Ipswich Town 0 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 13:33 31 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky LUIGI de Canio looked like a man who knows the pressure is off as he pondered the late penalty appeal that could have cost his side a point. Ipswich were convinced they had earned at least a spot-kick when Matthew Connolly thwarted Velice Sum
By Ben Kosky
LUIGI de Canio looked like a man who knows the pressure is off as he pondered the late penalty appeal that could have cost his side a point.
Ipswich were convinced they had earned at least a spot-kick when Matthew Connolly thwarted Velice Sumulikoski's close-range effort five minutes from time, but referee Paul Armstrong disagreed.
Asked whether the decision was correct, De Canio admitted: "It's difficult to judge whether the ball actually crossed the line because it was in the air.
"As for the handball, possibly we were a bit lucky because the referee didn't see it. But I've been assured by Lee Camp that even if the referee had given a penalty, he would have saved it!"
The QPR manager's nonchalant response makes it clear that, with his side firmly anchored in mid-table, he can afford to enjoy the rest of the season and the positive markers that can underpin the following campaign.
This is exactly the sort of away performance Rangers must reproduce if they are to be serious challengers next season - one where they may be second best, but graft for a result.
The reshuffled Rs side did struggle to cope with Ipswich early on as they aimed balls into space for the livewire Danny Haynes to chase.
Haynes turned Fitz Hall twice and smacked an angled shot against the post, but was then denied by Lee Camp after an astonishing passage of play.
The QPR keeper beat away a Jason de Vos header and the visitors broke, with Rowan Vine teeing up Hogan Ephraim, but his finish flew wide - hitting Vine, who had taken a tumble over the line - and was ruled in play, allowing Haynes to counter-attack in turn and force another save from Camp.
Although Ephraim sent a curling free-kick just wide, it was Town who remained in control, with Alan Lee, then Alan Quinn - after Lee went down under the challenge of Michael Mancienne - both blazing chances off target.
But Ipswich's momentum started to stall in the second half and it was Rangers who looked more dangerous, bolstered by the introduction of Martin Rowlands.
Patrick Agyemang headed wide at the near post and then provided Rowlands with a return pass, but the skipper's finish lacked power to beat Stephen Bywater.
Of the two glovemen, it was still Camp who was kept busier, leaping to his left to push away Quinn's powerful free-kick and saving a snap shot from Town substitute Gary Roberts.
But Rangers were fortunate when a corner skimmed off Mancienne's head and onto the far post, only for the referee to rule that Connolly - a tidy performer in the unfamiliar role of left-back - had legitimately prevented the follow-up from crossing the line.
QPR: Camp; Mancienne, Hall, Stewart, CONNOLLY*; Ephraim (Balanta 90), Leigertwood (Rowlands 57), Mahon, Vine (Lee 65); Blackstock, Agyemang. Subs not used: Pickens, Barker.