Wolves 3 QPR 3
PUBLISHED: 10:59 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky SCORING three goals is almost a given for Rangers these days - unfortunately, clean sheets are still much harder to come by. On the plus side, the Rs showed much more backbone - after the setback of conceding late in the first half - than had
By Ben Kosky
SCORING three goals is almost a given for Rangers these days - unfortunately, clean sheets are still much harder to come by.
On the plus side, the Rs showed much more backbone - after the setback of conceding late in the first half - than had been the case against Burnley or Sheffield Wednesday.
Nevertheless, having gained the lead three times, it again proved beyond them to protect it - and that, admitted manager Luigi de Canio, is one reason why his side remain a long way from being promotion challengers.
"Obviously I am upset to concede such a crucial late goal, but I am more disappointed that we didn't finish the game off by half-time," said De Canio.
"It is something that we are missing from our game and something that great teams need to have. Clearly we are not a great team yet."
In all honesty, though, QPR would have been fortunate to be ahead either at half-time or full-time in what, despite the quasi-Arctic conditions, was an entertaining contest.
They were under the cosh in the opening quarter, struggling to cope with the energy of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who created two opportunities for strike partner Andy Keogh.
Both went begging and Damien Delaney's tackle foiled Seyi Olofinjana, so it was against the run of play when Rangers took the lead in the 28th minute.
Rowan Vine won possession on the left, brought the ball inside and fed it to Akos Buzsaky, who rifled a 25-yarder into the bottom corner to take his QPR tally into double figures.
Rangers then had to regroup when a neck injury ended Martin Rowlands' involvement and a defensive mix-up almost gifted Matt Jarvis the chance of an equaliser, but he could only find the side netting.
But Wolves deservedly levelled right on the interval as Keogh stole ahead of Michael Mancienne to head Michael Gray's centre across Lee Camp and into the far corner.
It came as a complete surprise to everyone inside Molineux when referee Clive Oliver offered Rangers a chance to reclaim the lead four minutes into the second half with a highly questionable ruling that Neill Collins had handled Buzsaky's cross.
Dexter Blackstock's form has been patchy, but he showed his mettle by taking responsibility for the spot-kick in Rowlands' absence and slotting it past Wayne Hennessey.
Camp, who had made two uncharacteristic fumbles earlier in the game, then produced two excellent saves to deny Ebanks-Blake - but the striker was handed a third opportunity by another dubious penalty decision from Oliver.
This time Jarvis, running away from goal, went tumbling outside the box after minimal contact with Mancienne - but it was enough for the referee and Ebanks-Blake drilled home the penalty.
Again Camp rescued Rangers with flying stops from Karl Henry and Jarvis - and Mikele Leigertwood took advantage to make it 3-2, pouncing on a half-cleared Gareth Ainsworth cross 11 minutes from time.
But the match official had the final word, ordering a staggering five minutes of injury time - and only seconds remained when Keogh netted his second after a hectic scramble in which Camp and Hall had both denied Ebanks-Blake.
Wolves celebrated Keogh's goal as if they had won promotion - and that could yet happen this season. Not for Rangers, though.
QPR: Camp; Mancienne, Hall, Connolly (Rehman 59), DELANEY*; Buzsaky (Ainsworth 74), Rowlands (Mahon 32), Leigertwood, Vine; Agyemang, Blackstock. Subs not used: Pickens, Balanta.