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Blackstock's wonder goal seals crucial PNE victory - History
Thursday, 18th Apr 2024 07:19 by Clive Whittingham

QPR desperately need a win at home to Preston on Saturday to allay mounting relegation fears, and Rangers have certainly been here before against this opposition.

Memorable Match

QPR 1 Preston 0, Tuesday April 3, 2007, Championship

QPR were firmly ensconced in a relegation battle at the bottom of the Championship when high-flying Preston visited Loftus Road for a game in hand in April 2007.

John Gregory’s arrival as manager, replacing Gary Waddock in mid-September, had initially threatened a turn-around as quick-fire wins at Southampton, Luton and Cardiff along with home successes against Hull and Palace were recorded. But a long, hard winter which included a 5-0 televised defeat at Southend left the future looking bleak.

Gregory added Inigo Idiakez to his midfield on loan, and was unlucky to see a late equaliser rob Rangers of a deserved win at Derby after Martin Rowlands’ first half opener. They went one better at Leicester that weekend, winning 3-1 with Idiakez starring and Marc Nygaard scoring a sensational long-range volley. But Paul Furlong’s penalty miss proved crucial in a 2-1 home loss to West Brom. It set the Preston game up horribly — QPR needed to win to stand a chance of finishing above the likes of Leeds, Hull, Luton and Southend at the bottom of the table.

Idiakez was injured. He was replaced in midfield by Steve Lomas alongside Adam Bolder between Lee Cook and Gareth Ainsworth. Up front Furlong paid for his profligacy against the Baggies with his starting place - Blackstock partnered Nygaard. The same back four of Michael Mancienne, Danny Cullip, Damion Stewart and Marcus Bignot started in front of Lee Camp but within seconds of the kick off they failed in their key job of the night - staying tight to David Nugent. Preston partnered him with Michael Ricketts and also welcomed one-time QPR target Matt Hill back into the side at full back. It was the former Bristol City man who supplied Nugent, a cross from the left found England's latest international in acres of space in front of goal but his side footed half volley finish went two yards past the post.

QPR didn't respond to this. They started the game very sluggishly with Damion Stewart having a complete nightmare at centre half. He punctuated the first 20 minutes with numerous wild clearances, poorly placed passes and terrifying mistakes in his own area culminating in a back header to Camp which he had two attempts at and still nearly presented to Nugent - thankfully after that one he calmed down and was magnificent in the second half.

Going forward Rangers struggled to trouble Preston at all early on. Cook cut inside Graham Alexander and looked threatening after eight minutes before being crudely blocked off by Sean St Ledger - the former Peterborough man picked up the first booking of the game for it which seemed a little harsh. Cook picked himself up to deliver an excellent cross to the back post but Nygaard was slow to react and Ricketts got the ball behind for a corner. A little later Cook received treatment on the knee injury that had looked set to keep him out of the game altogether, he played on but clearly wasn't happy, had little effect on the game and was withdrawn at half time. Another blow.

Once Rangers settled their game plan was clear - direct football up to the front two or wide midfield players as quickly as possible. A little heading exhibition on the edge of the box from Nygaard gave Blackstock a chance to hook a shot towards goal but Lonergan covered it as the ball flew over. Blackstock and Ainsworth both sent weak headers wide of the target while at the other end Nugent robbed an unusually static Mancienne of possession and crossed for Hill to head goalwards but Camp made a fine one handed save to deny him. Simon Whaley was next to try his luck on the half hour, cutting in and firing in a low shot but Camp was again equal to it.

When awarded their first corner of the game Preston worked it out to Songo'o on the edge of the box but Bolder raced out to get a block on his shot. The visitors, and the ever mouthy Alexander in particular, appealed for handball but the referee waved them away. They'd have an even more crucial handball decision go against them later in the game as well.

As the half wore on Gareth Ainsworth came into the game more and more, as he had done against West Brom, and started to cause his former club some real problems. In the final ten minutes two gilt edge chances went begging and he was at the heart of both of them. First he smashed in one of his trademark ambitious volleys from the corner of the penalty area after a poor clearance from Chilvers. An earlier effort had bounced meekly through to Lonergan but this one bounced viciously in front of goal and looked destined to go very close to the bottom corner. From nowhere Marc Nygaard appeared, onside, and sliding in on the ball. He got a boot to it at full stretch but somehow diverted the chance high into the Loft when the pace of the ball surely meant that any kind of touch couldn't help but divert it into the goal. It may even have gone in of its own accord.

It was one of those chances that brings and anguished cry of disbelief which is usually followed by a load of groaning and abuse for the player until he is substituted, especially when it's Nygaard. Luckily a combination of the fans being in a forgiving mood and Nygaard working himself to a standstill throughout the game prevented that happening here. Despite the missed chance this was one of the Dane's better games in a QPR shirt.

More cries of disbelief followed soon after though as Ainsworth burst into the area and rampaged towards goal. He seemed certain to shoot, and probably score, but he'd already made his mind up to pull the ball back. Blackstock hadn't read his intentions though and the ball found only acres of open grass around the penalty spot as the chance went begging.

Half time came and went with the faithful wondering if they'd live to regret missing two of the game's best three chances. That feeling only grew as the teams emerged for the second half. Arguably the two best players Rangers have failed to reappear after the break. Michael Mancienne took a nasty boot to the face as time ticked down in the first half and he was replaced at right back by Pat Kanyuka. Lee Cook also got a knock in the first half, and looked well out of sorts for the second game running, Rohan Ricketts came on for him as QPR restarted kicking towards the School End for the second half for a change.

There was a nervousness around the ground as the game recommenced. Two missed chances and now two injuries, a QPR win was looking more and more unlikely, but then Dexter Blackstock blew the doubts away with the opening goal. Nygaard retrieved possession just inside his own half and floated a glorious 40-yard ball straight onto Blackstock's chest. Dexter brought the ball down with a killer touch, completely taking St Ledger out of the game, and then hammered an unstoppable shot past Lonergan and into the roof of the net. Loftus Road erupted and for the second time in as many games Blackstock was booked for over celebrating by referee Keith Stroud.

