QPR 0 Derby County 2
PUBLISHED: 16:09 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 24 August 2010
GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS
TRADITIONALLY, QPR follow a memorable away victory with a discouraging letdown – so the end of their 100 per cent home record came as little surprise. Not that Rangers were in any sense overwhelmed...
QPR 0 Derby County 2
By Ben Kosky at Loftus Road
TRADITIONALLY, QPR follow a memorable away victory with a discouraging letdown - so the end of their 100 per cent home record came as little surprise.
Not that Rangers were in any sense overwhelmed by Derby, but they seemed to lack the bite and sharpness they have shown on the road in recent games and paid the price, namely two late goals.
Until then the Rs had looked strong at the back again, but the midfield seemed top heavy with flair players and they never really threatened until Lee Cook joined the fray in the second half.
"We never passed the ball with any fluency, which is something we pride ourselves on," admitted Iain Dowie. "Credit to Derby, they worked hard but if we'd got that first goal, they'd have had to come out and it'd be more open.
"Maybe it was heavy legs, maybe people were a bit off the pace and we didn't get a head of steam, but it doesn't change what I feel - that we've got a good bunch of lads and we'll bounce back."
Dowie's musing about what might have been was prompted by a chance midway through the first half, when Daniel Parejo cut the ball back for Dexter Blackstock, but Paul Connelly slid in to smother both Blackstock and the ball - quite legally - in the six-yard box.
Essentially, though, the sides cancelled each other out, both giving the ball away too often in midfield and failing to sustain any significant spells of pressure.
It looked as if Rangers would break the deadlock soon after the restart when Parejo teed up Emmanuel Ledesma for a drive that deflected off Connelly and rattled the post before Derby scrambled it to safety.
And the Rams were indebted to the woodwork again when Martin Rowlands got away on the left and crossed for Blackstock, whose finish struck the same post and somehow stayed out.
Ledesma was off target with a highly ambitious chip that bobbled wide, but Derby began to threaten themselves and vital challenges from both Fitz Hall and Damion Stewart foiled Rob Hulse.
Miles Addison also went close for the visitors, clipping the crossbar with a 30-yard half-volley and, although Dowie belatedly sent Patrick Agyemang on in search of a winner, it was Derby who achieved that 10 minutes from time.
Nacer Barazite's free-kick found its way through to Martin Albrechtsen and the defender evaded Mikele Leigertwood before cracking the ball low past Radek Cerny.
And Derby made certain of ending another miserable run - failure to win away from home in 18 months - with their second a minute from time, Emanuel Villa evading his markers to nod home Steven Davies' corner.
As both sets of supporters pointed out in the dying minutes, no-one will be hurrying to stump up £40 or £50 a time for this kind of fare.
QPR: Cerny; Connolly, HALLL, Stewart, Delaney; Rowlands, Mahon (Leigertwood 70); Ledesmal (Agyemang 78), Parejo, Buzsaky (Cook 56); Blackstock. Subs not used: Camp, Ramage.
Derby County: Carroll; Connelly, Leacockl, Albrechtsen, Stewart; Barazite (Davies 84), Addison, Green, Pearson; Ellington (Villa 89), Hulse. Subs not used: Bywater, Kazimierczak, Nyatanga.
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