Football: Wimbledon in the clear

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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers. .1

Wimbledon . . . . . . .2

TERRIBLE weather usually guarantees terrible football. Alas, the reverse is not often the case. Under a clear blue sky, QPR and Wimbledon served up 90 minutes of rugged unloveliness.

When it comes to rugged and unlovely football, Wimbledon have the advantage of familiarity. It was enough to secure them their second win of the week - and surely their Premier League future.

Rangers are novices at the game of hit and hope, reduced to this sorry state by an injury list that would not disgrace an episode of Casualty.

Within half an hour, their woes had been added to as Tony Roberts was brought off with eye trouble, then Les Ferdinand limped away to be replaced by Devon White. By that stage, however, Rangers had already surrendered their third- minute advantage.

Ferdinand had plundered that lead when he tapped Bradley Allen's pull-back into the open goal but Wimbledon replied promptly, Fashanu prodding the ball in from close range.

Rangers, without a midfield through which to play the ball, tried to match Wimbledon's long- ball game, but even with the gangling White up front it always looked an unproductive route.

Michael Meaker's forays down the left rarely brought telling crosses, though both Gerald Dobbs and Roger Joseph were booked for fouling him. Nevertheless, he himself was shown the yellow card for tussling with Dobbs.

Wimbledon's winner arrived when Jan Stejskal was caught in no man's land by Robbie Earle's looping header.

Queen's Park Rangers: T Roberts (J Stejskal, 17 min); D Bardsley, R Brevett, M Doyle, D Peacock, A McDonald, A Impey, C Wilson, L Ferdinand (D White, 25 min), B Allen, M Meaker. Sub not used: K Ready. Manager: G Francis.

Wimbledon: H Segers; R Joseph, G Elkins, V Jones (L Sanchez, 53 min), J Scales, B McAllister, N Ardley, R Earle, J Fashanu, D Holdsworth, G Dobbs. Subs not used: A Clarke, N Sullivan (gk). Manager: J Kinnear.

Referee: P Don (Middlesex).

Goals: Ferdinand (1-0, 3 min); Fashanu (1-1,

7 min); Earle (1-2, 79 min).