QPR 2-0 Portsmouth, FA Cup Fourth Round Replay: report, ratings and verdict
Half Time: 0 - 0 Loftus Road ( Attendance: 13,115 (2,941) )
QPR’s front men delivered the goods as they beat Portsmouth 2-0 at Loftus Road to reach the Fifth Round for the first time since 1997.
A second-half spell of Hoops pressure eventually paid dividends as Nahki Wells bundled home a corner (70) before Matt Smith powered a header seven minutes later to seal the win.
In an edgy opening 45 minutes, Darnell Furlong’s flicked header onto the crossbar was the closest either side came to scoring.
After the interval Wells squandered an opportunity to break the deadlock on the hour mark before Luke Freeman’s set-piece deliveries proved decisive.
First a corner was met by a Joel Lynch header, eventually falling to Wells to rifle home before a free-kick expertly found the head of Smith.
The victory sets-up a home tie with Watford for a place in the quarter-finals as well as giving Steve McClaren’s side a first win in five.
Check out all the key talking points and reaction from London Football Scene below…
Joel Lynch’s willingness to battle in the air from Freeman’s corner, resulting in the R’s breaking the deadlock and gaining the confidence to go on and win the game.
Moan of the Match
Matt Smith fought tirelessly to win battles and flick-on headers, but the lack of runners left Rangers with no reward for his work.
The home side failed to have a single shot on target until the opener, emphasising Rangers inability to create clear-cut chances.
Man of the Match
Matt Smith – caused mayhem in the first half, was first to every long ball and rounded off his performance with a terrific header to seal the game.
Tweet of the Match
David Coote (Nottinghamshire) – Some questionable decisions regarding Smith’s grappling contest, but overall a reasonable performance.
Aside from the proud away following taking ownership of the School End, Loftus Road felt relatively subdued for a mid-week FA Cup clash.
In the end it was a terrific achievement to reach the next round but it was by no means as straightforward as it looked.
Lumley; Furlong, Hall, Lynch, Bidwell; Freeman, Scowen, Luongo, Osayi-Samuel (Eze, 70); Wells (Manning, 81), Smith (Hemed, 90)
Subs not used:
Ingram, Wzsolek, Kakay, Leistner
MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, May (Morris, 58), Close (Pitman, 73); Dennis (Evans, 59), Hawkins, Lowe
Subs not used:
Bass, Thompson, Haunstrup