FOOTBALL: Barker sparks off QPR revival

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Queen's Park Rangers 3
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The Independent Online

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Queen's Park Rangers 3

Despite his perennial tan, seven straight Premiership defeats and a dearth of goals have meant there has not been much of a glow about Ray Wilkins' features recently. A victory - even a goal - would have been welcome

So to see his side score three times away from home despite the absence of a first-choice strikers Danny Dichio and Mark Hateley, and to soak up long periods of pressure without losing defensive discipline or stifling flair or their attracting passing game, was more than enough to restore the sunshine to the QPR manager's smile.

For once individual talent, characterised by the runs of Trevor Sinclair and Andrew Impey, was underpinned by determination and resilience less frequently seen at Loftus Road.

The determination was evident from the start, when they carried the game to Wednesday and Kevin Pressman was forced to save after Peter Atherton almost turned it into his own net. Sinclair and Danny Maddix both worked good chances before the latter had to whip the ball off his own goal-line after Jurgen Sommer failed to hold Chris Waddle's corner.

When Graham Hyde ran onto Marc Degryse's through ball to put Wednesday ahead, Rangers took it in their stride and levelled when Simon Barker met Nigel Quashie's cross with a header.

Further resilience was called for as Wednesday swept forward to try to restore their lead, but with Maddix outstanding in a Rangers back four, the Owls could not capitalise on their territorial superiority.

Waddle's incisive passing led to a stream of crosses which Sommer handled confidently, but when QPR broke, Steve Yates threaded the ball through to Barker, who chipped Pressman from the edge of the box to double his tally.

Three minutes from the end, QPR's Barbadian substitute Gregory Goodridge was booked for time wasting at a corner and promptly made the game safe with a goal direct from the corner.

Goals: Hyde (22) 1-0; Barker (33) 1-1; Barker (66) 1-2; Goodridge (87) 1-3.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Nolan, Atherton, Walker, Stefanovic; Hyde (Bright, 76), Waddle, Nicol, Whittingham; Kovacevic, Degryse. Substitutes not used: Watts, Platts.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Sommer; Bardsley, Maddix, Yates, Brevett; Holloway, Barker, Quashie, Impey (Goodridge, 80); Sinclair, Gallen (Allen, 85). Substitute not used: Challis.

Referee: P Durkin (Portland).

Booking: Queen's Park Rangers: Goodridge.

Man of the match: Maddix. Attendance: 22,442.