Football / FA Cup: Flitcroft sinks QPR

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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Manchester City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

ANYTHING United can do, City can do just as well. For the second time in six days, gallant Queen's Park Rangers were turned over by a team from Manchester playing at the very top of their form.

Both sides had reason to be apprehensive as they took the field, deprived of their most stalwart defenders. Rangers' Danny Maddix coped well enough in the absence of Darren Peacock, but the key to City's victory was the towering performance of their 20- year-old midfielder Gary Flitcroft, who displayed astonishing maturity in deputising at the back for his injured captain, Keith Curle.

Cup ties rarely need coaxing into life, but this one began at such a frantic pace that it would have been no surprise had a sonic boom reverberated around Shepherd's Bush.

Boxed in on the edge of his own area, Steve McMahon tried to direct the ball back to Tony Coton, but underhit his pass. When Coton attempted to dribble his way out of trouble, the ball ricocheted back across the goal where a stretching, stumbling Ferdinand failed to make contact for QPR.

With a little luck Ferdinand might have bagged a brace. At the other end, Mike Sheron floated a lovely shot over Tony Roberts on to the bar and beyond. It was Sheron, though, who slipped Niall Quinn's pass to David White in the 72nd minute and the City winger's shot whistled past Roberts from 12 yards.

As White City resounded to 'Blue Moon', Michael Vonk quickly scrambled another before Ian Holloway slipped in a late consolation.

Queen's Park Rangers: T Roberts; D Bardsley, R Brevett, S Barker, D Maddix, A McDonald, C Wilson, I Holloway, L Ferdinand, B Allen, A Sinton (D Bailey 76 min). Subs: D Peacock, D Bailey. Manager: G Francis.

Manchester City: T Coton; R Ranson, T Phelan, S McMahon, M Vonk, F Simpson, D White, M Sheron, N Quinn, G Flitcroft, R Holden. Subs: P Reid, A Mike. Player-Manager: P Reid.

Referee: P Wright (Cheshire).

Goals: White (0-1, 72 min); Vonk (0-2, 76 min); Holloway (1-2, 90 min).