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QPR 0 Scunthorpe Utd 1

PUBLISHED: 11:15 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 August 2010

By Ben Kosky THE cracks can t be papered over any longer – QPR are a club on the slide and the fans know it. A single win in 12 games – and even that was one of the least deserved in the history of football – means Rangers are more likely to face a relega

By Ben Kosky

THE cracks can't be papered over any longer - QPR are a club on the slide and the fans know it.

A single win in 12 games - and even that was one of the least deserved in the history of football - means Rangers are more likely to face a relegation battle than the promotion challenge the supporters were promised.

That form, coupled with the departures of four players in the last week, finally prompted the crowd to openly voice their fury against Flavio Briatore's failing regime.

Contrast the disjointed performance of the remaining Rs players with the vigour and enthusiasm of an organised Scunthorpe side who have given themselves every chance of Championship survival.

Earlier in the season, Adel Taarabt appeared to be trying to do everything on his own - but, ironically, he now has to. His bursts of brilliance look like Rangers' only real hope of winning a game.

Taarabt weaved his way into the Iron penalty area to bring a low save from Joe Murphy and then threaded a sumptuous pass for Jay Simpson, who rounded the goalkeeper but was ruled offside as he slotted home.

Before that, uncertainty in the home defence gave Scunthorpe two opportunities to open the scoring - Carl Ikeme diving low to his left to deny Gary Hooper and then Paul Hayes juggling the ball before lobbing it onto the roof of the net.

And the visitors should certainly have gone in front just before half-time when Grant McCann skipped clear from a corner and his cutback was palmed out by Ikeme to Sam Togwell, who could only scoop the chance over.

Rangers started the second half strongly, with Kaspars Gorkss heading just over and Murphy forced to parry powerful long-range attempts from Simpson and Mikele Leigertwood.

But their shortcomings in attack - which have been evident to everyone except the board for many months - were underlined when Rowan Vine's ball drifted across the six-yard box, almost begging to be slammed into the back of the net.

And Scunthorpe, now growing in confidence, seized control, with Ikeme twice saving from Hayes and Hooper's header adjudged offside before the decisive moment came on 74 minutes.

Substitute Donal McDermott swept a pass out of defence and Hooper beat the offside trap and sped away from Matt Hill before pulling the ball back for Garry Thompson to stab in from close range.

Rs boss Mick Harford reacted with three quick changes, including the keenly-awaited comeback of Lee Cook, and the winger brought a new dimension to his side's attack.

A trademark Cook cross found the head of Simpson, but he glanced wide and, when Rob Jones felled Simpson in added time, Cook's free-kick failed to fit the fairytale, dropping straight down Murphy's throat.

For the QPR faithful, the land of fairytales and make-believe is no more. They know it's time to end this farcical, embarrassing chapter in the club's history.


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