Stoke City 0 QPR 1

Last updated : 20 January 2002 By Rob Stanway
From the opening minute, you could tell that both of the teams should not be in such a poor league as this. Stoke dominated the first 45, putting together wonderful passes and at the end of the first period, many thought a 2 or 3-0 win was on the cards.

Unfortunatly, The potters have been crippled by injurys. 4 of our best players were still injured, those being Thomas, Gunnarson, Handyside and Hoekstra.

The second half saw more chances arise but QPR ended on top and made their chances count near the end. There had been gaps in the defence all 2nd half but if you get to see the highlights you will see that there was a very big hole here allowing Peacock to play the ball forward and run onto the 1-2 to finish, totally unmarked.

Andy Cooke and Shtaniuk both missed good chances to put the potters ahead early on in the 2nd period.

Stoke are still short of this goalscorer. Dadason played well but Cooke can't finish, and Dadason is a provider. We need someone who is a natural goalscorer, as Ole (New Norwiegen Signing) has been said to be. He will begin to play once his fitness level gets upto the english game standard.

Shakey Performance
Another MOTM Display
Overall - Not too bad
Didn't look out of place at all
Did well but lost it at the end
Doesn't seem to put in effort anymore
Didn't do anything
Not as good as usual
Well played lad, impressive display
Just need abit of shooting practice!
Impressive, but tired at the end
Came on too late to have any effect

For a more general view of the game... Heres the Match Report
Stoke were left stunned as fellow promotion candidates QPR grabbed all three points with a late winner.

It was Stoke's first home defeat in the League since August and means they have now taken only seven points from their last six games as they have slipped from top spot in the Nationwide Division Two table.

But QPR boosted their own promotion hopes with a hard-fought win.

They have now been beaten only once in their last 10 games and their determination has seen them strengthen their position among the division's front runners.

Stoke dominated for long spells during the game but could not get the breakthrough as QPR defended doggedly.

Early in the game striker Andrew Cooke created an opening for fellow striker Rikhardur Dadason but keeper Fraser Digby saved well.

Stoke kept up the pressure and in the 19th minute midfielder James O'Connor got in a shot from 25 yards but again keeper Digby produced a good save to deny him.

Stoke had a great chance to go in front when a cross from David Rowson was headed down by Dadason but midfielder Jurgen Vanduerzen failed to connect from just 12 yards out.

But Rangers battled back and in the 34th minute Stoke keeper Neil Cutler had to save from Matthew Rose who fired in a 25-yard shot.

Just two minutes later Rose turned provider as he set up a chance for Richard Pacquette whose shot beat the keeper but flashed a fraction wide of the post.

Stoke almost got the breakthrough in the 37th minute when defender Mike Flynn got to a corner from Bjarni Gudjonsson only to see his header cleared off the line by Marcus Bignot.

Just three minutes later Gudjonsson set up a chance for Marc Goodfellow but keeper Digby charged off his line to save at the winger's feet.

QPR manager Ian Holloway changed the complexion of the game when he brought on substitute striker Andy Thomson early in the second half. The forward immediately unsettled the Stoke defence and gave Rangers an added impetus.

In the 68th minute Leroy Griffiths crossed and it was Thomson who climbed to meet the ball but he saw his header go just wide.

But he continued to be a thorn in Stoke's side and it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would cause an upset.

In the 78th minute Danny Murphy set up a chance for Thomson whose shot beat the keeper but bounced to safety off the post.

Three minutes later midfielder Gavin Peacock played the ball to Thomson on the edge of the area and ran on to take the return pass and slot the ball past keeper Neil Cutler