Football: Sheron shines in Dowie's debut

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Queen's Park Rangers 2
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The Independent Online
IAIN DOWIE must be thinking this management lark is a piece of cake. Take over on Monday, reshape the side Tuesday, take a two-goal lead after eight minutes of your first game. Easy, really. And there you have QPR's first away win in more than a year.

Dowie, named Rangers' caretaker manager after Ray Harford called an end to his wretched reign, recalled record signing Mike Sheron. Almost immediately the pounds 2.75m player scored twice.

A mere 74 seconds had elapsed when Wolves, helping Rangers out in their hour of need with a hapless performance, gifted the visitors the lead. Lee Naylor's back-pass left Mike Stowell in trouble and the goalkeeper's clearance was chased down by Paul Murray. To Sheron's delight the ball spun out to his feet and placing it in the empty net was a formality.

Wolves have won only once in eight games now and confidence is dwindling rapidly. Their defence looked shell-shocked throughout the first period. Kevin Gallen, producing a top-class performance throughout, sped past Steve Sedgley to pull the ball back to Sheron who doubled the visitors' advantage with ease.

A change of manager is often a catalyst for hope but Dowie, the 33-year- old Northern Ireland international, deserves credit for his role in this victory. He recalled Steve Morrow and Matthew Rose to give the midfield a solid base, gave Gavin Peacock the freedom to support the front men and, perhaps with the luck that Harford seldom enjoyed during his nine months in charge, brought back a goalscorer who started scoring.

Wolves restored a little pride when substitute Dominic Foley headed home Michael Gilkes's corner after 75 minutes. But Rangers were deserved victors - for the first time on their travels since 20 September last year, at Crewe.

"It's one small step on the road to recovery," said Dowie. "The players spilled blood for the club tonight."

Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-2-3): Stowell; Muscat, Richards, Sedgley, Curle, Naylor (Gilkes, h-t); Emblen, Fernando; Keane, Connolly (Foley, 68), Bull. Substitutes not used: Corica.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-3-1-2): Harper; Yates (Slade, 34), Ready, Maddix, Baraclough; Murray (Graham, 89), Rose, Morrow; Peacock; Sheron, Gallen. Substitutes not used: Graham, Scully.

Referee: D Pugh (Wirral).