R’s owe it to late Matt fin­ish

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Liam Cole­man

JIMMY Floyd Has­sel­baink in­sists he never lost the faith af­ter a late Matt Phillips header gave QPR all three points against pro­mo­tion-push­ing Ip­swich Town.

Debu­tant Nasser El Khay­ati was at the heart of the win­ning goal, af­ter some clever foot­work gave the former Bur­ton Al­bion man space to de­liver an inch-per­fect cross which an un­marked Phillips headed home at the back post with two min­utes to play.

The Trac­tor Boys were look­ing to carry on from a 2-1 mid­week vic­tory over Read­ing and were de­nied any­thing from the game by two last-gasp close-range saves from QPR stop­per Alex Smithies.

But de­spite mak­ing hard work of things, Has­sel­baink in­sists it is when you don’t cre­ate any chances that you should start wor­ry­ing.

He said:“When you see the first half and go in 0-0 at half-time then you are dis­ap­pointed, but it is about hav­ing the trust that we would be able to score a goal or get that chance.

“I think that we de­served to be two or three goals up but at the end of the day it’s not about what you de­serve, be­cause it is as sim­ple as hav­ing to put the ball in the net.

“We kept on be­liev­ing and plug­ging away, and it is very sat­is­fy­ing that it came in the last five min­utes be­cause that tells me that we have good char­ac­ter.”

Within 30 sec­onds of the kick­off Bar­tosz Bialkowski was forced into mak­ing a fan­tas­tic dou­ble save, first div­ing to pre­vent Phillips and then pro­duc­ing another su­per stop to pre­vent Mas­simo Luongo who had fol­lowed up the re­bound.

Af­ter 18 min­utes Phillips’ cross found Ju­nior Hoi­lett at the back post, and the Canada in­ter­na­tional tried to poke the ball past Bialkowski only for the Pol­ish stop­per to spread him­self well to keep the scores level.

Former Black­burn man Hoi­lett forced Bialkowski into ac­tion again af­ter 22 min­utes with the goal- keeper fist­ing away a long range ef­fort in blus­tery con­di­tions.

Three mil­lion pound man Conor Wash­ing­ton was mak­ing his first start for the Hoops and looked dan­ger­ous when he turned in the area on 70 min­utes, but fired his shot well over the bar.

Smithies pulled off a fan­tas­tic sin­gle-handed save in the 80th minute to pre­vent Fred­die Sears from putting the Trac­tor Boys ahead, af­ter Luke Cham­bers’ long throw had caused prob­lems in the box.

And with just two min­utes left on the clock the home side won it.

Sub­sti­tute El Khay­ati made space with some clever foot­work be­fore pro­vid­ing the per­fect cross for Phillips, whose div­ing header found the roof of the net.

The Trac­tor Boys were handed a last-ditch chance in sec­ond-half stop­page time with another long Cham­bers throw caus­ing prob­lems, and af­ter a goal­mouth scram­ble a Sears shot was blocked by Smithies with his feet.

And while he felt his side were un­lucky to lose late on, Ip­swich man­ager Mick McCarthy ad­mit­ted he was in­debted to his goal­keeper for his side to be in the game un­til the very end.

McCarthy said: “They were miles bet­ter than us in the first half, but our goal­keeper Bialkowski was in world-class form mak­ing save af­ter save.

“In the sec­ond half we were far bet­ter and looked more likely to win it in the last few min­utes and it’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing to lose, but to lose late on even more so.

“Sec­ond half we were much bet­ter and how we didn’t score I don’t know.

“It was a hor­ri­ble af­fair and the con­di­tions were aw­ful.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sport

HEAD­ING IN: Matt Phillips scores the win­ner for QPR

LINE-UPS

Smithies 6

Perch 7

On­uoha 7

Hall 7

Konch­esky 6

Luongo 6

Fau­rlin 7

Hoi­lett 9

Phillips 8

Wash­ing­ton 8

Polter 6

Var­ney 7

Pit­man 7

Fraser 7

Skuse 6

Sears 6

Bru 6

Knud­sen 6

Berra 7

Smith 6

Cham­bers 6

Bialkowski 8 SUB­STI­TUTES QPR: Toszer 59, 6 (Fau­rlin); Mackie 69,

6 (Hoi­lett); El Khay­ati 80, 7 (Wash­ing­ton).

Not used: In­gram, Ch­ery, An­gella, Pe­trasso IP­SWICH: Mur­phy 57, 7 (Var­ney); Coke 57, 6

(Skuse); Toure 90+4, N/A (Fraser).

Not used: Mait­land-Niles,

Henly, Digby, Fo­ley

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