Team: Green, Onuoha, Hall, Hill, Konchesky, Henry (Faurlin), Tozser, Phillips, Luongo (Fer), Chery (Hoilett), Emmanuel-Thomas
Subs Not Used: Smithies, Perch, Doughty, Polter
Attendance: 15,567 (including 1,070 away fans)
Queen’s Park Rangers scored three times in the final 20 minutes to see off MK Dons and record just a second win in eight Championship games.
Having enjoyed the majority of possession and chances throughout, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas set Rangers on the way with a skilful run and shot. Matt Phillips cut inside to add a second with 13 minutes to play before Junior Hoilett hooked home late on. The Dons have now lost eight of their last ten league matches.
R’s boss Chris Ramsey said he understood the criticism of fans in the lead up to the game and his side responded with a largely dominant performance.
Paul Konchesky’s burst into the box brought the best chance of the first-half, although Kyle McFadzean got back to clear away the effort for the Dons.
Grant Hall’s header over from a Phillips delivery continued the rhythm, while at the other end keeper Rob Green remained sharp to stop Simon Church’s smart turn and shot.
But when it looked as though Rangers would again be frustrated, Emmanuel-Thomas tricked his way into the box before sliding the ball beyond keeper David Martin.
Church failed to meet a Josh Murphy cross and Dons were made to pay when Phillips smashed home after outfoxing Murphy, and Hoilett’s third ensured the score-line reflected the hosts’ superiority.
Queen’s Park Rangers manager Chris Ramsey: “We were on top for most of the game but didn’t take all our chances and when you play against a team that pass the ball like MK Dons you know there’s always a chance of them getting in behind you.”
“We stuck at it and we got another clean sheet, which is important for us because we know if we can do that we are capable of scoring goals. We’re still in the gelling process and that’s something people have to realise. But we will get it right.”
As I was selling some of my badges outside the ground before kick-off, it was pointed out to me that the stewards were looking on suspiciously as if it was a drug deal going down!
Earlier I had met an 84-year-old gentleman who travels up to Loftus Road from Yeovil on the coach. Well done to him and thanks to those that purchased badges from me.
It was a reasonable start for the R’s, but the game eventually went a bit flat towards half-time.
During the interval it was an absolute pleasure to see Andy Sinton greet some of our 70’s legends; Gordon Jago, the families of Dave Sexton and Micky Leach, Stan Bowles, Dave Thomas, John Hollins, Ian Gillard, Don Shanks, Ronnie Abbot, Sheila Marson and even Michael Wale.
Some of the fans turned on Chris Ramsey when he decided to take Massimo Luongo off after 57 minutes. However, we were to be treated to three goals in the final 20 minutes.
Thankfully Ramsey kept Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the pitch and what a superb goal he scored on 70 minutes after making two deft touches following Ned’s cross. Absolutely sublime!
The second goal came eight minutes later when a wonderful long, cross-field pass from Daniel Tozser was superbly brought down by Matty Phillips who cut in to fire wide of the keeper.
Junior Hoilett replaced Tjaronn Chery after 80 minutes and eight minutes later he got his name on the score sheet when he made no mistake from close range.
Fighting broke out amongst a section of the away fans in the Upper School End, which took stewards and the police sometime to sort out. Later it was confirmed that six arrests were made and one fan had to be taken to hospital.
Well done to the club for organising the tribute which also included some great clips from 75/76, plus recorded interviews with the likes of Gerry Francis and loads of music from the period (and I didn’t mind a 60’s classic from the Small Faces creeping in!)