Preston almost came up with an immediate response. Michael Ricketts turned Cullip on the edge of the penalty area and was hauled to the ground. Ricketts leapt to his feet screaming and waving his arms around demanding Cullip be sent off. Alexander was, as he had been for the entire first half, right next to the referee having a whinge and all this gamesmanship was too much for Steve Lomas who steamed in with some choice words and was booked for his troubles. Only Pat Kanyuka covering in round the back saved Cullip a red card. When Ricketts had finally collected all his toys he stepped up to take the free kick himself, curling the ball round the wall and past the post with Camp beaten and twelve thousand QPR fans holding their breathe and/or soiling themselves.

Preston added Patrick Agyemang to their attack on the hour and started to pepper the QPR penalty area with high balls but Cullip and Stewart stood firm. In front of them Lomas seemed to have been fired up by his booking and was charging around with Bolder winning challenges left right and centre. Both strikers were also working their socks off and with Ainsworth outstanding wide on the right again and Ricketts showing some decent touches wide left this was a wholehearted, committed display. Nygaard attempted a repeat of his Leicester wonder goal with 20 minutes left, cutting round the back of a pass from Blackstock and firing a yard over the bar. If he'd been striding onto the ball instead of trying to wrap his foot round it this could have gone very close to the goal his performance deserved. Both Blackstock and Nygaard put in a fantastic level of work, won an incredible amount of ball in the air and never stopped running.

At the Loft End Ricketts and Alexander had good reason for a moan, not that a lack of reason had stopped them to this point, as time ticked away and Stroud missed a blatant penalty decision. Wilson, on for Matt Hill, won the ball at the back post under challenge from Blackstock who had his arms up above his head and inadvertently killed the ball stone dead with his elbow. It was a blatant penalty, but with Stroud unsighted he was relying on his linesman who kept his flag firmly down by his side. Perhaps he just couldn't be doing with the hassle of giving such a crucial decision on that side of the ground. The fans in and around the P, Q and R blocks were magnificent in the second half, getting increasingly louder and more vociferous in their support as the half went on. By the end of the night it was hard to recall an atmosphere like it since the Oldham play off semi-final. I wouldn't like to have given a penalty against them and then stand in that corner for another twenty minutes.

QPR were on the end of some rough decisions as well, Steve Lomas was absolutely cleaned out by a nasty forearm smash from Alexander who was barely even spoken to by the referee. Within 30 seconds Adam Bolder had been booked for a sneaky push and kicking the ball away. Blackstock also looked to have a good penalty claim after beating Lonergan to a loose ball and collapsing but the free kick went against him.

Lee Camp claimed two corners from Pugh magnificently under his cross bar with crowds of men seemingly twice his size vying for the ball and then, with the fourth official preparing to signal five minutes of added time, his wonder save to keep the scores level - denying Dichio down in the bottom corner.

Gregory introduced Jimmy Smith for Rohan Ricketts, the loaned Wolves man picked up a knock earlier in the half, and when Chris Sedgwick's last gasp free kick was cleared from the penalty area Smith found himself with the freedom of Loftus Road and a raucous home crowd roaring him on. He carried the ball down the line, looked up and squared a glorious ball across the face of the area. Despite working tirelessly for more than 90 minutes to this point Dexter Blackstock ran fully 90 yards from his own area to get on the end of the cross but Lonergan brilliantly saved down low to his right to prevent a second goal. The roof might well have come off had that one gone in.

The final whistle was met with celebrations worthy of a much bigger occasion than this, but the hard work required to cling to the point and terrifying last half hour provoked an outpouring of relief when Mr Stroud finally brought the game to a close just the right side of 22.00.

As Gregory said afterwards, this wasn't pretty. The success was built almost exclusively on hard work and graft. Two physical teams leathering the crap out of each other in a bruising battle. For that reason QPR couldn't have won without the spine of the side. Apart from Damion Stewart in the first twenty minutes the two centre halves, central midfielders and centre forwards all had fantastic games. The work ethic and never say die attitude was led by Gareth Ainsworth who was magnificent for the second game in a row.

The confidence and momentum helped Rangers win 1-0 at Coventry that weekend, and 3-2 at home to Luton over the Easter weekend to survive with something to spare.

QPR: Camp 8, Bignot 7, Cullip 8, Stewart 7, Mancienne 6 (Kanyuka 46, 6), Ainsworth 8 Bolder 8, Lomas 7, Cook 5 (Ricketts 46, 6) (Smith 82, -) , Nygaard 7, Blackstock 8

Subs not used: Cole, Furlong

Goals: Blackstock 49 (assisted Nygaard)

Bookings: Blackstock 50 (over celebrating), Cullip 54 (foul), Lomas 54 (dissent) Bolder 73 (foul/kicking the ball away)

Preston North End: Lonergan 7, Alexander 6, Pugh 6, St Ledger 7, Chilvers 7, Sedgwick 6, Whaley 7 (Dichio 75, 7), Hill 7 (Wilson 77, 7), Songo'o 7 (Agyemang 61, 7) Ricketts 7, Nugent 6

Subs not used: Henderson, Nowland.

Bookings: St Ledger 8 (foul)

Attendance: 11, 910

Classic encounters

LFW regular and AKUTR’s columnist Dave Barton has set up a QPR Memories YouTube channel, with a mixture of clips, classic games, and old highlights packages. His three recent meetings with Preston are embedded below, give him a subscribe on YouTube or follow @QPR_Memories on Twitter.

