Watford 3 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 12:45 24 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:24 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky A NEW chapter? On this evidence, it won t be long before the impetuous Flavio Briatore throws away yet another perfectly good book. Paulo Sousa s introduction to the shambles that used to be Queens Park Rangers FC coincided with the team s wo
By Ben Kosky
A NEW chapter? On this evidence, it won't be long before the impetuous Flavio Briatore throws away yet another perfectly good book.
Paulo Sousa's introduction to the shambles that used to be Queens Park Rangers FC coincided with the team's worst performance of the season, coming as it did against a managerless Watford side on a losing streak.
A glance at the directors' box would explain the reason for the obvious lack of confidence and morale in a Rangers side who, thanks to the chaos created by their meddling owner, literally do not know whether they are coming or going.
Poor Gavin Mahon, dropped in recent weeks, was restored to the starting line-up as captain against his former club - only to be substituted at half-time in favour of Briatore favourite Damiano Tommasi.
Frankly, even if Tomassi were still at his peak, he would have struggled to rescue the Rs after an abysmal first-half showing as they defended badly and mustered just one shot - a Hogan Ephraim volley - on target.
Damion Stewart in particular dropped well below the standards he has set this season and, despite their dreadful league form, it was Watford who posed the greater threat.
Jon Harley and Lee Williamson both brought saves from Radek Cerny before the Hornets snatched a 26th-minute lead from the spot, Tommy Smith converting when Mikele Leigertwood was penalised for a push on Harley.
Seven minutes late, it was 2-0 as Williamson's curling free-kick bounced off the post and Harley returned the ball to the QPR penalty area, where ex-Rs loanee Darren Ward had all the time he needed to slot past Cerny.
The pace of Patrick Agyemang did cause problems for the home side's ponderous defence, but strike partner Dexter Blackstock should have pulled a goal back when he bundled Ephraim's free-kick wide as Watford unsuccessfully played for offside.
A mix-up between Lloyd Doyley and goalkeeper Scott Loach almost let QPR back into it before half-time - but, whatever the flaws in the Hornets rearguard, they were much worse at the other end.
That was proved again on the stroke of the interval as Jobi McAnuff tore Stewart to shreds and cut the ball back for Williamson, whose far from unstoppable finish trickled through Cerny's grasp.
Rangers used all their substitutions within 15 minutes of the restart, none to any effect, and the remaining question was whether Watford could turn a convincing victory into a humiliating one.
Jay DeMerit's deflected volley was saved by Cerny and the wily Tommy Smith eased away from Fitz Hall before slamming a vicious drive inches over the bar.
It wasn't until two minutes from the end that Samuel Di Carmine turned and fired in a decent effort that actually made Loach dive to keep the ball out.
By then, Rangers' miserable afternoon had got worse, with Hall shown what looked a harsh straight red card for tripping Watford substitute Will Hoskins.
Defeat at Vicarage Road is hardly an unusual experience for Rs fans and they responded with gallows humour - including renditions of 'Pigbag' for any shot at goal - but the travelling support must surely realise now that their club's problems go right to the top.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Hall, Stewart, Delaney; Ledesma (Parejo 53), Mahon (Tommasi 45), Leigertwood, Ephraim; Blackstock (Di Carmine 60), AGYEMANG*. Subs not used: Cole, Gorkss.
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