QPR v Posh Nationwide League Div 2 – 23 March 02
Opponents: Queens Park Rangers
Venue: Loftus Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London
Score: Queens Park Rangers 1 v Peterborough Utd 0
Referee: Howard Webb
A first half penalty from Queens Park Rangers leading goal scorer Andy Thomson sealed the Posh’s fate at Loftus Road after goalkeeper Mark Tyler bundled down the striker inside the box with a clumsy challenge.
Posh made a positive start and Helgi Danielsson saw a header cleared off the line by Marcus Bignot after Andy Edwards had nodded a 16th minute Dennis Pearce corner back across goal, before Tyler had to be alert to stop Doudou in his tracks at the other end moments later.
QPR began to pile the pressure and Matthew Rose was unlucky to see a powerful 20 yard volley fly just too high and wide of the target on 21 minutes, before Gavin Peacock had a header saved by Tyler.
Kevin Gallen had penalty appeals rejected by the referee after he claimed to have been bundled over moments later, and Tyler was called into action once again on 29 minutes as he palmed a stinging drive from Richard Langley away from goal.
Langley brought another fine stop from Tyler two minutes later when he saw a scorching strike tipped behind for a corner, but the highly rated Posh goalkeeper was left contemplating a moment of madness on 34 minutes.
Tyler collided with QPR striker Thomson, and the home side’s leading scorer picked himself up to slot the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.
Douudou picked up a misplaced Marc Joseph pass four minutes before the break but the nippy Frenchman fired his eventual effort into the back of team mate Gallen.
Barry Fry’s troops ventured in search of an equaliser with the half time whistle approaching, but Richard Forsyth could only send a half volley into the stand after Evans had punched Matthew Gill’s corner away.
Posh came so close to finding a leveller in first half stoppage time when Jimmy Bullard smacked a 30 yard pile driver against the post, but QPR escaped punishment and went in leading at the interval.
Doudou attempted to double QPR’s lead with a low shot on 50 minutes and although Tyler could only parry, Matthew Gill was on hand to sweep up the danger.
Francis Green looked to nip the ball round Evans a couple of minutes later but the young goalkeeper recovered well to divert the ball behind for a corner.
Pacy striker Green charged down an Evans clearance 11 minutes after half time but the ball bounced behind for a goal kick.
Dennis Pearce did extremely well to throw his body into the way of a Langley strike after Leroy Griffiths had crossed from the right on 64 minutes, and moments later Thomson trickled a low shot past the upright when well positioned in front of goal.
An in-swinging free kick from Langley eluded everyone but Tyler in the 71st minute as the Posh custodian thwarted the effort, and just seconds later the Posh should have been on level terms.
An intelligent pass from Forsyth allowed Bullard to roam down the right flank, and the11 goal midfielder picked out Green inside the area – but the former Ilkeston Town man lost all of his composure and somehow managed to miss.
Danielsson then drifted a low shot from 25 yards marginally wide of the post as Posh maintained their momentum, before Rose smashed an ambitious 82nd minute blockbuster over the crossbar for QPR.
The same player produced a similar effort three minutes later following a neat exchange of passes with Gallen, and again Tyler was relieved to see the ball soar over his goal as the home side hung on for the win.
Posh: Mark Tyler, Matthew Gill, Andy Edwards, Marc Joseph, Dennis Pearce, Helgi Danielsson Jimmy Bullard, Richard Forsyth, David Oldfield (sun Daniel French), Francis Green and Leon McKenzie (sub Neale Fenn).
Unused subs: Gary MacDonald, Howard Forinton and Dan Connor.
QPR: Rhys Evans, Terrell Forbes, Steve Palmer, Danny Shittu, Marcus Bignot, Doudou (sub Leroy Griffiths), Matthew Rose, Gavin Peacock, Richard Langley, Kevin Gallen and Andy Thomson (sub Dennis Oli).
Unused subs: Danny Murphy, Wes Daly and Nikki Bull.
Goal scorer: Andy Thomson 34 mins.
Booking: Richard Langley – QPR.