Recent Meetings:

Preston 0 QPR 2, Friday December 1, 2023, Championship

QPR made it two wins in a week after two in the previous six months on a frozen Friday night at Deepdale. On a pitch that almost certainly would have been judged unplayable had Sky Sports not been in town, an uneventful first half no doubt thrilled the viewers at home. The surprise decision to leave Ilias Chair out of the starting 11 paid dividends, with Chair introduced after half time with a point to prove. He pulled all the strings coming in off the left and supplied two goals – first for Paul Smyth, bundling in from close range, and then right at the death for Chris Willock closing in at the back post on a low cross.

PNE: Woodman 6; Ramsay 3 (Stewart 87, -), Storey 5, Lindsay 5, Hughes 4; Whiteman 6 (McCann 73, 5), Browne 5; Holmes 3, Keane 4 (Millar 46, 5), Frokjaer 5 (Woodburn 73, 4); Evans 4

Subs not used: Cunningham, Brady, Ledson, Cornell, Best

Bookings: Woodburn 90+3 (foul)

QPR: Begovic 6; Cannon 6 (Kakay 65, 6), Dunne 6, Clarke-Salter 7, Paal 7; Colback 5 (Chair 46, 8), Field 6, Dozzell 7 (Larkeche 79, 7); Willock 7 (Kelman 90+2, -), Dykes 7, Smyth 7 (Dixon-Bonner 65, 7)

Subs not used: Cook, Archer, Duke-McKenna, Drewe

Goals: Smyth 55 (assisted Chair), Willock 87 (assisted Chair)

Bookings: Dykes 22 (foul)

QPR 0 Preston 2, Friday April 7, 2023, Championship

Things turned toxic at Loftus Road as QPR’s unprecedented 22/23 tank from top to bottom of the Championship started to really feel like it could end in relegation for the first time on Good Friday. Ilias Chair’s horrible miss when through on goal in the first half set up a second in which a variety of defensive calamities, often involving the returning Leon Balogun, set Everton loanee Tommy Cannon away for an embarrassingly easy double. In fairness, Troy Parrott should really have scored in the first half when Balogun put him clean through by falling over the ball in the centre circle. Balogun had summoned a group of critics from the support base to the training ground to explain his actions after the defeat at Wigan the week before and deny their assertions that he was just marking time before going back to Rangers with Mick Beale. Oh how we laughed.

QPR: Dieng 5; Laird 3 (Adomah 67, 3), Dickie 3, Balogun 2, Dunne 2, Paal 3 (Lowe 67, 3); Johansen 2 (Amos 74, 3), Field 3; Chair 3, Willock 3, Dykes 4 (Martin 80, -)

Subs not used: Archer, Dozzell, somebody called Richards it says here

PNE: Woodman N/A, Storey 6, Lindsay 6, Hughes 6; Potts 6, Browne 7 (Onomah 45+2, 7), Johnson 7 (Ledson 88, -), Whiteman 8, Brady 7 (Fernandez 80, -); Cannon 8, Parrott 6 (Woodburn 80, -)

Subs not used: Diaby, Cornell, Slater

Goals: Cannon 59 (assisted Brady), 63 (assisted Onomah)

Preston 0 QPR 1, Saturday December 17, 2022, Championship

QPR won for the first, and as it would turn out only, time in the Neil Critchley era at Deepdale in December 2022. Rangers were oddly impressive in the first half, with three midfielders pressing high and hard behind lone striker Lyndon Dykes, and the stand out player on the day Tim Iroegbunam went closest to scoring with a long range shot off the inside of the post. He, Andre Dozzell, Sam Field and Dykes all could/should have scored in a very positive first half. That pressure paid off when Jimmy Dunne headed the game’s only goal from a second half corner, and although the hosts fought back hard and forced, going close on several occasions and drawing a brilliant late save from Seny Dieng, the R’s held on for what felt like a direction-changing victory.

PNE: Woodman 6; Storey 5, Lindsay 5, Cunningham 5 (O’Neill 86, -); Potts 4 (Diaby 90, -), Whiteman 6, Ledson 5 (Cross-Adair 68, 5), Fernandez 7; Johnson 6, Woodburn 5, Evans 6

Subs not used: Bauer, Cornell University, Slater, Mawene

Bookings: Lindsay 74 (handball)

QPR: Dieng 7; Laird 7, Dunne 7, Clarke-Salter 7, Paal 7; Dozzell 6 (Dickie 90+2, -), Field 7, Iroegbunam 7; Adomah 7, Dykes 7, Willock 6 (Shodipo 78, 6)

Subs not used: Kakay, Thomas, Archer, Richards, Armstrong

Goals: Dunne 58 (assisted Paal)

Bookings: Dozzell 2 (foul), Dykes 27 (repetitive fouling), Dieng 77 (time wasting)

Preston 2 QPR 1, Saturday April 9, 2022, Championship

QPR’s 2021/22 collapse continued in early April at Preston despite an improved performance. The R’s lost their fourth senior goalkeeper in as many months when Keiren Westwood pulled out in the warmup using young Murphy Mahoney facing a first team debut with no notice. He did himself proud, but unfortunately Daniel Iversen was in flying form at the other end to keep QPR’s efforts at bay. The R’s then conceded immediately before and after half time with defensively limp efforts allowing the home front pairing Riis and Archer to net game killing goals. Andre Gray pulled back a consolation in stoppage time from the penalty spot.

