QPR 2 Doncaster Rovers 0
PUBLISHED: 11:18 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky WE RE no closer to solving the riddle of who should play in goal for QPR – mainly because Radek Cerny had nothing to do on Saturday. Cerny had only one shot to save – a fairly tame effort from Richie Wellens early in the second half – as Rang
By Ben Kosky
WE'RE no closer to solving the riddle of who should play in goal for QPR - mainly because Radek Cerny had nothing to do on Saturday.
Cerny had only one shot to save - a fairly tame effort from Richie Wellens early in the second half - as Rangers completely dominated and looked far more solid in defence than the side who crumbled so easily at Bramall Lane.
That was partly due to a faultless display from the recalled Damion Stewart, who held the Rs rearguard together after Fitz Hall limped off with two thirds of the game to play.
Manager Iain Dowie, who opted to rest Kaspars Gorkss after his midweek appearance for Latvia, said: "I felt it was right to change it around and Damion was terrific, then Matt Connolly came on and was great for us.
"We were first to everything - Doncaster pass the ball, but we nullified that and played sensibly. We played in their half and penetrated behind and that was very important.
"That little bit of quality was missing in the second half and it became a war of attrition, but what's pleasing is Radek didn't have a save to make."
And, whereas Rangers had made an appalling start against Sheffield United, this time the early goal went their way as Dexter Blackstock volleyed in Daniel Parejo's fifth-minute free-kick at the far post.
That injection of confidence enabled the Rs to keep pounding forward and Damien Delaney's effort was charged down before Parejo nipped in front of Matthew Mills to meet Peter Ramage's cross with a header that flew fractionally over.
But the home side doubled their advantage in the 28th minute as Mikele Leigertwood swept forward a quick free-kick and Emmanuel Ledesma brought it down superbly, holding off two defenders to stab the ball past Neil Sullivan.
The diving Sullivan then had to keep out Stewart's header and a Ledesma volley, while Parejo turned and chipped over as Rangers threatened to settle the contest before half-time.
It didn't really matter, though, and a soporific second period was punctuated by the odd spurt of excitement as Ledesma, Parejo or Lee Cook fashioned a promising move, but with no end product.
But QPR should really have boosted their goal difference as Delaney and substitute Angelo Balanta both thumped chances over when well-placed and Balanta latched onto Martin Rowlands' flick and scampered away, but the finish was charged down.
There was some incredulity around Loftus Road when referee Mick Thorpe added six extra minutes - but, despite Doncaster's attempts to pass the ball around neatly, they would probably have failed to score in another 60.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Hall (Connolly 29), STEWART*, Delaney; Ledesma, Mahon, Leigertwood, Cook (Balanta 72); Parejo (Rowlands 78); Blackstock. Subs not used: Camp, Di Carmine.