QPR (1) – Plymouth Argyle (1)

Team: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Connolly, Hall, Leigertwood, Faurlin, Ephraim, Mackie, Agyemang, Buzsaky.
Subs Used: Gorkss, Ramage, Derry, Parker, German, Helguson and a trialist, Franck Moussa.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Borrowdale.

Played on a Friday night and despite earlier rumours of proposed home games against Tottenham and/or Newcastle, this match was only played at Loftus Road because Plymouth were still re-laying a new pitch at Home Park. The admission charge was ¬£5.00 and the 2,844 crowd were situated in the South Africa Road Stand and the Paddocks which were split between home and away fans. There were a lot of frustrated R’s fans milling about outside just before kick-off amid rumours that the Club had run out of tickets !!! Bradley Orr had only just signed and I was pleased to see him make his debut as a proper right-back.

Paddy Kenny held on to Bhasera’s free kick, which he belted at him from a good 25 yards. Plymouth went close soon after when a header following a corner flashed past the post. The visitors took the lead when Connolly tripped McLean from behind as he was through on goal and the referee pointed to the spot. The R’s were knocking the ball around but there wasn’t really very much on the end of it. Buzsaky’s free kick into the box eventually found Jamie Mackie who didn’t get enough on it and the ball went out for a corner. Akos Buzsaky took the corner and after Faurlin’s initial effort, Agyemang put the ball wide from close range. It was certainly a competitive encounter and the tackles were going in but generally the game was lacking in goalmouth activity.

Martin soon noticed the arrival of two programme sellers at half-time and was immediately on his toes to purchase a couple of copies. Gorkss, Parker, Derry and Helguson were introduced for the 2nd half. Plymouth had certainly been moulded by Peter Reid into a well organised unit. Josh Parker has had a good pre-season and he livened things up with his attacking runs. Faurlin’s free-kick was saved by the Plymouth substitute keeper and then up the other end, the visitors went close after some confusion in the Rangers defence, but it was still Rangers who looked the most likely to score. Gorkss headed wide and after good work by Parker, Helguson was denied from close range by an Argyle defender.

Although, the visitors could of scored that important second goal when Fallon missed a good opportunity when he headed wide, Rangers got the equaliser they deserved when Mackie slipped round their defender and slotted home from close range. I thought at first that the ball was going just past the post but it found its way into the bottom corner around 8 minutes from time. Fitz Hall had limped off around 20 minutes from the end and a trialist, later revealed as Franck Moussa, came on for Hogan Ephraim.

The top pic shows the scene in the South Africa Road around five minutes before kick-off. Both images were taken by Martin Percival and used with his permission. .

Steve Russell