PNE: Iversen 8; McCann 6, van den Berg 7, Bauer 6, Hughes 6, Cunningham 6 (Murphy 70, 6); Whiteman 7, Browne 6, Johnson 6; Archer 7 (O’Neill 90, -), Riis 6 (Maguire 45+1, 6)

Subs not used: Rafferty, Ripley, Sinclair, Diaby

Goals: Riis 42 (assisted Hughes), Archer 50 (assisted Johnson)

QPR: Mahoney 7; Odubajo 6, Dunne 5, Sanderson 6, McCallum 5; Field 6, Dozzell 5, Amos 5 (Thomas 57, 5), Johansen 5; Chair 6 (Gray 69, 5), Dykes 5 (Austin 68, 5)

Subs not used: Kakay, Ball, Adomah

Goals: Gray 90+3 (penalty, won Field)

Bookings: Field 85 (foul)

QPR 3 Preston 2, Saturday October 2, 2021, Championship

Preston’s annual attempt to shithouse a result out of Queens Park Rangers came unstuck at Loftus Road in early October, 2021. Rangers cleared the first hurdle by taking the lead in the game when Seny Dieng’s quick release set Ilias Chair away for an 80-yard dash that finished with Lyndon Dykes poking home an opener. They then, however, committed the cardinal sin of falling behind to North End with Riis making the most of some shambolic defending to equalise before half time and Earl making it 2-1 within seconds of the restart. And so began the usual farcical theatrics and referee baiting from Maguire and co to try and see the game out. Lyndon Dykes had an equaliser of his own harshly disallowed for offside before Jimmy Dunne bundled in a leveller from an Ilias Chair free kick. With the visitors reeling and appealing for all sorts of nonsense, referee Jeremy Simpson allowed Dykes to hassle Cunningham running back towards his own goal and although Charlie Austin’s shot was blocked Chair followed up with a memorable winner.

QPR: Dieng 5; Odubajo 5, Dickie 7, Dunne 7, Barbet 6, Willock 6 (De Wijs 80, 6); Ball 6, Johansen 6 (Amos 69, 7), Chair 8; Dykes 8, Gray 5 (Austin 69, 7)

Subs not used: Kakay, Archer, Dozzell, Adomah

Goals: Dykes 17 (assisted Gray), Dunne 71 (assisted Chair), Chair 74 (assisted Dykes)

Bookings: Amos 90+5 (foul)

PNE: Iversen 6; van den Berg 6, Storey 6, Bauer 6 (Lindsay 45, 4), Cunningham 5, Earl 7; McCann 5 (Browne 25, 6), Ledson 7, Johnson 7; Riis 6, Maguire 7 (Potts 73, 4)

Subs not used: Rudd, Whiteman, Sinclair, Murphy

Goals: Riis 27 (assisted Maguire), Earl 46 (assisted Maguire)

Preston 0 QPR 0, Wednesday February 24, 2021, Championship

Anthony Gordon’s twentieth birthday.

PNE: Iversen 7; van den Berg 7, Storey 6, Hughes 6, Cunningham 0; Browne 6, Whiteman 7; Sinclair 5, Potts 6 (Johnson 87, -), Gordon 20 (Barkhuizen 80, -); Evans 6 (Jakobsen 87, -)

Subs not used: Bayliss, Rafferty, Molumby, Huntington, Ripley, Rodwell-Grant

QPR: Dieng 7; Dickie 6, Cameron 6, Barbet 6; Kane 5, Ball 7, Johansen 6 (Field 78, 6), Chair 6, Wallace 6; Dykes 5 (Willock 67, 6), Austin 6 (Bonne 78, 6)

Subs not used: Lumley, Kakay, Hämäläinen, Kelman, Adomah

Bookings: Johansen 70 (foul), Dickie 72 (foul)

QPR 0 Preston 2, Wednesday October 21, 2020, Championship

Rangers were soundly beaten by Preston in the first meeting between the sides at Loftus Road back in October, 2020 - one of the R’s worst performances of the season so far. Both goals were penalties, both conceded by Lee Wallace, the first for a trip on Scott Sinclair coolly converted by Daniel Johnson, the second for a clumsy foul on Jakobsen which Sinclair took the responsibility for himself.

QPR: Dieng 6; Kakay 5, Dickie 5, Barbet 4, Wallace 3; Cameron 4, Ball 4 (Adomah 57, 6); Osayi-Samuel 5, Chair 5 (Willock 71, 6), Carroll 5; Bonne 5

Subs not used: Kane, Masterson, Hamalainen, Bettache, Kelly

PNE: Rudd 6; Rafferty 6, Bauer 7, Storey 7, Hughes 7; Browne 7, Ledson 8; Sinclair 7 (Stockley 90+1, -), Johnson 8 (Barkhuizen 73, 6), Potts 7; Jakobsen 8 (Maguire 84, -)

Subs not used: Harrup, Gallagher, Huntington, Ripley

Goals: Johnson 24 (penalty, won Sinclair), Sinclair 60 (penalty, won Jakobsen)

Bookings: Ledson 15 (foul)

Preston 1 QPR 3, Saturday March 7, 2020, Championship

QPR won the final match played before the Covid-19 lockdown on a traditionally unhappy hunting ground at Deepdale. A poor first half performance saw them go in one behind at the break thanks to Marc Pugh’s lazy tackle on Darnell Fisher which wrought a nineteenth minute penalty converted by Daniel Johnson. The second half was a different story however, quickly levelled up by Grant Hall with his final act for the club and then won with spectacular goals by Ryan Manning and Ebere Eze despite Geoff Cameron being sent off with the score still at 1-1.

PNE: Rudd 6; Fisher 5, Davies 6, Bauer 6, Hughes 5; Gallagher 5 (Stockley 73, 5), Harrop 5 (Ledson 81, -), Johnson 5, Barkhuizen 5 (Sinclair 81, -); Maguire 7.

