Football: Allen lifts Rangers' spirits

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The Independent Online
Bury. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Queen's Park Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . .2

QUEEN'S PARK RANGERS, third in the Premier League, had to struggle to prevent Bury, with its quaintly named Cemetery Road End from becoming the graveyard of their Coca-Cola ambitions last night. Rangers, who needed penalties to reach Bury via Grimsby, were rattled by The Shakers and needed two goals in the last five minutes to put them into the fourth round. Defender, Darren Peacock, scored the first Rangers goal with a header off the bar in the 85th minute and Bradley Allen wrapped it up for the Londoners with a shot right on full time.

Gigg Lane has traditionally one of the best playing surfaces in the country and it needed to be as a hailstorm made its presence felt. Alan McDonald, Rangers' centre- half, was the first to lose his footing in the slippery conditions and Tony Roberts was the first to get his hands on the greasy ball, holding on to a curling shot from Bury midfielder Ronnie Mauge.

The night's most exacting task fell to Lee Anderson, the Bury right-back, having to shackle Andy Sinton. The resurgent England winger found his range with two crosses as did David Bardsley on the opposing wing. Sinton's tormenting got the better of Anderson, a clattering tackle earning him a 24th-minute booking.

The target for both Sinton and Bardsley was Les Ferdinand who gave Rangers the first opening. On a charge through the middle, he was brought down by Peter Valentine. Ray Wilkins tapped the free-kick to Simon Barker, whose drive was pushed away by Gary Kelly at full-stretch.

Bury broke the Rangers stranglehold when Mauge put Liam Robinson clear on the break, but Clive Wilson nipped in to take the ball as the Bury midfielder sped into the Rangers area.

When Rangers lost their left wing service, Sinton limping off in the 32nd minute, Bury took the initiative. Alan Knill was inches wide with a volley after McDonald had cleared to the edge of the area. Ian Stevens wriggled his way past Wilson to slide the ball into the prostrate Roberts's arms. Four minutes from half-time, Wilkins headed off the line after Peacock had mistakenly back-headed under pressure from another corner.

Ian Holloway attempted to keep play in line with the temperature by almost catching Bury cold when he shot from 20 yards.

Rangers then had Peacock diving full-length trying to pass back to his goalkeeper, but only succeeding in allowing Ian Stevens a run at Roberts, who found the referee on his side when the Bury striker went sprawling.

As the match hotted up so did tempers. Kevin Hulme was booked for a late challenge on Bardsley in the 50th minute, and Ferdinand followed him in the 63rd minute for a challenge on Hughes.

Bury: Kelly; Anderson, Robertson (Reid, 75), Daws, Valentine, Knill, Mauge (Lyons, 87), Robinson, Hulme, Hughes, Stevens.

Queen's Park Rangers: Roberts; Bardsley, Wilson, Wilkins, Peacock, McDonald, Barker, Holloway, Ferdinand, Allen, Sinton (Thompson, 32). Substitute not used: Maddix.

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).