Sunday Mirror

Ball hits stun­ner

- By NICK SZCZEPANIK at Lof­tus Road Sports · Soccer · Queens Park Rangers F.C. · Club Dallas · Albert Adomah · Queens · Gerry Francis · Dave Thomas · Todd Kane · Neil Harris

QPR

MARK WAR­BUR­TON paid trib­ute to the QPR greats who used to per­form in the red-and-white-halved throw­back kit that his side wore in this thrilling game.

But he in­sisted that it was his play­ers’ char­ac­ter rather than mem­o­ries of Don Mas­son or Gerry Fran­cis that had in­spired the win. And what a strike it was from Dom Ball (above), a goal as good as any scored by Stan Bowles or Dave Thomas.

Hoops boss War­bur­ton said: “There are two big pic­tures at the train­ing ground com­mem­o­rat­ing the great­est Rangers team, so all the names are up there. The play­ers are well aware of the im­por­tance of that team.

“But to­day they knew we had to come out and meet a very good team and we did that.”

QPR – no goals for four games – led at the break through Ilias Chair and Todd Kane.

Joe Ralls brought the Blue­birds level be­fore sub­sti­tute Ball set­tled it with a 25-yard in­jury-time stun­ner.

“It was a kick in the prover­bials but we got what we de­served over the 90 min­utes,” Cardiff boss Neil Har­ris said.

“The first half was the worst I’ve seen in my time in charge. I am here to win games of foot­ball and I ex­pect my play­ers to have the same men­tal­ity.”

QPR scored when Chair volleyed Al­bert Adomah’s cross into the net. Chair then crossed for Kane to score.

Cardiff hit back and four min­utes into the sec­ond half Ralls shot home from the spot then, five min­utes from time, he knocked in the re­bound af­ter Seny Dieng had saved his penalty.

But up stepped Ball with his stun­ner.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS: Dieng 6; Kane 7, Master­son 6, Bar­bet 6, Ha­malainen 6; Car­roll 7, G Cameron 7; Adomah 6 (Wil­lock 64, 6), Chair 7 (Ball 81), Osayi-Sa­muel 6; Dykes 6. Un­used subs: Kelly, Bonne, Kakay, Bet­tache, Kel­man. CARDIFF CITY: Smithies 7; Ba­cuna 6, Mor­ri­son 7, Nel­son 6, Ben­nett 6; Vaulks 6 (Hoi­lett 46, 6), Pack 7; Ojo 5, Ralls 7, Mur­phy 7 (Tom­lin 68); Moore 6.

Un­used subs: Phillips,Whyte, Bamba, Har­ris, Ba­gan.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Il­lias Chair. Made one, scored one, nearly got an­other – QPR’s main cre­ative force.

REF­EREE: Andy Woolmer7.

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