QPR 2 Coventry City 2
PUBLISHED: 10:22 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky TINKERING with the back four hasn t done much good – and QPR have foolishly closed off the next possible path they could have taken. While the defence took much of the blame for conceding twice from set-pieces on Saturday, the fact is that Ra
By Ben Kosky
TINKERING with the back four hasn't done much good - and QPR have foolishly closed off the next possible path they could have taken.
While the defence took much of the blame for conceding twice from set-pieces on Saturday, the fact is that Radek Cerny's slow reaction to crosses was at least part of the problem.
But Rangers' absurd transfer policies - the eviction of Lee Camp and the failure to sign a permanent challenger to Cerny - have made it effectively impossible to drop him before January.
Ironically, the warning signs were there the last time Coventry visited Loftus Road and Cerny's poor footwork enabled Daniel Fox's free-kick to give them the lead.
Cerny is by no means an incapable keeper, just a fallible one. But many QPR fans - and certainly the club's hierarchy - have a blind spot where his worth to the team is concerned.
The Rangers custodian showed his best side early on when he dived low to his left to push away Patrick van Aanholt's fizzing drive, but the Coventry left-back's 16th-minute free-kick left him nonplussed.
Matthew Connolly failed to get near Leon Best as the striker leapt to meet van Aanholt's high cross with a looping header and Cerny stood stock still as the ball sailed past him.
The goal itself was harsh on Rangers, who enjoyed the better possession, with Adel Taarabt, Wayne Routledge and Akos Buzsaky in full flight, but it wasn't until half an hour had gone that they forced a genuine save from Keiren Westwood.
The Sky Blues' keeper beat away Taarabt's angled effort, minutes after Jay Simpson's finish had been ruled offside but, at the other end, Best could have doubled their lead, heading David Bell's cross inches wide.
And Rangers made the most of that let-off, Alejandro Faurlin spearing a superb pass over the top for Simpson to stick out a leg and prod the ball past the keeper for the equaliser, 10 minutes before half-time.
Although Connolly cleared Aron Gunnarsson's header off the line, and Gary Borrowdale came to the rescue to foil Jack Cork as he shaped to pull the trigger, it was the Rs who looked most likely to take the lead and Taarabt's deft 25-yard chip bounced off the crossbar in the second half.
Rangers continued to swarm forward and the breakthrough deservedly arrived with 21 minutes left as Routledge's drive was deflected to Buzsaky, who fired home with the aid of a deflection.
It was hard to see out-of-form Coventry conjuring up an equaliser - but a dead-ball situation proved their salvation again nine minutes from time, with Cerny and his defenders static as Richard Wood dived to head in Michael McIndoe's near-post free-kick.
Even the dismissal of Sky Blues skipper Stephen Wright - who was also sent off at Loftus Road last season - for his second booking, a foul on Buzsaky, could not deny his side a point.
Simpson and substitute Steven Reid both brought scrambling saves from Westwood as Coventry clung on through nearly six minutes of added time, but it was what had gone before at the other end that proved decisive.
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