U21 Professional Development League 2
Team: Hall, Eales (Folkes), Lobjoit, Manning, Wise, Hamalainen, Crichlow, Akinola, N’Guessan, Corkery (Paul), Bowler
Subs Not Used: Hudnott, Barzey
The R’s starting line-up included 19-year-old Matthew Hall a trialist goalkeeper, who I presume had been released by West Brom?
QPR’s first real effort ended up just wide of the Birmingham goal following a good run and great ball to the far post.
The visitors then forced Matthew Hall into a flying save, which then went out for a corner. The subsequent ball in didn’t trouble him and was put wide.
From a pacey run by Gianni Crichlow, the Blues keeper was forced down to parry the ball and a ricochet/shot via Josh Bowler went just wide.
Birmingham were beginning to tighten their hold on the game and after 25 minutes they took the lead when Wes McDonald shot low into the corner of the net from 20 yards.
However, Rangers equalised on 36 minutes when Jake Eales cut in from the right, and looked initially like he was going to cross the ball from near the bye-line, but managed to squeeze it in at the far post.
The Blues almost scored a second following a run down the right. The cross almost teed up the Birmingham player, but Harly Wise was on hand to make a superb interception.
Two minutes before half-time the visitors restored their lead again in disappointing circumstances! With Matthew Hall situated close to the centre circle, Leon Lubjoit’s header managed to find its way past him and into the back of the net! Half-time: 1-2.
On an overcast Monday afternoon with intermittent rain, the second-half got off to a lively start. The visitors blazed the ball over the crossbar whilst Joseph N’Guessan unleashed his shot prematurely and went wide of the post.
The visitors’ dominance continued and not surprisingly they scored a third goal on 66 minutes when Alex Jones squared the ball to Charlie Cooper and he powered it in the net from 10 yards.
Josh Bowler was having a good game for the R’s and after 70 odd minutes he beat a couple of players, but his shot was directed straight at the Blues keeper.
It was 4-1 after 78 minutes when Reece Brown cut in and fired the ball into the corner of the net.
I had to have a go at the lino after Josh Bowler burst through into the box and was cynically shoved from behind in full flight. Nothing was given, neither official had an obscured view and both of them were closer to the incident than me!!!
Two changes were made on 62 minutes when Anthony Folkes replaced Jake Eales and Chris Paul was introduced at the expense of Nathan Corkery.