R's Leave it Late to Step on the Gaz...
QPR 2-2 Preston
Two goals in the last minute, rescued what was an unlikely point for Rangers in what was a stunning comeback, largely inspired by subsitute Gareth Ainsworth.
As the season draws to a close, it all seemed a bit subdued before kick off at Loftus Road, but that could well be for the fact that on Friday, many were walking around in t-shirts, only to have to get the coats out again for a bitterly cold and damp afternoon at football.
Onto the game and the in form Preston had the better of the first half. Rangers had Lee Camp to thank yet again on a couple of occasions before Neil Mellor gave the visitors the lead on 36 minutes. Rangers were seeing plenty of the ball, but were struggling to create anything of note with the absence of Buzsaky and broken leg victim, Rowan Vine (get well soon Rowan!!) being a major factor.
Preston looked to have made the game safe on 65 minutes when when Camp failed to gather Chris Sedgwick's low cross and Priskin bundled the ball home. Although still having plenty of the play, Rangers didn't look at all like recovering and some fans started to drift away as early as the 80th minute. But in the last minute, substitute Gareth Ainsworth smashed a looping volley into the roof of the net in what was deemed to be a mere consolation for the R's.
But as the board went up with 4 minutes remaining, Loftus Road roared Rangers forward and in the 3rd minute of injury time, that man again, Gareth Ainsworth, crossed from the right to find the head of the hard working Dexter Blackstock, who headed past Lonergan and Loftus Road simply went beserk!!!
QPR: Camp, Mahon (Ainsworth 67), Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim (Balanta 62), Hall, Leigertwood. Subs: Barker, Pickens, Lee.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Martin Rowlands
In summary, well you have to go back a couple of weeks and when a last minute equaliser for Wolves gave us the feel of a defeat, this one certainly gave you a feeling of victory. I think even the most optimistic of R's fan would have given up on this one as the clock hit 90 minutes. In saying this, a defeat would have been harsh on Rangers so all in all, the draw was just about right on the day. But it was pleasing to see the R's character to comeback against an as mentioned, in form Preston side and the spirit and heart of Gareth Ainsworth is a credit to himself and QPR!