QPR U18 (3) – Northampton Town U18 (1)

Team: Bulmer, Harriman, Sanderson, Bailey, Ehmer, Doughty, Sutherland, Perring, Cox, Molloy, Sterling
Subs Included: Andrade and Nanetti

Mild, no wind and the threatened downpour didn’t materialise thankfully. Niki-Lee Bulmer returned in goal from injury after 15 year-old Jack Middleton had made his debut the previous week in the 4-1 victory over Barnet. Sam Bewick and Danny Fernandez were amongst the injured and Max Ehmer filled in as a defender. The Saturday Morning Mob also included Rob Bennett, Roger Stokes and Pat and Tom Harrison.

Rangers were very strong down the flanks with Elliott Cox and 14 year-old Raheem Sterling knocking plenty of balls into the box. After 8 minutes, the Northampton defender slipped and Sterling put over a lovely cross from the left which found Javonne Molloy who timed his jump to head cleanly into the net. Despite Rangers early pressure it was the visitors who were coming more into the game and they went very close after 28 minutes when a flick went just past the far post. Michael Doughty was booked for a challenge on the edge of the box and the QPR defensive wall stood firm against the free kick. Northampton finished the half the stronger of the two sides having had the best of the last 20 minutes or so. Half-time: 1-0

The visitors were still looking dangerous but their equaliser was very unfortunate for Daniel Bailey. As he tried to clear a cross in from the right, the ball flicked the top of his head and past a stranded Bulmer. Max Ehmer was the next player to be booked but what really infuriates fans is the inconsistency of referees. Elliott Cox was blatantly tripped on the edge of the box and the culprit was not even spoken to never mind booked ! The R’s were coming back into the game and Sterling created our second goal with another one of his dangerous runs. Weaving his way through, he dropped his shoulder and put the ball in the box which Michael Doughty clinically disposed of with a neat header. Daniel Bailey was booked which even from our vantage point we could see that he clearly played the ball !

The referee finally booked one of the Northampton players for kicking the ball away. The visitors were still creating chances and after we had given the ball away, the resulting cross was headed well over the bar from close range. Bulmer made an excellent point-blank save with his legs. A second Northampton player was booked and with around 5 minutes to go, Raheem Sterling cut into the box and was seemingly pushed from behind and the referee pointed to the spot. Javonne Molloy stepped up and his well taken penalty was hit low and to the keeper’s right. Steve Gallen made no substitutions but there was still time for the referee to show Max Ehmer a second yellow 90 seconds from the final whistle after he consulted the linesman. Well done to Steve Gallen and the team.

Steve Russell