Team: Green, Onuoha, Dunne, Caulker, Hill (Suk-Young), Phillips, Barton, Sandro, Henry, Zamora (Fer), Austin
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Isla, Wright-Phillip, Kranjcar, Taarabt
That this goal-less draw was QPR’s best home result since New Year’s Day explains why they appear destined for a swift return to the Championship. The cruel twist is that victory could have been theirs but for a missed penalty by Charlie Austin, the man whose goals have hitherto stood between them and the drop.
Austin has 17 goals this season but the 18th eluded him when Adrian guessed correctly to block his 22nd-minute spot-kick. It was one of a string of fine saves by the West Ham goalkeeper that left QPR four points from safety with the matches running out. Austin, who was the first off the pitch at the final whistle, was “devastated” said Chris Ramsey.
QPR’s head coach added: “He has contributed to our season greatly – a lot of points we have accumulated are down to him.”
Adrian was beaten once, by Richard Dunne 16 minutes from time, but referee Mike Jones disallowed the goal, a decision which exasperated even the mild-mannered Ramsey. After a corner prompted a scramble Jones adjudged Steven Caulker to have fouled Adrian before Dunne headed in.
Ramsey said: “No way that was a foul. I understand now why managers get angry at referees. People’s livelihoods are at stake and you have decisions like that. If the keeper goes up for the ball what are we supposed to do? Let him catch it?”
Ramsey also made the point that QPR had relied too much on their forwards for goals and their midfielders did fail to take a series of chances beginning as early as the opening minute.
Matt Phillips drove deep into the Hammers’ half before feeding Sandro Raniere who, under no pressure from opponents, drilled a shot low inside the near post that Adrian saved with his boot.
Rangers were the more purposeful side, as they needed to be, but lacked penetration. This was so even when they were handed the chance to take the lead, after Bobby Zamora, seeking space to shoot, struck the up-raised arm of James Collins. Austin blasted the penalty at Adrian’s legs and Collins prevented Bobby Zamora following up.
Green tipped an Aaron Cresswell free kick onto the bar soon after the break but thereafter QPR pressed and West Ham counter-attacked. Both sides should have scored but Adrian denied Karl Henry and Phillips, Zamora and Leroy Fer shot over, and the Hammers struggled to deliver the final ball.
“It was a scrappy battle,” concluded Sam Allardyce, whose teams have been in a few.
Glenn Moore – The Independent
There were no Central Line trains running on Saturday, but my thanks go to Harry for offering me a lift from Northolt as I scanned the horizon for a replacement bus.
I spotted Clarke Carlisle outside the ground before the game and there was a minute’s silence for those fans that tragically lost their lives in the Bradford fire disaster thirty years ago.
Good to see Richard Dunne in the starting line-up, but four centre-backs included? I really think that either Isla or Suk-Young should have also started and what was Wright-Phillips doing on the bench?
Rob Green made an outstanding save in the first-half following a free kick and he later came charging out to make a stop and clearance from outside his area. Charlie Austin unfortunately missed that penalty in the 23rd minute after James Collins’s handball.
Leroy Fer was a welcome introduction after 67 minutes as would have been Adel Taarabt in the latter stages as Rangers went in search of a vital 3 points.
Richard Dunne’s ‘goal’ was very harshly ruled out by Mike Jones and later, Matt Phillips’s superb shot was well saved by Adrian.
The only result that went our way was Leicester’s win at Burnley.
MOM: Rob Green