Friendly match played at Harlington
Team: Lumley, Kakay, Hamalainen, Comley, Wise, Kpekawa, Shodipo, Donnellan, Grego-Cox, Manning, trialist.
The match was scheduled to kick-off at 12 o’clock and when I arrived at the training ground I was informed that although the game had been in doubt, the referee was inspecting the pitch but it should get underway soon.
The Sky Sports News entourage were congregated just inside the entrance sipping hot drinks, which had been brought out to them. We were relieved to hear that the match was definitely on and it eventually kicked-off just after half-past twelve.
Within 2 minutes, the R’s were 1-0 up after a goalmouth scramble following Ryan Manning’s shot, which was then converted by Reece Grego-Cox from close range.
Amongst some confusion, the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute after Harly Wise was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box. The spot-kick was fired wide of the post.
A yellow card was produced after our right-winger Olamide Shodipo was up-ended for at least the second time. Shodipo then had a shot deflected for a corner after a good move down the right-flank.
Sampdoria equalised after the ball was side-footed at an angle into the far corner. But Rangers were having the best of it and on 26 minutes they took the lead again after Osman Kakay took one-touch in the box after being set-up by Shodipo.
Olamide Shodipo was also involved in the R’s third goal after 39 minutes when his cross found Reece Grego-Cox who then tapped the ball into the net. Half-time: 3-1.
During the opening minute of the re-start, it was the visitors who shot just over the bar whist at the other end, QPR almost increased their lead following Brandon Comley’s corner. Cole Kpekawa’s header was cleared off the line after the ball had dangerously bobbled about.
Joe Lumley came charging out of his area and his bicycle kick spectacularly cleared the ball. Their No.7 was booked after a nudge on Brandon Comley.
Sampdoria pulled a goal back after poor distribution from Joe Lumley, uncharacteristic for him, but it allowed the ball to be belted straight back into the net from the edge of the box.
The visitors went close to another equaliser following a cross from the right. The Sampdoria player rose to powerfully head just over the bar. Then Joe Lumley was forced down to make a good save, which an R’s defender had to follow up to clear the ball to safety.
This was proving to be a good spell for the Italian sidea superb ball through the middle and their player hit it with the outside of his foot but Lumley was well placed to make the save.
Reece Grego-Cox had previously gone close with a header and his well-deserved third goal came after 78 minutes. A superb move set up by Comley and Shodipo resulted in a great cross from the left which our No.9 headed in to make the score 4-2.
Sampdoria were awarded a free kick from just outside the box, and the ball was then struck low through the QPR wall and past Lumley. The Rangers custodian was again called upon to deal with a through ball when he advanced well out of his domain. The ball landed at least 50 yards behind us.
Just after this clearance, the visitors almost scored a fourth when the ball hit the corner of the bar. Just before the end, Reece Grego-Cox was denied a fourth after his outstanding overhead kick was well saved by the Sampdoria keeper.
The trialist was replaced by Gianni Crichlow on the hour, then Addison Garnett came on for Harly Wise and 4 or so minutes later Ben Marlow was introduced at the expense of Leo Donnellan.
A superb hat-trick from Reece Grego Cox, could have been more. Have to say that Brandon Comley and Olamide Shodipo had superb games, but it was an all-round excellent team display.
I hope Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Bond etc were also impressed. Apparently Harry Redknapp and Les Ferdinand were inside somewhere.
No one really expected any transfer activity but the Sky Sports crew were still there as I departed.