Burnley 1 QPR 0
By James Smith ANOTHER drama, another match, and another afternoon of frustration as the soap opera surrounding Queens Park Rangers reaches some sort of crescendo. Saturday was the final instalment of the four-parter against Burnley during this season. A
By James Smith
ANOTHER drama, another match, and another afternoon of frustration as the soap opera surrounding Queens Park Rangers reaches some sort of crescendo.
Saturday was the final instalment of the four-parter against Burnley during this season. A special Easter edition, if you will, however there was nothing special about the result.
If November's 2-1 reverse at Loftus Road set the scene, the two FA Cup ties introduced a 'will they, won't they' element, then Saturday's match at Turf Moor was the epic plot twist.
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Rangers are not the top six side they could, and perhaps should, have been. Like most of these plot twists, many had already guessed it.
Nevertheless, the characters all valiantly played their part - returning hero Rowan Vine almost rescued the day with two good chances early on and hardman Kaspars Gorkss, alongside his ice-cool sidekick Matthew Connolly, looked like they would keep a sea of Claret at bay. But all to no avail.
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Saturday's match was a series of key episodes. Had Vine and then Lee Cook late on, been a touch sharper when testing Brian Jensen with golden chances, or had the referee and his assistants spotted what appeared to be a handball from Chris Eagles as Clarke Carlisle nodded in his 48th minute winner, then it could have been so different.
But it was left to a character from Rangers' past to affect the outcome and Carlisle's header stood. Injustice? Maybe. Deserved? Probably.
But the good guys keep on going and Rangers did just that, but ultimately lacked the cutting edge to win the day.
Caretaker boss Ainsworth was philosophical on the handball incident, saying, "Fair play, I think they've got away with it. Radek Cerny has come running 30 yards out of his goal and that says everything to me.
"I haven't seen the replay but I can only go on what Radek's saying, and he is one of the most honest guys around."
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Connolly, GORKSS*, Delaney; Routledge, Leigertwood, Ephraim (Lopez 71), Taarabt; Di Carmine (Cook 54), Vine (Alberti 84). Subs not used: Mahon, Stewart.