Football: Gallen delivers to win ovation

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Queen's Park Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Sheffield Wednesday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

KEVIN GALLEN, whose Premiership debut against Manchester United on Saturday gave promise of many good things to come, began to deliver last night as he struck a winning goal with 11 minutes remaining, four minutes after Wednesday had drawn level for the second time.

Gallen, who scored 153 times in 110 games for Rangers' youth team last season, drove home an Ian Holloway cross for what will surely be the first of many Premiership goals. He resembled in both look and deed, that other 18- year-old Rangers prodigy of years past, Clive Allen. And his substitution two minutes from time gave the Loftus Road faithful a chance to register overwhelming approval.

Trevor Francis, Wednesday's manager, only 16 himself when he began scoring wondrous goals for Birmingham City, said he thought it would not be long before Gallen became outstanding.

Gerry Francis, Rangers' manager, was more circumspect about his young forward, for reasons which he outlined with a comic's timing. 'I'm not really concerned about praising Kevin too highly because obviously. . . I want to keep him. Things have happened very, very quickly for him. But I wouldn't have taken the gamble if I didn't think he was capable of it,' he said.

Gallen, who also produced a nonchalant volley on the run which narrowly cleared the bar and nearly set up his striking partner, Les Ferdinand, for a second goal with a back-heel, was the main reason for Rangers to be cheerful. But there were others.

Not least of them the Wednesday defence, which allowed Spurs four goals last Saturday and was similarly generous in giving Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair space to score following corners. Wednesday's attacking virtues remain intact, however, as they showed in coming from behind twice to equalise through headers from John Sheridan and Graham Hyde.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Roberts; Bardsley, McDonald, Yates, Wilson; Impey, Barker, Holloway, Sinclair; Ferdinand, Gallen. Substitutes not used: Penrice, Maddix, Dykstra (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Atherton, Walker, Petrescu, Nolan; Taylor, Hyde, Sheridan, Sinton (Jones, 30); Hirst, Watson. Substitutes not used: Bart-Williams, Key (gk).

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).