QPR U23 (1) – Birmingham City U23 (4)

Team: Bowman, Drewe, Gubbins, Wells, Phillips, Carlyle, Tilt, Bettache, Walker, Mesias, Brooks.

Sub Not Used: White

The visitors launched the ball into the box after being awarded a free kick just inside the R’s half. This resulted in Myles Bowman finger-tipping Isaac Vassell’s powerful shot superbly away for a corner. Under pressure, he then did well to punch the ball behind.

A couple of minutes later, Birmingham broke away into the area where Olly McCoy’s effort forced the Rangers keeper down and turn the ball round the post.

The home side managed a shot directly into Connal Trueman’s gloves, but Birmingham were certainly having the best of the early stages.

However, it was QPR who opened the scoring on 14 minutes from a quick throw-in. Faysal Bettache cut across the box and blasted the ball into the top corner.

Blues then picked up their game again and another effort was well smothered by the R’s keeper. Then, a free header evaded the upright following a ball over from the right.

Myles Bowman was forced down to save after a penetrative through ball. The equaliser had been coming and it came minutes later from a free kick when Isaac Vassell flicked the ball in with the outside of his foot.

Vassell then headed just wide following a good cross from the bye-line. Then, Ryan Burke’s 25-yard free kick clipped the outside of the post.

At the other end, Faysal Bettache was set-up by Lewis Walker just outside the six-yard box, but somehow he screwed the ball wide of the target. Despite Birmingham’s dominance it remained all square at half-time.

The visitors took the lead soon after the re-start when Kyle Hurst’s cross from the left found Vassell in a penalty spot position and he hit the ball first time into the top corner.

Mr Staynings booked Ben Wells for tripping an opponent. Joe Gubbins had been cautioned earlier.

Myles Bowman made an excellent stop when he managed to get a strong hand to the ball. From the resulting corner O’Keeffe headed in at the near post.

Sixteen-year-old Dillon De Silva replaced Aaron Drewe on the hour mark.

Nathan Carlyle was harshly booked after an opponent had run into the R’s captain!

Paul Hall introduced Jake Frailing at the expense of Ben Wells on 65 minutes.

Myles Bowman successfully grabbed the ball after diving down to keep out an angled header.

Birmingham added a fourth goal eight minutes from time after Corey O’Keeffe had knocked the ball low, and diagonally, to Olly McCoy. The recipient then made no mistake, slotting the ball into the far corner.

Themis Kefalas came on for Chay Tilt in the closing stages.

Steve Russell

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