Football: Middlesbrough suffer more misery

Queen's Park Rangers 5 Middlesbrough 0
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The Independent Online
AFTER having to watch his side concede four goals in the second half against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Bryan Robson was made to endure the humiliation of seeing Middlesbrough let in another four in the first 45 minutes at Loftus Road last night.

Eight goals in 90 minutes must have been hard to take, but it became harder as Queen's Park Rangers added another in the second half to complete a 5-0 rout and make the team placed second in the First Division look nervously over their shoulders to the closing pack in the play-off places.

It took QPR 32 minutes to take the lead and when they did it was with a freak goal that fired a spell of four goals in 13 minutes. Mark Kennedy's cross looked like being easily cleared by Steve Vickers, but his swipe at the ball saw it hook behind him and over Andy Dibble's head into the net. Five minutes later it was two in equally bizarre circumstances. Paul Bruce, an early substitute hit a ball in from the left touchline which took a deflection into the top corner.

There was nothing lucky about the third a minute later. Kennedy's 30- yard pass found Kevin Gallen, who rounded the goalkeeper before shooting through a crowd of players. Mike Sheron grabbed the fourth right on half- time when Gallen nipped the ball through for him to curl a shot past Dibble from 20 yards.

Robson took off Michael Thomas, Nigel Pearson and Craig Hignett at half- time, bringing on Mikkel Beck and Alun Armstrong to form a four-man attack It was a bold move and it almost paid off a minute into the second half when Paul Merson's corner was headed on by Beck only for David Bardsley to head it against the bar.

Boro soon paid for their adventure when QPR grabbed a fifth after 53 minutes. Kennedy's cross from the left was perfect for Sheron to head home his second. The frustration set in and on 64 minutes Andy Townsend was sent off for a second yellow card when he tripped Nigel Quashie to complete a miserable four days for Middlesbrough.

Queen's Park Rangers: Harper; Bardsley, Morrow, Kulcsar, Ready, Yates, Perry (Bruce, 7), Quashie (Heinola, 89), Sheron, Gallen (Slade, 83), Kennedy.

Middlesbrough: Dibble; Festa, Fleming, Vickers, Pearson (Maddison, 45), Mustoe, Hignett (Armstrong, 45), Townsend, Branca, Merson, Thomas (Beck, 45).

Referee: A P D'Urso (Billericay).