Subs not used: Rafferty, Huntington, Ripley, Nugent

Goals: Johnson 19 (penalty, won Fisher)

Bookings: Gallagher 44 (foul), Davies 61 (foul)

QPR: Kelly 6; Rangel 7, Hall 8, Barbet 7, Manning 6; Ball 6 (Amos 46, 7), Cameron 6; Pugh 4 (Chair 46, 7), Eze 8, Osayi-Samuel 8; Hugill 7

Subs not used: Lumley, Clarke, Kane, Shodipo, Oteh

Red Cards: Cameron 67 (two yellows)

Bookings: Cameron 56 (foul), Cameron 67 (foul), Amos 83 (foul)

QPR 2 Preston 0, Saturday December 7, 2019, Championship

QPR secured their first clean sheet of the season, and a rare win against Preston, when these sides met at Loftus Road at the start of December, 2019. Ebere Eze got the ball rolling with an emphatic finish at the second attempt down at the School End after Geoff Cameron had chipped him in. He made it two from the spot in the second half after Marc Pugh was adjudged to have been taken out by visiting keeper Declan Rudd — a decision PNE protested vehemently.

QPR: Lumley 7; Kane 7, Leistner 8, Hall 7, Manning 7; Cameron 7; Osayi-Samuel 8, Eze 8 (Amos 87, -), Pugh 7; Hugill 7, Wells 7 (Scowen 68, 6)

Subs not used: Wallace, Barnes, Smith, Ball, Chair

Goals: Eze 17 (assisted Cameron), 67 (penalty, won Pugh)

Bookings: Scowen 79 (foul), Osayi-Samuel 90 (foul)

Preston: Rudd 6; Rafferty 5, Huntington 6, Storey 6, Hughes 5; Pearson 5, Browne 6; Barkhuizen 6 (Nugent 62, 4), Potts 5 (Harrop 66, 5), Maguire 6; Stockley 6 (Bodin 57, 5)

Bookings: Rudd 65 (foul, penalty concession), Bodin 90+2 (foul)

QPR 1 Preston 4, Saturday January 19, 2019, Championship

QPR’s 2018/19 campaign really started to unravel in earnest when Preston came to Loftus Road in January. Joe Lumley and Josh Scowen’s doomed play-out-from-the back routine created a first half goal for Jayden Stockley and the defence folded altogether in the second period, caught out by two set pieces flicked on at the near post for first Storey and then Browne to make it 2-0 and 3-0. Matt Smith got a consolation goal at the Loft End with time running down but there was a further kick in the teeth to come as Potts returned a Joe Lumley parry into the far corner for a 4-1 away win.

QPR: Lumley 4; Furlong 5, Leistner 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Scowen 4, Cousins 4 (Smith 46, 5); Wszolek 5 (Osayi-Samuel 76, 5), Eze 5 (Smyth 85, -), Freeman 5; Wells 5

Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Manning, Oteh

Goals: Smith 84 (assisted Bidwell)

Bookings: Scowen 9 (foul), Furlong 90+2 (foul), Lynch 90+3 (foul)

Preston: Rudd 6; Fisher 7, Storey 8, Davies 7, Hughes 7; Pearson 8; Gallagher 7, Browne 8, Maguire 8 (Barkhuizen 68, 7), Potts 8; Stockley 7 (Nmecha 77, 6)

Subs not used: Johnson, Woods, Ledson, Huntington, Ripley

Goals: Stockley 14 (assisted Browne), Storey 68 (assisted Davies), Browne 82 (assisted Storey), Potts 87 (assisted Nmecha)

Bookings: Maguire 23 (foul), Fisher 90+5 (foul)

Preston 1 QPR 0, Saturday August 4, 2018, Championship

QPR got their annual niggly, frustrating, irritating single goal defeat at Deepdale in early that season, losing 1-0 in Lancashire in the opening day of the season. Alan Browne’s looping header catching Matt Ingram out five minutes after half time was enough to settle a dire game, though substitute Idrissa Sylla drew a brilliant save from Declan Rudd in front of the away fans in injury time.

PNE: Rudd 7; Fisher 6, Clarke 6, Davies 6, Hughes 6; Pearson 8, Browne 7; Barkhuizen 7 (Horgan 71, 6), Harrop 6 (Ledson 83, -), Robinson 7; Moult 6 (Gallagher 77, 6)

Subs not used: Woods, Burke, Maxwell, Huntington

Goals: Browne 50 (assisted Harrop)

QPR: Ingram 5; Kakay 6, Leistner 7, Lynch 6, Bidwell 5; Scowen 6, Luongo 6 (Smyth 66, 6); Osayi-Samuel 5 (Manning 46, 6), Eze 6, Freeman 5; Smith 4 (Sylla 77, 5)

Subs not used: Cousins, Washington, Lumley, Baptiste

Yellow Cards: Manning 66 (foul), Scowen 73 (foul)

QPR 1 Preston 2, Saturday April 14, 2018, Championship

Preston did their usual number on QPR at Loftus Road back in April 2018, outfoxing Rangers tactically and beating them up physically as Ian Holloway once again paid the price for changing a winning team. Rangers had been rampant during the week, winning 4-2 against Sheff Wed, but Idrissa Sylla who scored twice and Paul Smyth who got one and the Man of the Match award were both benched for the Saturday game. It didn’t look like it would matter when Matt Smith tapped in a great Ryan Manning cross early on, but Preston have a formidable recent record on this ground and scrambled a deserved equaliser through Callum Robinson before half time. Their winner, headed over stand in keeper Matt Ingram and into the far corner by Robinson once more, had been coming.

QPR: Ingram 6; Furlong 6, Baptiste 6, Robinson 6, Bidwell 6; Cousins 5 (Freeman 73, 5), Luongo 5, Manning 6; Eze 5, Osayi Samuel 5 (Smyth 63, 6), Smith 5 (Sylla 63, 5)

Subs not used: Smithies, Scowen, Wszolek, Kakay

Goals: Smith 13 (assisted Manning)

Bookings: Ingram 38 (foul), Robinson 70 (foul), Luongo 83 (foul)

Preston: Rudd 7; Fisher 7, Clarke 6, Huntington 6, Cunningham 6; Pearson 7, Browne 8; Barkhuizen 6, Johnson 7 (Harrop 63, 6), Bodin 6 (Gallagher 63, 6); Robinson 7 (Horgan 90+4, -)

Subs not used: Davies, Moult, Maxwell, Earl

Goals: Robinson 45 (assisted Fisher), 72 (assisted Browne)

Bookings: Cunningham 41 (foul)

Preston 1 QPR 0, Saturday December 2, 2017, Championship

QPR had Jamie Mackie harshly sent off in the first half when these sides met at Deepdale back in December, 2017. Having fallen victim to that questionable bit of refereeing, Rangers defended stoically for the rest of the game before conceding the only goal to Jordan Hugill with two minutes of normal time remaining. Alex Baptiste was sent off for dissent after the final whistle, although Rangers claimed he was actually swearing at a former Preston team mate not referee Jeremy Simpson.

