QPR Development Squad (2) – Fleetwood Town Development Squad (0)

U21 Professional Development League 2

Team: Salamon, Adomah, Shann, Drewe, Hawkins, Ogwuazor, Pedder, Murphy, Kelman, Dixon-Bonner, Bala

Sub Not Used: Cant

On an extremely hot afternoon at Loftus Road, Fleetwood came into this game on an unbeaten run, as did the R’s. 

After an indifferent start to the match, Jaden Ogwuazor appeared to get a knock to the head, which resulted in the R’s No.6 requiring some attention. 

Following a good run down the left-flank, Charlie Kelman got to the bye-line, where he squared the ball into the box, but a defender got to it first and cleared the danger. 

They didn’t always come-off, but it was good to see some of the R’s players attempting some intricate one-twos in the Fleetwood half. 

It was the visitors who had the next opportunity to take the lead following a long through-ball down the left-wing, which resulted in the unmarked Town player’s shot being deflected and going behind for a corner. 

Then, soon after, the young Cods had another goal scoringopportunity. After the ball had been chipped into the box, Tom Hoyle put his effort wide of the target. 

On 23 minutes, Albert Adomah’s cross found Steven Bala, but the R’s No.11 headed the ball over the crossbar. 

This was followed by Elijah Dixon-Bonner forcing a flying save from David Harrington after Aaron Drewe had crossed from the right. Half-time: 0-0.

Just minutes into the second-half and Steven Bala’s low strike was well-saved by David Harrington. 

I must mention some superb defending from Henry Hawkins. From a low cross and with an opponent in close proximity, he somehow wrapped his foot around the ball and then cleared it to safety. 

The Fleetwood custodian did well to palm away Albert Adomah’s half-volley from a widish position in the box. 

Around the hour-mark, Bryan Ifeanyi replaced Steven Bala.And later, this was followed by the introduction of Sam Sackey and Alfie Lloyd at the expense of Aaron Drewe and Charlie Kelman respectively. 

Then came the moment which changed the course of the match. Despite two Fleetwood players being initially offside, Matteo Salamon then made two amazing close-range saves from Theo Williams.

This had many R’s fans on their feet and shortly after Rangers took the lead. Alfie Lloyd was bundled over in the box and Rafferty Pedder’s spot-kick sent David Harrington the wrong way. 

Rafferty Pedder was taken off after the celebrations and in the 80th minute on came Kieran Petrie. Shortly after, Mr Wager booked the R’s substitute for kicking the ball away. 

Rangers doubled their lead in added time. Trialist, Bryan Ifeanyi, set-up Kieran Petrie, who continued his run from the left-side of the box, before picking his spot.

Paul Furlong’s side travel to Turf Moor on Friday.

Steve Russell