QPR 1 Birmingham City 0
PUBLISHED: 11:26 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky SAMUEL Di Carmine bagged his first goal for the club to give 10-man Rangers their first victory under caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth. The Rs responded with the kind of grit and passion Ainsworth has always epitomised after Mikele Leigertwood
By Ben Kosky
SAMUEL Di Carmine bagged his first goal for the club to give 10-man Rangers their first victory under caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth.
The Rs responded with the kind of grit and passion Ainsworth has always epitomised after Mikele Leigertwood was shown the red card for a high lunge on Birmingham's Lee Carsley just before half-time.
"These boys were outstanding - the commitment they've showed for me was the reason we won this game," said Ainsworth.
"Everyone is pulling together and they've done fantastic - the ones who did play and the ones who didn't."
Cameron Jerome should have put Birmingham ahead in the fifth minute when he broke Rangers' offside trap, but Radek Cerny pushed the finish aside and beat away Kevin Phillips' angled effort soon afterwards.
Rangers began to generate some attacks of their own - Di Carmine and debutant Damiano Tommasi both had shots charged down, while Lee Cook's hopeful punt sailed wide.
But it wasn't until late in the first half that they tested Blues goalkeeper Maik Taylor, who palmed two Martin Rowlands efforts behind.
Dexter Blackstock then slid in to stab Lee Cook's cross inches wide as QPR ended the first period strongly - only to be hit by the blow of having Leigertwood red-carded in added time.
As so often, though, the remaining 10 men were galvanised by perceived injustice and they snatched the lead nine minutes after the restart when Emmanuel Ledesma set up Di Carmine to drill an unstoppable 25-yarder past Taylor.
Almost immediately, Gavin Mahon cleared off the line from Kevin Phillips, but QPR were in the ascendancy now and Taylor flung himself to his left to keep out a curling Ledesma free-kick.
Withdrawing their two frontmen, Rangers settled down to the task of protecting their lead and, although Jared Wilson got around the back to punt a cross-cum-shot just wide, Cerny was never seriously threatened.
QPR: Cerny; Leigertwood, Hall, STEWART*, Connolly; Ledesma, Rowlands, Tommasi, Cook (Mahon 45); Blackstock (Buzsaky 68), Di Carmine (Ephraim 74).
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