Coventry City 1 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 15:52 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky NEVER mind the extortionate prices at Loftus Road - even in more sane surroundings, Saturday s fare was hardly value for money. Defences dominated and, although Rangers pitched their tent firmly in the Coventry half during the closing stages,
By Ben Kosky
NEVER mind the extortionate prices at Loftus Road - even in more sane surroundings, Saturday's fare was hardly value for money.
Defences dominated and, although Rangers pitched their tent firmly in the Coventry half during the closing stages, they were unable to conjure up an answer to Elliott Ward's early penalty.
Clinton Morrison's ball into the area looked innocuous enough, but referee Dean Whitehouse ruled that Mikele Leigertwood had shoved Jay Tabb in the back as they jostled for possession and awarded a spot-kick.
"Radek [Cerny] almost pulled a fantastic save off, but it wasn't to be," observed QPR boss Iain Dowie. "That was the only time he was involved because we were so dominant."
Dowie's assessment of Cerny's role was fairly accurate, but he should be concerned by the fact that Sky Blues keeper Keiren Westwood had only one save to make too - and that came from Emmanuel Ledesma, who looked offside when he received Leigertwood's pass.
Otherwise, it was tentative stuff from Rangers, who offered little going forward and, for the home side, Ward headed into the side netting before his 14th-minute spot-kick, which Cerny reached but could not keep out, broke the deadlock.
Ledesma's effort, late in the first half, prompted an immediate Coventry counter-attack and this time Tabb's glancing header was saved by Cerny at the near post.
QPR were better after the break, with Kaspars Gorkss and Damion Stewart in command at the back and restricting their hosts to long-range efforts from Aron Gunnarsson and Isaac Osbourne that flew wide.
At the other end, Martin Rowlands' drive was charged down and Lee Cook almost hauled Rangers level as he accelerated in from the flank and fired a shot that spun off Ward to graze the side netting with Westwood beaten.
But the Rs were not helped by Dowie's refusal to change formation and, instead of adding the pace of Patrick Agyemang until much later, brought on the same player twice in Akos Buzsaky and Daniel Parejo.
The pair finally linked well in the final minute of normal time, with Buzsaky setting up Parejo, but the Spanish youngster failed to hit the target - underlining that Rangers have a surfeit of creative players but not enough reliable finishers.
"I can't have any complaints with the performance, especially in the second half. The lads gave me everything," Dowie added. "I thought we passed the ball really well and certainly deserved something for our efforts."
Again, Dowie was right - but only in that Coventry, who shrank into their shell in the second half, did not do enough to merit all three points themselves.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage (Parejo 56), STEWART*, Gorkss, Delaney; Leigertwood, Mahon; Ledesma (Buzsaky 53), Rowlands, Cook; Blackstock (Agyemang 77). Subs not used: Camp, F Hall.