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QPR v Spurs, 28.07.99

Pre-season Friendly fixture
Wednesday 28th July, 1999
QPR 2 (2) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (1)

QPR scorers:-
Peacock (pen), 17
Steiner, 20

Spurs scorer:-
Iversen, 6, 74

Attendance:- To be confirmed ( est 10,000 )

Referee:- to be confirmed ( did not appear to be Graham Barber, as published )

QPR team ( not complete, due to poor PA system):- Miklosko; Breaker, Baraclough, Ready, Rose; Darlington, Langley, ?, Peacock; Kiwomya, Steiner.

There were countless substitutions by QPR in the second half.

Spurs:- Walker; Carr, Perry, Campbell, Edinburgh ( sub Taricco, 81 ); Anderton, Young, Sherwood, Ginola ( sub Korsten, 46 ); Iversen, Dominguez ( sub Gower, 46 )

Many acquaintances were renewed at Loftus Road this evening, but there was no Les Ferdinand on display, which probably disappointed both sets of fans. In the programme notes, Gerry Francis expressed his thanks to "Alan Sugar and family, and all of the many acquaintances, supporters and personal friends I knew during my three years at White Hart Lane". In the end, everybody probably went home happy, after a game which was quite lively, and more entertaining than one might expect for such a fixture. Whilst their class showed at times, Spurs were only playing at three-quarter pace for much of the game. Some of their touches were short, whilst the hosts played some determined and stylish football, making more chances on the night.

Iversen was looking sharp early on, and Ginola looks fitter than I have seen him in the pre-season. Dominguez partnered Steffen, but made little headway. When Gower took his place in the second half, he spent much of the time in an unfamiliar front running role, but he made a useful contribution to the game, to say the least.

For QPR, Peacock, Kiwomya, and Steiner formed a three pronged attacking force, that often threatened in the first half. Peacock often beat Edinburgh on the wing; whilst Kiwomya and Steiner were a force to be reckoned with in the middle. Both Sol, and Perry had their hands full, and did not look comfortable overall. It was Rangers who had the first real chance, when Kiwomya knocked down for Steiner, who fired over. However, Spurs responded well, with a good build up, from Ginola and Carr, which led to a corner. Anderton crossed, and Iversen was in the box, and just had to stick his foot out to toe-poke the ball into the corner, to take the lead.

Ginola then fed Edinburgh who had a good run across the penalty area, and hit a right foot shot just wide. Edinburgh seemed to be committing forward a little too much for my liking, which led to some exposure at the back for Spurs. A Tim Sherwood cross from the right reached Sol in the middle. The big man got a fairly powerful effort on target, but Miklosko ( much loved by the home fans ) saved comfortably.

On the counter attack, Kiwomya was clear, with only Walker to beat. He chipped, but the ball fell agonisingly wide of the goal, to Spurs' relief. However, Spurs' lead was short-lived, as Carr ( harshly in my view ) was adjudged to have fouled Kiwomya on the edge of the 6 yard area. It was only the slightest of touches, but Peacock converted with ease.

Within three minutes, QPR took the lead. The Spurs defence was left standing appealing for what did look like an offside. Their pleas were ignored by a referee, who showed a strong home bias on the night, and Steiner was allowed to fire home, unchallenged. Whilst Spurs have maintained an unbeaten pre-season record, George Graham must be concerned at some of the goals conceded. Whilst these fixtures are like large scale 5 a side games, with little in the way of physical tackles, Spurs will have to play a lot better when the season starts in earnest. On this form, I would not think that QPR will have the relegation battle they had last year.

Steiner did put the ball in the net soon after his goal, but the second effort WAS disallowed. Spurs managed to slow the game down, and take more control, as the first half progressed. Anderton crossed from the right, and Sherwood tried desperately to run the ball in, but his attempt went wide. After 31 minutes, Ginola crossed from the right after a good build up, and Iversen sent a header wide of the mark. Ginola was replaced by the cropped-haired Korsten at half time. He DID bring more physical contact to the game, which was quite scrappy for the first period of the second half.

The best chances fell to Spurs now, and Luke Young fired into Miklosko's hands following a corner. Korsten was getting involved in some piercing play down the inside left channel, and forced a good save from Ludo. With a quarter of an hour to go, Spurs scored the equaliser. Korsten was set up for a run, and he in turn passed to Gower, who rounded the goalie on the left, and set Iversen up for a simple tap-in. Iversen has scored plenty in the run-up, and Spurs will hope he can maintain this form. He had a cracking shot saved by Miklosko soon after his equaliser, following some good approach play by Sherwood and Anderton. Iversen should have scored in the last minute, when he only had the goalie to beat, but the ball was taken from his feet.

There was strong Spurs support tonight, and I look forward to the trip to Molineux on Saturday, where I fancy a more physical meeting. Perhaps a little ankle tapping Freund will be present?

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