PNE: Maxwell; Fisher, Clarke (O’Connor 45), Huntingdon, Davies; Gallagher, Pearson, Barkhuizen, Browne (Harrop 45); Robinson, Hugill

Subs not used: Rudd, Boyle, Horgan, Pringle, Welsh

Goals: Hugill 88 (assisted Gallagher)

Yellow cards: Huntingdon 79 (foul), Pearson 79 (dissent)

QPR: Smthies 7; Wszolek 6, Baptiste 8, Robinson 8, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6, Scowen 6, Wheeler 5 (Smith 73, 6); Chair 6 (Sylla 90, -), Mackie 4, Washington 6

Subs not used: Lumley, Cousins, Smyth, Manning, Goss

Red Cards: Mackie 22 (serious foul play), Baptiste 90+6 (two yellows)

Yellow cards: Luongo 86 (foul), Bidwell 90 (foul), Baptiste 90+5 (dissent), Baptiste 90+6 (dissent)

Preston 2 QPR 1, Saturday February 20, 2017, Championship

QPR had Luke Freeman harshly sent off for two bookings, and slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Deepdale in February, 2017. Things had started so well when Kazenga LuaLua turned in Matt Smith’s flick on from a long throw to give the R’s a lead. But the standard Aiden McGeady 20-yarder on the stroke of half time swung the game back in Preston’s favour and Jordan Hugill got a winner at the second attempt from a late corner after Alex Smithies had saved the first.

PNE: Maxwell 6; Huntington 6, Clarke 6, Spurr 6, Cunningham 6; Browne 8, Johnson 7; McGeady 7, Robinson 7, Horgan 7 (Barkhuizenat 86, -); Hugill 6

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Makienok, Beckford, Gallagher, May, Boyle

Goals: McGeady 44 (unassisted), Hugill 77 (assisted Horgan)

Bookings: Clarke 66 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 6 (Ngbakoto 67, 5), Onuoha 6, Lynch 4, Bidwell 5; Freeman 6, Perch 7, Manning 6; Wszolek 6, Smith 6 (Sylla 67, 5), Lua Lua 6 (Mackie 73, 6)

Subs not used: Ingram, Goss, Ingram, Petrasso

Goals: Lua Lua 36 (assisted Furlong/Smith)

Red Cards: Freeman 78 (two bookings)

Bookings: Onuoha 21 (foul), Freeman 41 (foul), Lua Lua 62 (foul), Freeman 78 (stamping)

QPR 0 Preston 2, Saturday August 20, 2016, Championship

Preston did a proper tactical number on QPR at Loftus Road in August 2016, comfortably winning 2-0 in one of the first major indications that the Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink era wasn’t going to have a happy ending after all. Rangers had already beaten Leeds and Cardiff in the opening month of the season but with John Welsh detailed to crowd the space Tjaronn Chery was operating in, and centre half Bailey Wright the best player on the pitch, the visitors were rarely troubled by the home team. They scored either side of half time — Beckford making the most of a rare Smithies flap to divert a follow up into the net, then Callum Robinson finishing from close range at the end of a sweeping counter attack. Johnson curled one wide and Smithies tipped over an outrageous lob attempt to prevent the scoreline being more severe. PNE hadn’t won a game, or scored a goal, in the league prior to this.

QPR: Smithies 4; Perch 5, Onuoha 5, Caulker 4, Bidwell 5; Henry 4 (Washington 54, 6), Luongo 5; Ngabokto 5 (El Khayati 64, 6), Chery 5, Cousins 5; Polter 5

Subs not used: Ingram, Shodipo, Kakay, Paul, Grego-Cox

Bookings: Perch 45+1 (foul)

Preston: Lindegaard 6; Humphrey 7 (Huntington 87, -), Clarke 7, Wright 8, Cunningham 6; Welsh 6, Gallagher 7 (Browne 74, 6); Johnson 8; Robinson 7, Beckford 6 (Hugill 73, 6)

Subs not used: Makienok, Doyle, Pringle, Maxwell

Goals: Beckford 21 (assisted Gallagher, mistake Smithies), Onuoha own goal (assisted Beckford, mistake Onuoha/Henry)

Bookings: Welsh 58 (foul), Browne 85 (foul)

Preston 1 QPR 1, Saturday March 19, 2016, Championship

While there was little at stake for either side when they met in March 2016, a combination of the pressure being off and the referee being under the influence of some bad acid made for a lively encounter at Deepdale. QPR took the lead early on when Seb Polter headed a corner home, and should have sealed the game in the second half when Tjaronn Chery ran through one on one with Anders Lindegaard but failed to convert. Amidst some farcical officiating from Andy Woolmer, PNE bagged a last minute equaliser from Doyle but there were four yellow cards in injury time alone and in the end most were relieved the game was called to a halt before anybody was killed.

