By Rich Brown
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Having led for most of the match, an equaliser from former City loanee Patrick Agyemang denied City all three points in a 1-1 draw with league leaders QPR. Agyemang, who was quite honestly shocking in his time at the club, cancelled out Stead’s stunning opening goal with only seven minutes left on the clock.
City kept the same side that had beaten Reading 1-0, but for the inclusion of Rose over Campbell-Ryce.
City did well early on to contain QPR, with the talented visitors kept in check by the home side. City’s good work was rewarded after McAllister played in Rose, who did well to drive at the QPR defence and set up Stead, who struck home a fantastic opener to give City the lead.
Danny Rose was enjoying his best game for City so far, and easily beat fellow Spurs youngster Kyle Walker, on loan at QPR, before firing at goal only to see his shot saved. QPR failed to muster any real chances in the first half, and it was City that could have scored again, but with Stead waiting to head home into an empty net after a great run by Haynes, but Hill did well to get in the way and divert the ball away.
QPR started the second half in better form; with City sitting deep to try and make sure that the pace of Taarabt and Mackie wouldn’t expose City at the back. QPR thought they had levelled just after the break following an explosive attack by Mackie, but the former Plymouth man saw his header flick off Helguson on the line, who was clearly in an offside position and thus denying him a goal, much to the pleasure of the East End.
City should have scored a second but Haynes missed the target when he should have scored. Played in following a defensive error, he had time and space but dragging his shot wide. Marvin Elliot then saw a long shot tipped wide by Kenny, before Stead did well to force another save. Haynes also made a good run across the defence but saw his shot drift just wide.
City’s defending from set plays was suspect, and Gorkss saw a header cleared from the line after the centre back was left unmarked from a corner. City failed, however, to get away with poor defending twice. A poor corner was delivered to the front post, and City were beaten to the ball. The goal-bound ball was then knocked in by Agyemang to level the scores.
With both managers seemingly happy to settle for a point, the game finished without a flourish. City should be disappointed that after playing so well to deny any clear chances in open play, it was bad defending from a set play that led to the QPR goal. It was a measure of how well City played that QPR were forced to substitute the ineffective Taarabt, who has been, up to now, the most potent attacking midfielder in the Championship this season.
Stead was immense up front, and Rose enjoyed a good game on the flank. Caulker and Fontaine looked confident and assured and City have many positives to take from the draw, and will look to build on the performance to get a win at Middlesbrough.
City: James, Carey, Fontaine, Caulker, McAllister, Adomah (Cisse, 58), Elliot, Johnson, Rose, Haynes, Stead
Goals: Stead 15
QPR: Kenny, Walker, Hill, Gorkss, Connolly, Taarabt (Agyemang, 78), Derry, Faurlin, Mackie, Ephraim (Smith, 57), Helguson (Hulse, 64)
Referee: Lee Mason
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