QPR U23 (1) – Birmingham City U23 (3)

U23 Professional Development League

Team: Dieng, Rowe, Paul, Doughty, Arthur, Finney, Walker, Morrison, Wright, Eze, Chair

Sub Not Used: Hudnott

Apart from the likes of Ravel Morrison and Michael Doughty, the starting line-up also included a big No.9 trialist, Andre Wright.

In the opening minutes QPR had a big shout for a penalty when their defender appeared to knock the ball away with his arm but Mr. Kelly wasn’t interested!

Rangers took the lead after 11 minutes when Eze laid on a precise ball through to captain for the day, Ilias Chair, who then slotted the ball into the corner of the net.

The visitors equalized against the run of play with a spectacular strike from at least 25 yards, which took everyone by surprise including the R’s keeper, who remained unmoved.

Birmingham picked up their game and went looking for a second goal. A long, high ball forced Alex Finney to run back in an attempt to intercept and Dieng had to run out and head the ball away to safety.

A ball floated dangerously into the box was headed just wide of the far post and then Dieng was forced down to block a powerful shot from the impressive Wes McDonald. Half-time: 1-1.

Josh Bowler came on for the second-half, replacing Joshua Walker, and took his place on the right-wing.

The visitors went close with an effort that flashed just past the post.

I must mention Ravel Morrison’s two 40-odd yard passes, within 90 seconds, that he launched our perfectly to Josh Bowler. Wonderful!

Unfortunately Morrison was forced off after 66 minutes and Charlie Owens had to replace him. It was later ascertained that he had injured his back.

There was no real flow to our game, but the Blues went looking for a winner and on one occasion there were three unmarked players in our box and Dieng had to make a superb block.

That said, Josh Bowler went on a great run, twisting and turning his way through to the bye-line, where he set up Eze, but the keeper managed to save his attempt from close range.

Michael Doughty went off after 76 minutes and Paul Hall introduced Charlie Fox.

Birmingham scored two goals in the final five minutes. They took the lead after the home side gave the ball away in midfield, resulting in Jack Storer curling his shot beyond the reach of the R’s custodian and into the corner.

The third soon followed after Ronan Hale forced the ball into the net.

On a warm afternoon with just a light breeze, the Harlington Crew also included; Keith Davies, Roger Stokes, Greg and ChrisPTenner.

Steve Russell