Preston: Lindegaard 7; Woods 6, Wright 6, Clarke 5, Cunningham 7; Johnson 7; Gallagher 6, Pearson 6 (Doyle 61, 7), Reach 6 (Beckford 85, -), Robinson 6 (Welsh 79, 6); Hugill 5

Subs not used: Vermijl, Kilkenny, Smith, Kirkland

Goals: Doyle 90+3 (assisted Cunningham)

Bookings: Clarke 81 (denying a goalscoring opportunity), Beckford 90+5 (fighting)

QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 6, Angella 6, Hill 7, Perch 6; Faurlin 6, Henry 7, Mackie 6 (Luongo 78, 5), Chery 6 (Hall 89, -), Hoilett 6 (El Khayati 90+3, -), Polter 7

Subs not used: Washington, Tozser, Ingram, Petrasso

Goals: Polter 5 (assisted Faurlin)

Bookings: Hoilett 71 (not sure), Angella 90+5 (fighting), Faurlin 90+5 (not sure), Hall 90+8 (foul-ish)

QPR 0 Preston 0, Saturday November 7, 2015, Championship

The first meeting between these sides that season was something of a perfect storm. It fell into the brief period of Neil Warnock's caretaker charge, when Rangers had surrendered almost all of their attacking intent in order to tighten up a defence that had been shipping two goals a game on average for the first three months of the season. Preston meanwhile, with Jermaine Beckford injured and Joe Garner out of form, were also relying on a tight backline to establish them following promotion from League One. Absolutely nothing of any real note happened in the entire match.

QPR: Green 7; Henry 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 7, Konchesky 6; Phillips 5, Faurlin 6, Sandro 5 (Emmanuel-Thomas 64, 5), Hoilett 6 (Chery 74, 5); Fer 6, Austin 6

Subs not used: Luongo, Smithies, Angella, Tozser, Polter

Yellow Cards: Onuoha 69 (dissent), Austin 78 (foul)

Preston: Pickford 6; Vermijl 6, Woods 6, Wright 7, Huntington 6; Reach 6, Browne 6, Gallagher 6, Johnson 7 (Kilkenny 90+4, -), Doyle 5 (Keane 75, 6); Garner 5 (Hugill 88, -)

Subs not used: Davies, Brownhill, May, Kirkland

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 15 >>> Draws 17 >>> Preston wins 20

2023/24 Preston 0 QPR 2 (Smyth, Willock)

2022/23 QPR 0 Preston 2

2022/23 Preston 0 QPR 1 (Dunne)

2021/22 Preston 2 QPR 1 (Gray)

2021/22 QPR 3 Preston 2 (Dykes, Dunne, Chair)

2020/21 Preston 0 QPR 0

2020/21 QPR 0 Preston 2

2019/20 Preston 1 QPR 3 (Hall, Manning, Eze)

2019/20 QPR 2 Preston 0 (Eze 2)

2018/19 QPR 1 Preston 4 (Smith)

2018/19 Preston 1 QPR 0

2017/18 QPR 1 Preston 2 (Smith)

2017/18 Preston 1 QPR 0

2016/17 Preston 2 QPR 1 (LuaLua)

2016/17 QPR 0 Preston 2

2015/16 Preston 1 QPR 1 (Polter)

2015/16 QPR 0 Preston 0

2010/11 Preston 1 QPR 1 (Helguson)

2010/11 QPR 3 Preston 1 (Taarabt 2, Hulse)

2009/10 Preston 2 QPR 2 (Priskin, Ramage)

2009/10 QPR 4 Preston 0 (Taarabt, Buzsaky, Simpson, Routledge)

2008/09 Preston 2 QPR 1 (Agyemang)

2008/09 QPR 3 Preston 2 (Helguson 2, Blackstock)

2007/08 QPR 2 Preston 2 (Blackstock, Ainsworth)

2007/08 Preston 0 QPR 0

2006/07 QPR 1 Preston 0 (Blackstock)

2006/07 Preston 1 QPR 1 (Ainsworth)

2005/06 QPR 0 Preston 2

2005/06 Preston 1 QPR 1 (Shittu)

2004/05 QPR 1 Preston 2 (Furlong)

2004/05 Preston 2 QPR 1 (Santos)

2000/01 Preston 5 QPR 0

2000/01 QPR 0 Preston 0

1980/81 QPR 1 Preston 1 (Stainrod)

1980/81 Preston 3 QPR 2 (Roeder, Neal)

1979/80 Preston 0 QPR 3 (Allen, Roeder, Goddard)

1979/80 QPR 1 Preston 1 (Goddard)

1978/79 Preston 1 QPR 3* (Eastoe 2, Baxter og)

1972/73 QPR 3 Preston 0 (Givens 2, Francis)

1972/73 Preston 1 QPR 1 (O’Rourke)

1971/72 Preston 1 QPR 1 (O’Rourke)

1971/72 QPR 2 Preston 1 (McCulloch, Saul)

1969/70 QPR 0 Preston 0

1969/70 Preston 0 QPR 0

1967/68 QPR 1 Preston 3** (Keen)

1967/68 QPR 2 Preston 0 (Marsh 2)

1967/68 Preston 0 QPR 2 (R Morgan, Leach)

1962/63 QPR 1 Preston 2* (Collins)

1950/51 Preston 1 QPR 0

1950/51 QPR 1 Preston 4 (Waugh)

1949/50 Preston 3 QPR 2 (Addinall, Robertson og)

1949/50 QPR 0 Preston 0

* - League Cup

** - FA Cup


Patrick Agyemang >>> QPR 2008-2012 >>> Preston 2004-2008

Walthamstow-born Patrick Agyemang was a product of the academy at Wimbledon when the club was still based at Selhurst Park. He scored a respectable 22 goals for the Dons in 79 starts and 57 sub appearances between 1998 and 2004. Then-First Division Gillingham paid £150k for him in January 2004 and he scored eight times for the Gills in 30 starts and four sub apps before departing for Preston in November for £350k.

