camp before turning inside the penalty area to fire into the side netting.
Ephraim tested Myhill with a 25-yarder but, with Agyemang withdrawn and Angelo Balanta doing his best to play a lone attacker's role, Rangers found themselves hanging on.
As so often this season, their resistance was finally broken in injury time when Folan sped down the right and crossed for Turner to slide between Michael Mancienne and Damion Stewart and slam in the equaliser.
It could have been worse for the Rs as Campbell swung at another Folan cross and failed to connect - but, yet again, the draw was a deserved, if slightly disappointing result.
QPR: Camp; Mancienne, HALL*, Stewart, Delaney; Ainsworth, Rowlands, Mahon, Ephraim; Blackstock (Leigertwood 56), Agyemang (Balanta 81). Subs not used: Pickens, Lee, Connolly.