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Match Report - Queens Park Rangers v Tottenham Hotspur - 28 Jul 2002


A lively, combative QPR side ended our 100 per cent pre-season record at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Glenn Hoddle shook up the side again after Saturday's win at Gillingham as only Steve Carr, getting back to his best, Steffen Iversen and Gary Doherty remained in the starting line-up.

Darren Anderton, Goran Bunjevcevic, Gus Poyet, Dean Richards and Mauricio Taricco - who all played at Gillingham - were rested while the likes of Steve Clemence, Les Ferdinand, Anthony Gardner, Kasey Keller, Ledley King, Teddy Sheringham, Tim Sherwood, Alton Thelwell and Christian Ziege have yet to feature in pre-season.

The opening period was a non-event until we carved out three chances.

Milenko Acimovic was at the heart of all three. After 17 minutes he managed to cleverly poke Gary Doherty's knock down from Neil Sullivan's clearance into the path of Steffen Iversen only for the Norwegian, under pressure, to fire wide from 20 yards.

The Slovenian then picked out a 50-yard crossfield pass to the ever-available Stephen Carr who left Danny Murphy for dead before standing up a cross that fell to Iversen, whose shot was blocked bravely by Steve Palmer.

A minute later and Acimovic almost opened his Spurs account. He was involved in an exchange of passes with Jamie Redknapp and Simon Davies before his curler was saved low by Fraser Digby.

The game then went through another quiet passage before QPR exloded into life.

They opened the scoring after 33 minutes when defender Clarke Carlisle won a towering header from a free-kick, Richard Langley nodded past Sullivan and Andy Thompson bundled the ball over the line.

Clarke was there again four minutes later, forcing Sullivan to tip over his looping header from Langley's corner but the same combination proved our undoing from the following corner. This time Langley drilled the ball in with more pace and Clarke powered home from eight yards.

Doherty had our last chance on the stroke of half-time but Digby was always in charge from a tight angle.

The same 11 came out for the second half as we tried to get back on terms.

We almost hit back in the 50th minute. Carr, looking stronger and strong by the game, dinked in a delightful pass to Acimovic who looked to have clipped the ball over Digby only for the home keeper to claw it off the line.

Ronnie Henry had an attempt scrambled off the line but it was soon 2-1. Doherty made a nuisance of himself from Sullivan's clearance and Matty Etherington cashed in on a defensive mix-up to slide home.

Unfortunately, it was soon a two-goal deficit again as Terrell Forbes crossed from the right and Matthew Rose nipped in at the near post to toe poke home.

The next half-hour was instantly forgetable as nine substitutions (seven from the home side) killed any flow in the game.

Henry stabbed home Oyvind Leonhardsen's cross with four minutes left and the youngster was deserving of his first 'first team' goal after a solid display after replacing cut victim Paul O'Donoghue after 11 minutes.

Line-ups: Spurs: Sullivan, Carr (Leonhardsen, 72), Thatcher, Redknapp (Jackson, 68), Perry, O'Donoghue (Henry, 11), Davies, Iversen, Doherty, Acimovic, Etherington.

QPR: Digby, Forbes, Murphy (Culkin, 84), Palmer (Shittu, back on, 68), Carlisle, Shittu (Daly, 58), Bircham (Bircham, 55), Rose, Langley (Doudou, 71), Gallen (Thomson, 29), Connolly (Duncan, 84).