At Deepdale he was mostly used as an impact substitute. He came on, along with another shared charge Danny Dichio, to join David Nugent and Michael Ricketts in an enormous, physical attack to chase the 1-0 deficit at Loftus Road in the aforementioned Dexter Blackstock game. There were occasional moments of brilliance — a bicycle kick goal against West Brom manager Paul Simpson said “only Patrick would have believed that possible” — mixed with a lot of drudge. His season total goals across his time with the Lilywhites read more like a central midfield player — four in 04/05, six in 05/06, seven in 06/07, four in 07/08 — and certainly didn’t make him an immediately obvious candidate to lead the attack at newly minted QPR.

The Flavio Briatore takeover at Loftus Road had injected some much needed investment into a club on the bones of its arse with a team surely destined for relegation to League One. A side including the likes of John Curtis, Ben Sahar, Danny Nardiello won none of its first nine games and manager John Gregory was quickly jettisoned by the new owners. The deal was done right at the end of the summer transfer window, with just enough time to squeeze Mikele Leigertwood through for £1m from Sheff Utd. Loans, such as the imperious Akos Buzsaky, followed in the autumn but the first big intake of talent occurred as soon as the window opened in January — Matt Connolly, Fitz Hall, permanent deals for loanees Rowan Vine, Hogan Ephraim and Buzsaky, and, of course, Patrick Agyemang.

Now, here’s where it starts to get strange. Agyemang, out of contract at Preston at the end of the season, only required a nominal transfer fee, but also walked out of Loftus Road with a four-and-a-half-year deal worth a rumoured £12k a week, when he’d apparently come in looking for two years at half that. He quickly took to arriving at games in a large Bentley, with a P AGYE number plate. Not many people complaining initially though as he scored on his debut in a 2-1 loss at Sheff Utd, again in a 2-0 home win against Barnsley, and once more in a 3-1 loss at Cardiff. The goals, remarkably, kept coming: two, in a three nil demolition of Bristol City at Loftus Road; two more, in a brilliant and memorable 3-2 win away to Southampton. Another gave Rangers the lead at home to Burnley before Andy Cole decided to turn up and play for the second half. It was a career-best hot streak. We found ourselves living in a world where Patrick Agyemang and Rowan Vine were the best strike force outside the Premier League.

On the LFW message board, a debate was convened on a nickname — Big Pat already taken at that time by youth team centre back Pat Kanyuka. The natives settled on “Dave”, and Agyemang would then get out of his Bentley and walk to the stadium with fans walking past saying “hi Dave” and “can we get an autograph Dave”. His Wikipedia entry was edited to suggest this was a nickname that had followed him from Preston because of his love of Only Fools and Horses. Either way, Dave didn’t like it. He told somebody outside the ground one day to pack that shit in. Returned to his previous identity as Patrick, he also regressed to his previous status as a distinctly mediocre Championship forward. From eight in his first six games, Agyemang scored only once more in the final dozen games, and that in a home gimme against lowly Scunthorpe.

As with Mike Sheron, QPR really shouldn’t have been surprised given his career record to this point, but Agyemang’s scoring record for the club thereafter was little short of shocking. In 2008/09 he scored twice in 23 appearances. The following season he got three in 21. He spent some time on loan at Bristol City (no goals in seven apps) and Millwall (no goals in two apps). It’s only right and proper that we do pay tribute to a pair of crucial goals he contributed to the 2010/11 promotion season under Neil Warnock — setting up the injury time comeback from 2-0 down at Derby with a cleverly taken first, and grabbing another point with a close range finish in a televised 1-1 at Bristol City. But, soon, the Bentley was taking a trip up the A1 to Stevenage for another loan (one goal in 15 apps) and he moved there permanently when his contract finally expired in 2012. He ended with 16 goals in 43 starts and 40 sub outings for QPR, eight of those goals coming in his first six games — a run that was later attributed to a tear in the fabric of reality.

The rest of his career followed pretty much this path. Two separate spells with Portsmouth delivered eight goals in two years and 69 games. He retired with a knee injury but did put in scoreless appearances for Dagenham and Redbridge, Baffins Milton Rovers (yes really) in a 4-1 FA Vase defeat to Horley Town, and Cray Valley Paper Mills (shut up). He’s now a personal trainer.

Others >>> Will Keane, Preston 2023-present, (loan) 2015, QPR (loan) 2014 >>> Gareth Ainsworth, QPR (manager) 2023, 2003-2010, Preston 1993-1995, 1992 >>> Scott Sinclair, Preston 2020-2022, QPR (loan) 2007 >>> Todd Kane, QPR 2019-2021, Preston (loan) 2012-2013 >>> Jordan Hugill, QPR (loan) 2019-2020, Preston 2014-2018 >>> Alex Baptiste, QPR 2017-2019, Preston (loan) 2016-2017 >>> Max Ehmer, QPR 2009-2015, Preston (loan) 2011 >>> Clarke Carlisle, Preston (loan) 2011-2012, QPR 2000-2004 >>> Leon Clarke, Preston (Loan) 2011, QPR 2010-2011, (loan) 2006 >>> Tamas Priskin, QPR (loan) 2010, Preston (loan) 2008 >>> Matt Hill, QPR (loan) 2010, Preston 2005-2008 >>> Jason Jarrett, QPR (loan) 2007-2008, Preston 2006-2009 >>> Danny Dichio, Preston 2005-2007, QPR 1993-1997 >>> John Curtis, QPR 2007, Preston (loan) 2004 >>> Marlon Broomes, Preston 2002-2005, QPR (loan) 2000 >>> Chris Day, QPR 2001-2005, Preston (loan) 2005 >>> Brett Angell, QPR 2002-2003, Preston (loan) 2000 >>> Michael Robinson, QPR 1984-1986, Preston 1974-1979 >>> Paul McGee, Preston 1984, 1979-1981, QPR 1977-1979 >>> Clive Clark, Preston 1970-1973, QPR 1969-1970, 1958-1960

The Twitter @loftforwords

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Hugey added 16:32 - Apr 18
Who knew Keith Stroud was refereeing the Blackstock game!

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