Sheffield Wednesday (1) – QPR (1) – R’s Produce Impressive Performance
Team: Smithies, Bidwell, Onuoha, Lynch, Perch, Scowen, Luongo, Freeman (Manning), Wszolek (Furlong), Mackie (LuaLua), Washington
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Baptiste, Borysiuk, Smith
Attendance: 25,537 (including 712 R’s fans)
Make no mistake this was an excellent performance by the R’s. We played good quality football and overall were the better side on the day.
We could and should have won the game. Sheffield Wednesday were frustrated and the Rangers intricate pass and move style upfront caused the home side problems which, perhaps on another day, would have produced more goals.
The first 20 minutes were somewhat cagey but nevertheless Rangers did look comfortable and when Jamie Mackie put us ahead on 23 minutes, QPR showed they meant business. Unfortunately the much-required second goal did not arrive and the ref blew the half-time whistle with just the 1-0 lead.
During the interval Rangers supporters were anticipating more of the same and expectations rose for a chance of victory but events did not quite turn out as desired.
Very early in the second-half against the run of play, Sheffield Wednesday pressed forward and a rare defensive error led to the hosts scoring an equaliser.
As James Bond might have put it: ‘shaken but not stirred!’ Although briefly deflated, the R’s did not become intimidated. They battled on and kept probing away and really should have made it 2-1 near the end when LuaLua missed an open goal.
Honestly from where I was sitting it looked easier to score than to miss, as somehow he shot wide from close range.
Yes we did have a couple of scary moments in the match when the scores were level pegging, but surely that’s to be expected in an away encounter with Sheffield Wednesday. Is it not?
A resounding 2-0 win against Reading and an extremely credible 1-1 draw at Hillsborough started me pondering as I left the stadium that perhaps we just might be able to compete with the top teams in this division after all.
Early days certainly but remember the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)
Sam Winnall’s equaliser earned Sheffield Wednesday their first point of the season after a draw with QPR.
QPR forward Jamie Mackie, who only found the net once in 2016-17, scored his first this campaign from a tough angle after being put in behind.
But Owls sub Winnall drilled home in his first match this term from Barry Bannan’s cross to pull the hosts level.
Late on, Kazenga LuaLua had a superb chance to give Rangers victory, but he fired wide when one-on-one.
LuaLua, who joined the R’s on loan from Brighton on Friday, was teed up by Conor Washington, but could not find the target as Ian Holloway’s men continued their unbeaten start to the season.
Things had been looking rosy for QPR when Mackie slotted past Keiren Westwood, and to make matters worse for Wednesday, Glenn Loovens was injured when he fell awkwardly trying to block the shot.
They also lost Sam Hutchinson to injury, but the double departure brought about the introduction of Winnall, who reportedly had a training ground bust-up with team mate Fernando Forestieri this week, leading to the Italian being left out of the squad for Saturday’s match.
Winnall, who only scored three goals last season after his move from Barnsley, fired home when Bannan’s cross fell to him, and Gary Hooper almost put the Owls ahead when Josh Scowen cleared his effort off the line.
Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal: “The first-half was divided. They scored one goal from their one chance and we had a few chances also.”
“The second-half was completely different. We started very well and this is our Sheffield Wednesday. We pressed Queen’s Park Rangers much more and moved the ball better.”
“We started to create problems, we achieved the first goal, we nearly achieved the second goal with two clear situations, but after 30 minutes we decreased a little.”
“This was where we needed extra energy from the bench, but we lost that opportunity.”
QPR manager Ian Holloway: “By the end of the game, the little spell they had just after half-time, where we could have wobbled…they caught us with a punch and they could have maybe had another couple, but we came through that and gave a good account of ourselves in the end.”
“Did we do enough to win? Possibly not, but that final ball on our breaks we had maybe ten opportunities to put someone through and only one of them ended up being a clear chance.”
“All I know is we’re improving, we’re learning and there were lots of bits I really liked. Obviously I’ll have to take one point instead of the three we wanted.”